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The Haitian Twoubadou

The man has led a thousand lives and survived them all. Now 60 years old, Manno Charlemagne has been a singer-songwriter, political activist, and mayor of Port-au-Prince. Throughout the '80s and '90s, Haitian authorities incessantly harassed him for being a popular advocate of political change. He received death threats. He was abducted, jailed, and psychologically tortured by the national palace. Twice he was forced into exile from Haiti — first by dictator Baby Doc Duvalier in 1980 and then by Raoul Cédras's military junta from 1991 to 1994. And twice he returned.

Today, a decade after his short stint as mayor of Haiti's capital, Charlemagne lives in South Florida, where he has resumed his life as a twoubadou. Every Thursday at 8:30 p.m., the man and his band bring political chanson to Tap Tap as part of Monsieur Charlemagne's longtime residency at the Haitian landmark. And in honor of democratic ideals, there's never a cover charge.
Thu., Sept. 1, 8:30 p.m., 2011


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