Sounds of Little Haiti, the monthly series at the Little Haiti Cultural Complex that celebrates the music, food and culture of Haiti, will have a more reverent mood this month. Last Sunday, Miami’s Haitian community lost two of its beloved creators – visual artist Joseph Wilfrid Daleus and folk singer and activist Joseph Emmanuel “Manno” Charlemagne. This Friday, both will be honored at the event.
Daleus, who died at Jackson Memorial Hospital after weeks of battling diabetes and respiratory issues, was a celebrated Haiti-born painter whose vibrant and colorful work depicted Haitian culture. One of his works can be seen on the parking lot wall of the Little Haiti Cultural Complex. The Miami Herald’s profile of Daleus reveals a talented, struggling artist who longed to be involved with Little Haiti’s cultural renaissance, but was confounded by economic woes.
Musician Joseph Emmanuel “Manno” Charlemagne was notorious in Haiti for his acerbic folks songs in which he skewered everyone from members of the Duvalier dynasty to René Préval and other public figures he called “big-eaters” — greedy politicians. He tried his own hand at politics, serving as mayor of Port-au-Prince in the mid-’90s. But he returned to music, and of late he had been a recurring act at Tap Tap Restaurant on Miami Beach.
Both artists were beloved and respected in Miami’s Haitian community for their commitment to promoting the arts.
A memorial service for Joseph Emmanuel “Manno” Charlemagne will be held Thursday at Notre Dame d’Haiti Catholic Church, 110 NE 62nd St. There will be a public viewing from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., followed by a memorial Mass at 7:30 p.m.
The Sounds of Little Haiti homage that will pay tribute to Charlemagne and painter Wilfrid Daleus takes place from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday at the Little Haiti Cultural Complex.
The free event will feature performances by Haitian musician Beethova Obas, who recorded the song “Nwel Anme” (Bitter Christmas) with Charlemagne; the TapTap band, which Charlemagne often played with at the South Beach restaurant; AROZE Twoubadou and Revelation Mizik.
IF YOU GO:
What: Sounds of Little Haiti
When: 6-10 p.m. Friday
Where: Little Haiti Cultural Complex, 212 NE 59th Terrace, Miami