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Dartmouth’s World Music Percussion Ensemble will be joined by a new touring ensemble from Haiti for its winter concert, “Carnival Time—Hot, Hot, Hot!” on Friday, February 22, at 8 p.m., in the Hopkins Center’s Spaulding Auditorium.
The concert features music of the season of Carnival, in which the Christian season of Lent merges with traditional Earth-centered practices for a celebration of rebirth and renewal, with ecstatic music and dance.
Sharing the bill with the World Music Percussion Ensemble is an ensemble from Lakou Mizik, a multimedia project to internationally promote Haitian music and develop it as a force for social change. The Lakou Mizik (Haitian creole for “music from our backyard”) project was founded last year by Woodstock, Vt., native Zach Niles in partnership with Haitian artists. It is a celebration of Haitian music and culture focused on changing perceptions of the country by bringing the stories of Haiti’s music and musicians to a worldwide audience through recordings, videos, and concert tours.
Niles and the ensemble are performing at Dartmouth as part of the project’s first tour—the first time out of Haiti for many of the musicians, says Niles. Their visit was planned in conjunction with the inaugural Porter Foundation Symposium at Dartmouth entitled “Haiti and Dartmouth at the Crossroads,” from February 20 through 22. The symposium brings together experts across disciplines to propose and implement sustainable solutions to Haiti’s crises in three key areas: education, economic development, and health care.