On Wednesday, she teamed up with NuLook crooner Arly Lariviere at Moca Café to do an unplugged session in the walk up to the festival. The more intimate performances are part of the pre- and after-parties that have also defined Compas Fest weekend.
“When it comes to politics, we have a lot of question marks. And when everything else in our country doesn’t make sense, music is the one common ground where we agree, we have something solid,” said Michel. “Music is the most important flag we can wave.”
And Compas Fest plays a huge role in that said public relations specialist Mia Lopez Flynn, who will be hosting a live broadcast of the festival on Sakapfet.com with Haiti-based radio personality Carel Pedre.
“The Haitian Compas Festival serves as a platform where musicians and bands are tested,” she said. “Your success at the Compas festival either propels you or buries you.”
DJ Griot, a local personality on 99 JAMZ-WEDR who will be hosting the actual event, said the festival encompasses the ongoing struggle to have Haitian music become as mainstream as other forms of music, and to showcase Haiti in a more positive light.
“The music,” he said, “connects you more than anything else.”
Besides it’s longevity, this year’s festival is also special for another reason, say those involved. It falls on one of Haiti’s most patriotic of holidays – Haiti Flag Day.
“Our people are very patriotic when it comes to their flag, and I guarantee, you are going to see a different kind of show,” said Noel, referring to the colors of the Haitian flag. “It’s going to be a blue and red show this year.
“Even though we’ve lost money and things have happened over the years,” he added, “it’s for the community.”
The Haitian Compas Festival starts at 3 p.m. Saturday at Bayfront Park Amphitheatre, 301 Biscayne Blvd. Tickets are $50 at the door. Emeline Michel and Arly Lariviere perform at 8 p.m. Wednesday at Moca Café and Lounge, 738 NE 125th St. in North Miami. Cost is $25.00. For a full line up of parties and performers before and after the festival, go to http://www.compasfestival.net or call 305-945-8814.