| Culture |

O, Miami and Haitian Song Queen Emeline Michel Join Forces for Big Night in Little Haiti

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Emeline Michel is all about repping her Haitian heritage. "On all of my 10 albums, the lyrics and rhythms are inspired, created and rooted from Haiti. 100 percent pure ... like Tropicana," she jokes. So her upcoming poetry music mash-up at Big Night in Little Haiti, will likely bring you as close to the island nation as you can get -- without international travel, that is.

The Haitian-born and -bred songwriter and vocalist has traveled for more than 20 years, bringing the sounds of Haiti to music enthusiasts across the globe. And on April 19, she'll be performing at Little Haiti's monthly shindig as part of a partnership with the O, Miami poetry festival.

See also:

- Peter London Global Dance Company Stays Local in Little Haiti

- Little Haiti Sunday Stroll Refuses to Be "the New Wynwood"

This isn't Michel's first 305 rodeo. She's performed at Miami-Dade College, the Arsht Center and other venues, but this time she's taking the stage as part of O, Miami's ongoing April poetry lineup.

She'll be performing with MacArthur Genius Grant recipient and local author and poet Edwidge Danticat, as well as Haitian poet Koralen.

"We have in Haiti a strong oral tradition via storytelling and Krik krak which we called 'devinette' which requires the audience to participate," Michel says.

"It's a very interesting way to make everyone part of the moment with Koralen, Jean-Claude Martineau and Edwidge Danticat songs, poetry, and storytelling intertwined. Since their work is soaked in the same spices the picture is complete and magical," she adds.

Michel, Koralen and Danticat's appearances are part of the poetry festival's edition of the monthly event. The fest has been hosting events all over town, peddling poetry to the masses and encouraging Miamians to expand their literary repertoire.

In addition to the trio's performance in the plaza, there'll be an opening set by the North Miami Senior High Marching Band, spinning by DJ Mack of Mizikpam.com, arts and craft vendors, food and drinks for sale, and an art exhibition. Plus, they'll be showcasing winners of the Dis-Moi Dix Mots Poetry Competition. No shortage of ways to feed your cultural curiosity.

"With the presence of theses two icons and outstanding creators as my guests, I pray that they will remember that Haiti is alive and hopeful in every sense of the word."

The event kicks off on Friday, April 19 at the Little Haiti Cultural Center. It runs from 6 to 10 p.m. and it's free to attend. Visit BigNightLittleHaiti.com

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