Haitian musicians perform under the stars | NevadaAppeal.com

Haitian musicians perform under the stars

Staff report
Lakou Mizik formed after the Haiti earthquake in 2010. The group appears at Oats Park on June 17.
COURTESY PHOTO |

Through tragedy comes triumph.

Lakou Mizik, a multi-generational collective of Haitian musicians, formed in the aftermath of the devastating 2010 earthquake that hit Hispaniola hard, particularly Haiti and its capital Port-au-Prince.

Lakou Mizik includes elder legends and rising young talents united in a mission to honor the healing spirit of their collective culture and communicate a message of pride, strength and hope to their countrymen and the world.

The group headlines the summer’s first Outdoor in the Park concert on June 17 at Oats Park Centennial Stage.

Sponsored by the city of Fallon, the concert is free, so the Churchill Arts Council encourages music lovers to bring their own chairs, refreshments and dinner.

Food and non-alcoholic beverages will be sold by Patacon Food Truck, which features Colombian foods. The Fallon Elks Lodge will sell beer and wine.

After the concert, the Art Center’s galleries and bar will open.

Music is at the core of Haiti’s sense of identity, and musicians have always played an important role in society, both in documenting the country’s history and helping to shape its path forward. Today, a young generation of artists is keeping this tradition alive, narrating the world they live in through music that is made in their neighborhoods, villages and post-earthquake camps.

Lakou Mizik brings together these musical generations in celebration of the cultural continuum while using Haiti’s deep well of creative strength to shine a positive light on this tragically misrepresented country.

The idea for starting the band occurred in 2010 on a hot November night in Port-au-Prince, nine months after the earthquake rattled the country. Haiti was still reeling from the earthquake, a cholera epidemic was raging and a political crisis filled the streets with enough tire-burning ferocity to close the international airport.

Steve Valcourt, a guitarist and singer whose father is one of the country’s iconic musicians, singer Jonas Attis and American producer Zach Niles met in Valcourt’s muggy basement studio and agreed that Haiti’s music and culture could serve as an antidote to the flood of negativity.