If the United States doesn't officially recognize May as Haitian Heritage Month, its cause the blancs are scared. Haiti, the first free black nation in the world, and the only country to gain independence by a successful slave rebellion, has plenty to be proud of. A crowd of more than 40,000 is expected this Saturday at Bicentennial Park for the 11th annual Haitian Compas Festival. Local Kreyol hip-hop artist Mecca, AKA Grimo, who will perform, says, "This is the day we celebrate what we fought for when we declared our independence." Also performing will be Kreyol La, Djakout Mizik, Carimi, T-Vice, and many others. Mecca describes the lineup as "all of the great Haitian bands that always come out and do their thing a nice medley of compas, rara, rap, and Kreyol hip-hop." Haitian Fresh, from Wyclef's Sak Pasé Records, will represent the modern sounds of the youth, while Septentrional will be honored for its myriad contributions to Haitian music. What Noel & Cecibon Productions started as a small local gathering has become an international destination drawing tourists from around the world. Satellite parties surround the fest, so get ready for nonstop action.
Sat., May 16, 4 p.m.-midnight, 2009