Wednesday, June 1, 2005

Emeline Michel: Elegance

June 2005__The fact that Zanzibar, a club owned mainly by Africans, would kick off their monthly event, Soiree de Fete, featuring artists from the French African and Caribbean diaspora, with “The Queen of Haitian Song,” is both a show of respect for the Haitian culture, as well as for Emeline Michel. If the very essence of the Haitian woman could be captured, it would be bottled in the package of Emeline Michel. She is as talented as she is beautiful, as intelligent as she is outspoken, as culturally diverse as she is culturally proud. Her eighth album release, Raisin Kreyol (Creole Roots), an album that follows the classic Cordes et Ame (Strings and Soul), showcases her incredible musical maturity. Emeline wrote and produced the majority of the songs. Emeline’s talent goes beyond the recording studio. On stage is where she shines, as she did at Zanzibar. She is surrounded by an extremely talented group of musicians, including Sergo Decius, on congas, and Frederic Lastargeas, on keyboards. With an elegance and grace of “The Queen of Haitian Song,” she never misses the opportunity to reflect on stage about her homeland and her culture. Not only does she display a smooth and soulful voice, she partners up with the traditional folk Haitian drum rhythms and displays her background in Haitian dance. Eight albums strong, captivating stage presence, and kreyol beauty, elegance and style, Emeline Michel has rightfully claimed the today’s title “The Queen of Haitian Song.” The Haitian concert audience is not known for giving its performers standing ovations, or for curtain calls, but if there’s ever one worthy it is Emeline Michel. ©, gmathurin, June 2005