From Camagüey (Cuba), tribute to the Haitian culture on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the vocal group Desandann
Thursday, March 14, 2019 ((rezonodwes.com)) – The vocal group Desandann, formed since its inception by ten singers from the professional choir of Camagüey, descendants of Haitians settled in Cuba for two, three or four generations, celebrated its 25th th anniversary, from 3rd to 6th March 2019, with a series of activities in the capital of the central province of Cuba
At the beginning of the 20th century, this region welcomed many Haitians, agricultural workers recruited to develop the Cuban sugar industry. Their exact number is unknown, but an association of Haitian descendants still testifies to Camagüey, as in every province of the country, the presence of Haitians in the heart of the Cuban population, to which the Revolution allowed them to integrate. While the first generation of immigrants is gradually disappearing, this association attests to the link that still binds the two countries in the memory of the descendants, and of the interest that these continue to manifest for their country of origin. 19659003] Such was also the goal of members of the vocal group Desandann at the time of its founding, in 1994: to pay homage to their ancestors by making known the Haitian culture. Twenty-five years later, the mission is largely accomplished, not only in Cuba, but also around the world, where the group has made about thirty tours across forty-four countries, including Haiti, of course.
The vocal group Desandann has also recorded several records, including two albums – under the name Creole Choir of Cuba – with Peter Gabriel's famous Real World English label. He was nominated for the Grammy Awards in 2004, for Canadian saxophonist Jane Bunnett's “Cuban Odyssey” CD, with which he collaborates regularly.
This success is due in part to the originality of the group, which occupies a place singular among the Haitian-Cuban folk groups. It is distinguished by the fact that it consists of professional singers who have received a classical training. Under the direction of Emilia Díaz Chávez, their approach to the Haitian musical heritage is thus characterized by a certain classical style: excellence of the voices, refinement of the arrangements and rigor of the staging including choreographed movements.
At the concert given Sunday, March 3 at Camagüey's Principal Theater, the vocal group Desandann showed a range of his repertoire, which includes traditional songs, standards of Haitian song and own compositions. He has received many plaques of recognition from local and national institutions.
The show was completed, for the Haitian part, by the performances of Caidije, the oldest Haitian-Cuban group, founded in 1926, Fanm Zetwal, the only exclusively female group of the genre, composed of fifteen women of the neighboring province of Ciego de Avila, and the Frontyè group of singer Marcelo Andrés Luis (member of Desandann).
Cuban music was represented thanks to the Imagen quartet and the Voces duo of Teresita Romero Miranda and Marina Collazo (both members of Desandann). The dancers of the Camagüey ballet also participated in this homage to the vocal group Desandann on the occasion of his 25th th anniversary.