Hit Me with Music

The Haitian Compas Festival drums up beats and island support.

On Bob Marley’s heavy track “Them Belly Full (But We Hungry),” the reggae legend implored listeners to “forget your troubles and dance.” It often isn’t that easy, when the ends seem impossible to make meet and the cost of living is skyrocketing. The people of Haiti have known desperation, hunger, and suffering, and in recent years the food crisis has gone from bad to worse. That’s why this year’s Haitian Compas Festival will take a page from Marley’s book: Fans of the island’s music are invited in vast numbers to Bicentennial Park to unite, raise funds, and collectively forget their troubles and dance.

This year’s fest has expanded its musical horizons to encompass all of the genres of Haitian music. Headliners include the hottest compas, racin, and rara bands. Expect to see Djakout Mizik, Kreyol La, Mizik Mizik, T-Vice, and the legendary Magnum Band — and that’s just a few of the scheduled performers. Besides all of that, there’ll be comedy by two of Haiti’s most popular jokesters, and everyone is encouraged to bring cans of food. The promoters have promised to match all food donations and ship the whole shebang back home to the people who need it most. The musical fun begins at 4 p.m.
Sat., May 17, 4 p.m., 2008

 
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