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Haiti To Host Its First International Music Festival
Published April 20, 2007

Reggae stars Stephen and Damian Marley are set to headline the 3-day Mizik Jakmel Festival, the first in the Caribbean nation’s history.

Jacmel, Haiti’s cultural centre, will host its first international music festival, Festival Mizik Jakmel, May 25-27th 2007. Headliners, 2-time Grammy-winning Reggae stars, Stephen and Damian “Junior Gong” Marley, will be joined by more than 24 bands and musicians from around the globe.

With the Caribbean Sea providing a spectacular backdrop, this three day festival promises masses of energy, excitement and of course sun. Festival Mizik Jakmel will feature a wide variety of international artists including Les Nubians, The Reggae Cowboys and Emeline Michel, hailing from countries around the globe; The USA, Canada, Sweden, Jamaica and Haiti to name a few. The festival will explore every music genre, from Hip Hop, Konpa and Reggae to R&B, Jazz and Blues. The drummers of Haiti will also be uniting in an attempt to break the Guinness World Record™ for the largest drumming ensemble, last set in India 2006 with 7,951 people continuously drumming for five minutes, it is estimated that over 10,000 will participate.

Festival Mizik Jakmel is the brainchild of three Jacmel locals Patrick Boucard and Kate Tarratt Cross, co-founders of FOSAJ (Foundation Sant D’A Jakmel) and the Festival Film Jakmel. FOSAJ is dedicated to empowering the Haitian people through art and culture and not only works in conjunction with the European Union to support the 150 artisans of ADASE, but maintains outreach projects addressing issues including street children, literacy and the environment. Jeremie Sterlin, the third member of the team, is owner and operator of XUKPI Producciones, an event production company based in Playa del Carmen, Mexico.

“Empowerment through music, the reconnection of Haiti with the rest of the world, the promotion of regional tourism and the projection of a positive image of Haiti are some of the goals that we want to accomplish” Patrick Boucard, festival director.

Portions of the festival proceeds will go to support local nonprofit organizations - FOSAJ, Ecole de Musique Dessaix Baptiste (Jacmel Music School), as well as Kroma a foundation for street children and Pazapa a centre for the handicapped.