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Arts & Culture

Exploring The Deep Ties Between New Orleans And Haiti

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Eve Abrams
/
For WWNO
New Orleans resident Al Grandoit dressed as Toussaint Louverture.

During this unusual carnival season, producer Eve Abrams delves into the many ways New Orleans and Haiti are connected: music, culture, community and other important traditions.

This six-part audio series is tied to the release of WXPN's new documentary "Kanaval: Haitian Rythems & The Music Of New Orleans, which airs Feb. 11 on WWNO.

We begin our six-part series with  this story about an instrument essential to the two cultures, with its roots in Africa: the drum. 

Next, we look at the story about a master Haitian drummer and the legacy he left in New Orleans.

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We eavesdrop on a conversation between two musical collaborators, Leyla McCalla — a student of Haiti’s musical history — and Shawn Myers, who initiated in vodou drumming in Haiti.

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We explore the parade route of Krewe du Kanaval, which celebrates the New Orleans — Haitian connection.

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Pop Quiz: What is the common denominator behind a walking tour, a book club, and a musical talk — all of them about the Haiti-New Orleans connection? We bring you this backstory to an organization called Haitianola.

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Many of our traditions are on hold — including ones with a kinship to Kanaval traditions in Haiti.  Producer Eve Abrams brings us this final story about the deep connections between Haiti and New Orleans.  And Mardi Gras.

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