Wills Glasspiegel for NPR
Such happy music from a country with so much suffering is just one of a few juxtapositions in the Haitian band RAM. There's RAM's leader, a middle-aged white man sporting a top hat, tails and and an ascot dancing along side and singing with his Haitian-born wife. RAM is an experience to see and hear, as homemade rara horns much like vuvuzelas add spice to an already hot band. Deriving its name from the initials of band leader Richard A. Morse, a Puerto Rican-born Haitian-American singer and songwriter, RAM has been a fixture in Haiti's mizik rasin (roots music) movement. It first gained worldwide attention in 1993, when its song "Ibo Lele (Dreams Come True)" was included in the soundtrack to the film Philadelphia. Known for Thursday night performances at the historic Hotel Oloffson in Port-au-Prince, RAM blends traditional sounds of rara horns and petwo drums with some rock 'n' roll.