Carnival comes to Little Haiti with "Big Night" in Little Haiti this Friday, January 18th, from 6pm to 10pm, at the Little Haiti Cultural Center. Big Night is a free monthly event, held every third Friday, which has become an important spot on the calendar for people who love Haitian music and art. "This month is going to be a very big show" said Laura Quinlan, Executive Director of the Rhythm Foundation. Popular Haitian konpa group, Carimi, one of the top groups in Haitian music today, will perform in the plaza. The group is credited with moving the sound of konpa forward, attracting younger audiences to Haiti’s popular dance rhythm.
Before the concert, Little Haiti's own homegrown group, Rara Lakay, will share highlights of the rara tradition, showing off the exquisite instruments and sounds. Rara is a traditional street procession with music that builds upon both celebratory and sacred vodou traditions, drawing everyone into the rhythms of the procession. The sound centers on long trumpets often made of recycled metal, drums, bells and homemade hand percussion. In Haiti and its Diaspora, rara groups are also an important way people share social and political movements and are a key feature of public demonstrations. Rara Lakay has participated in many important Miami cultural and music events, including Sleepless Night, Compas Fest, and a Rara “battle” with New York and Haitian-based groups. After Carimi’s concert, the group will let loose with a full live set culminating in a traditional rara procession.
Between the shows, the award winning Roots dance ensemble of Broward College will show-off their winning dance moves to get the crowd really ready for Carnival. Big Night in Little Haiti, every 3rd Friday at the Little Haiti Cultural Center, is produced by The Rhythm Foundation and the Little Haiti Cultural Center. It is free and open to the public. Details at BigNightLIttleHaiti.com, or call 305-960-2969. The Little Haiti Cultural Center is located at 212 NE 59 Terrace.