Country Haití

Discipline Music

Recomended for General Audience

Duration 90 minutes

Dates January 18, 21:00h

A diplomat of music, longing for her land

The New York Times

Known as Haiti’s queen of songs, Emeline Michel has made a name for her country all over the world, performing at important venues in Europe, North America, the Caribbean and South America. Over a career spanning 30 years, she has explored pop, jazz, the blues and traditional Haitian music, in a fusion of rhythms and genres that are accompanied by lyrics full of political and social content, turning her into one of the most popular and well-loved artists in Haiti and the Antilles. Also called the ‘Joni Mitchell of Haiti’, Emeline Michel is part of a generation of musicians from the eighties, known for their self-aware lyrics and for reviving local rhythms like the compas, the troubadour and the rara and mixing them with sounds from universal popular music. Although she lives in Paris nowadays, she has never stopped singing about Haiti. “It’s my duty to reflect what’s going on in my country (…) I’ll always sing about love, but I can’t take the politics out of my music”, Michel has said. Singing in French and Haitian Creole, this is a unique opportunity to see one of Haiti’s greatest artists in Chile.

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Singer

Emeline Michel

(Haiti, 1967)

Emeline Michel is a singer, writer and composer. With more than a dozen albums under her belt and a career spanning 30 years, she is considered the ‘diva of Haitian music’ and as one of the most popular singers in her country, partly because of her engaging lyrics and social and political awareness. In January 2010, she took part in the Hope for Haiti fundraiser, organized by George Clooney and Wyclef Jean, to help victims of the earthquake in her country and, in 2013, she took part in the UN Women’s Women without borders song Nous Sommes One woman, which denounced discrimination and violence against women.

  • Emeline Michel is one of the most famous artists from Haiti and the Antilles, acclaimed the world over in important media such as The New York Times, The Chicago Tribune and French magazine Télérama, where her voice has been described as “brimming with energy and sensuality”. Jon Pareles, the renowned music critic from The New York Times, described her in the following way: "For a long time, Emeline Michel has been known as a pop star and singer-songwriter, possessor of a smooth voice and an important social conscience”.

  • The singer is considered a world ambassador for Haiti’s music, a country that currently has close ties to Chile due to the growing immigration of Haitian citizens over the last few years. For this reason, her concerts in Santiago are a kind of cultural exchange and a chance to find out more about Haitian culture, creating new bridges between both countries.

  • Emeline Michel’s style is a good example of Haiti’s mixture of different music and cultures: as well as jazz, gospel, pop and blues, the singer adds Haitian voodoo rhythms from East Africa, a little bit of French-inspired troubadour music, songs of African worship and the compas, a very well-known form of pop in Haiti, similar to merengue and played at parties and carnivals.

  • In a career spanning more than 30 years, the singer has performed in numerous countries and at important venues in France, the United States and Canada. In 2006, she was chosen to take part in the Clinton Global Initiative, a summit of more than 2,000 heads, thinkers, presidents and world leaders from all over the world, brought together by former President of the United States, Bill Clinton.
  • Haiti. A French colony for almost two centuries, Haiti became the world’s first independent black republic and the only French speaking territory in the Caribbean when it gained independence after defeating Napoleon Bonaparte’s army in 1803. France only recognized its independence in exchange for compensation totaling several million francs, which led the country into poverty and to the economic problems that have only gotten worse over the years. As well as a long history of political instability, it suffered a devastating earthquake in 2010 that damaged the majority of government buildings, schools, hospitals and homes. It is currently ranked 14 on the list of the world’s most impoverished countries.

  • Chile and Haiti. Haitian immigration to Chile is currently the sixth highest after Peruvians, Colombians, Bolivians, Argentines and Venezuelans. It has grown the most in the least amount of time: in 2014, 1,649 Haitians came into the country, with this number rising to 73,098 in 2017. According to official figures, around 411 people from Haiti arrived each day in Chile in 2018.

«A fusion of modern funk with easygoing Haitian compas and the galloping carnival beat of rara»

The New York Times

«While political violence and worsening poverty in Haiti have dominated the news, she (Emeline Michel) promotes the beauty of her country's culture»

Chicago Tribune

«Emeline Michel sings of healing for Haiti»

Boston Globe

A diplomat of music, longing for her land

The New York Times

«A fusion of modern funk with easygoing Haitian compas and the galloping carnival beat of rara»

The New York Times

«While political violence and worsening poverty in Haiti have dominated the news, she (Emeline Michel) promotes the beauty of her country's culture»

Chicago Tribune

«Emeline Michel sings of healing for Haiti»

Boston Globe

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