Masters of Haiti’s acoustic twoubadou (troubadour) style Ti-Coca and Wanga-Nègès will be visiting Central College from Sept. 25-29. Their visit is in conjunction with the Center Stagesm cultural exchange program.
Begun by the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the program aims to bring artists from Haiti, Pakistan and Indonesia to tour the U.S. in hopes of engaging the American public through international performing arts.
The New England Foundation for the Arts, Inc. schedules month-long tours for the groups to give Americans, as well as the visiting artists, a chance to grow in understanding and share in their experiences at home.
Well-known in Haiti, Wanga-Nègès, a name that refers to a hummingbird, is a five-member band started by David Mettelus in 1976. The artist is also known as Ti-Coca, meaning “little coke bottle.” The band serves up a mixture of styles, including the Haitian Mereng and Konpa-direk.
“Sharing our cultures through music is a great way to bring about better appreciation and respect for each country and our musical traditions,” said Treva Reimer, faculty director of cultural affairs programming. “Students will enjoy the street music feel of it. I think it will be hard to not want to dance.”
While on campus, the band will be meeting with classes and local community musicians and giving a performance on Sept. 27 at 7:30 p.m. in front of the Chapel. Rain location for the event will be the Graham Banquet Hall. The event is free and open to the public.