WORKSHOPS WITH LAKOU MIZIK
Lakou Mizik offers educational workshops in English, French or Haitian Creole for groups of all ages to help connect local communities and students to their Haitian culture.
Lakou Mizik can create customized workshops to work with different ages, interests. Below are some examples of workshops that the band have developed for community groups, universities and primary schools;
Basic Haitian Rhythms & Dance
An interactive workshop that can be tailored to all ages and experience levels. Led by Sanba Zao a legend of Haitian vodou music and a professor at the Haitian National School of Art, this workshop first introduces participants to the role music and dance play in Haitian lives and its importance as a source of pride and identity. Using the drums available as well as a large selection of percussion instruments Sanba Zao will teach students a few basic Haitian rhythms while the rest of the band supports. Building on the rhythms Lakou Mizik will help the participants learn a basic choral chant in Kreyol. The dance section of the workshop is led by Nadine Remy who teaches a few basic dances to accompany the song so that by the end of the course all participants will be playing, singing and dancing while learning the important role music plays in Haitian life.
Voye Pwen – Haitian Music as social commentary
It is no surprise that a culture as musical as Haiti’s has used song as a political tool throughout its history. “Voye Pwen” is literally “sending a point” – it is a technique used in Haitian music to indirectly jab someone or some institution whether it be a rival band, rival political party or a political leader. The history of Haitian music is filled with these poetic indirect commentaries many of which (particularly in carnival season) are taken up as rallying cries by the populace. This workshop discusses the past and present of Haitian “angaje” or “engaged” music – to what effect it has been used in historical context but also – in the current political crisis how effective have musicians been in keeping politicians accountable.
Bridges Not Walls – Cultural Collaboration vs. Culture Appropriation
Lakou Mizik travels the world sharing it’s culture and collaborating with other artists. This interactive workshop discusses the importance of cultural collaboration and how music can be used as a form of popular diplomacy when two cultures are feeling equally represented and respected as new art is being made. We also discuss the darker side of two cultures and artists meeting – when the power structure is unequal and proper credit is not given. This workshop also features Lakou Mizik band manager and producer Zach Niles who has worked with bands from Africa and Haiti for nearly two decades.