Haitian Songstress Opens Performing Arts Series

SOCORRO, N.M. Sept. 17, 2010 – The current season of the Performing Arts Series opens Thursday, Sept. 23, with an internationally acclaimed singer-songwriter. Often called the “Joni Mitchell of Haiti,” Emeline Michel has emerged as the reigning queen of Haitian song.
                     Emeline Michel

Before the concert, Tech Club/Club Macey holds a social in Macey from 5 to 7:30 p.m., with island cuisine. The club is a social gathering for people 21 and over. There is a $5 cover charge if you are not a member of TCCM. The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. at Macey Center.

Michel’s songs blend native Haitian compas and rara with jazz, pop, bossa nova and samba. She is a captivating performer, versatile vocalist, accomplished dancer, songwriter and producer.  Accompanied by her smokin’ band, Michel sings in French and Haitian Creole, and her world-wide concerts and eight recordings have catapulted to international acclaim.

Michel, who currently lives in New York, said, "Living outside of your own country, you feel you have let your country down, especially while the country is sinking politically. You carry so much love and so many beautiful things about your country you want to put out into the world."

That is exactly what her eighth CD does. Michel draws on the roots and history of Haiti in many ways. The intertwined rhythms of the manman tanbou, boula, and katabou — Haitian drums — provide the foundation for original lyrics peppered with Haitian proverbs and positive messages.

"Everybody knows that Haiti is in trouble," she said. "Sometimes I feel like I should be there helping! This album is my way to be there. It's my chance to show a side of Haitian culture that is positive."

Series Director Ronna Kalish said she feels fortunate to have a top draw international performer coming to Socorro.

“This is the first time we have been able to work with Globalquerque to present an artist from their two-day lineup of international performers,” Kalish said. “Emeline is such an endearing and exciting singer, what a great way to open our season!”

Michel will perform at Globalquerque at the National Hispanic Cultural Center on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 24 and 25, after her Socorro concert. 

“It’s beneficial to everyone when PAS can work together with other nonprofit concert promoters,” Kalish said. “So many people are interested in Haiti, and so many from Socorro sent assistance in the wake of their disaster. I think it will be great for the Socorro community to become familiar with such an amazing emissary of Haitian culture.”

Tickets for the concert are $14 for adults, $12 for senior citizens, and $10 for youths 17 and under. All tickets sold before 5 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 22, will receive a $2 discount. Advance tickets are available at the Tech Cashier’s Office (second floor of Fidel Center), Brownbilt Western Wear or Sofia’s Kitchen.

Ticket subscriptions, which offer 30 percent savings, will be available at the door, in advance, or any time throughout the season. Subscribers may trade in unused tickets for other concerts in the season and are recognized in the evening programs.

Admission is free to full-time New Mexico Tech students with a valid ID. Students can pick up tickets in advance at the Tech Bookstore.

This concert is a New Mexico Tech Graduate Student Association Partner event with additional local sponsorship provided by El Camino Restaurant and El Matador Lounge, Brownbilt Shoes and Western Wear and Super 8. Grant support is provided by the Western States Arts Federation and National Endowment for the Arts.

– NMT –