If you bring your flask out to the party for Big Night in Little Haiti on Friday, June 17, make sure to fill it with Barbancourt, it's the best rum in the world, and the liquor will have you feeling right at home.
The festivities include a free concert headlined by Haitian dance heroes the Magnum Band, who are 12 players strong, with 35 albums under their belt, and more international tours than they can count.
We spoke to the band's co-founder Tico Pasquet about Little Haiti in 1976, how the band got started, and what the future holds.
Crossfade: When did the band start?
Tico: The band was born on June 24, 1976, right here in Miami, in Little Haiti. It was beautiful. We got together and had this band, and ever since then we been travelling all over the world to spread the Haitian music, and that's what Magnum Band has been doing for the past 35 years
What's your instrument?
I'm the drummer. I play the drum set, batterie in French. I'm Dadou's older brother, same mother, same father. I'm Tico Pasquet.
Where did the band gig back in '76?
They didn't really have any Haitian dance clubs back then. But we used to play the Red Dragon, the YMCA, Marco Polo. We are the pioneers of the Haitian music here in Miami. Back in '76, it was only the Magnum Band.
How does it feel to have spread Haitian music around the world?
It's the best thing we have ever done. We are in Africa, in Germany. We have 35 CDs out, including solo stuff from Dadou. This is a very well-known band. I feel good about it because some bands don't even see three years. This is a blessing and I thank god for that. It has taken a lot of discipline to keep this band alive.
How many people in the band?
[There are] 12 people. We have three horns -- trumpet, sax, and trombone -- a drum
set, conga drums, two keyboards, lead vox, lead guitar, bass. It's a pretty big
And everybody in the band is based down here?
Yeah, we here. Everybody here, except the conga player. He's in New York/New Jersey. We're going to fly him down for the show.
He must be good if you're going to fly him down?
Yeah, he's good. He's good enough to be in the band. So, of course, he's good enough to fly down. This is not a soccer team. It's music. You can't replace anybody just like that. If you want to have a good performance you have to have somebody who knows your songs.
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You can email DadouMusic at gmail.com or call 754-214-8437