In Your Ear: Jowee Omicil

Musician Jowee Omicil is as proud of his eclectic musical background as he is of his Haitian heritage. In Tell Me More's regular "In Your Ear" feature, he shares the songs that inspire him.

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MICHEL MARTIN, host:

And now, finally, the latest installment of our feature, In Your Ear - thats the part of our program where we ask guests about the music theyre listening to. Jowee Omicil is a Haitian-born musician whose craft often defies categorization.

We spoke with him last year months after the devastating earthquake in Haiti and he shared his thoughts on Haiti's future and the refuge he finds in his music. And now he shares some of his favorite tunes.

(Soundbite of song, Peace)

Mr. ORNETTE COLEMAN (Saxophonist, violinist, trumpeter and composer): (Instrumental)

Mr. JOWEE OMICIL (Musician): My name is Jowee Omicil. I'm a saxophonist, a multi-instrumentalist, basically educator, producer and I love music. And one of my favorite songs, actually is one of them is Ornette Coleman's Peace.

(Soundbite of song, Peace)

Mr. OMICIL: What I like about that song is the freedom in it and the melodic statement that Ornette Coleman explain at this time, you know, with Charlie Haden when he was messing with Billy Higgins. I really love that song. Its a trio song and its naked and I love Peace, because I love peace in my regular life too.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. OMICIL: And then another one of my favorite song is "CubhaTiando.

(Soundbite of song, "CubhaTiando) (Instrumental)

Mr. OMICIL: "CubhaTiando is composed by myself and Francisco Mela, and it is the wedding basically of Cuba and Haiti in terms of melodic statement and in term of rhythmical vibes. So I really like to perform that song and I like it. It's one of my favorite of all time for now.

(Soundbite of song, "CubhaTiando) (Instrumental)

Mr. OMICIL: And then the last one, but not least, is a Charlie Parker song that I really, really, really like. I've never recorded it but I love it. It's Confirmation. In Confirmation Bird is doing it and it allies of bebop.

(Soundbite of song, Confirmation)

Mr. CHARLIE PARKER (Jazz saxophonist and composer): (Instrumental)

Mr. OMICIL: And the language and also on different recording, I'm talking about the one at Carnegie Hall, where he's playing with Dizzy Gillespie, those two fellas, Dizzy and Bird, are really putting the bebop language in the 50s at that time out there in emphasis.

(Soundbite of song, Confirmation)

MARTIN: That was Jowee Omicil telling us whats playing in his ear. To listen to our original conversation about his latest album, please check out our website. Go to NPR.org and select TELL ME MORE from the program menu.

And that's our program for today. Im Michel Martin and youve been listening to TELL ME MORE from NPR News.

Lets talk more tomorrow.

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