Kanaval: Haitian Rhythms And The Music Of New Orleans: Episode 1 : World Cafe : World Cafe Words and Music from WXPN In order to understand the deep connections and musical relationship between Haiti and New Orleans, we must go back to before Haiti was Haiti.
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Kanaval: Haitian Rhythms & the Music of New Orleans: Episode 1

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Kanaval: Haitian Rhythms And The Music Of New Orleans: Episode 1

Kanaval: Haitian Rhythms And The Music Of New Orleans: Episode 1

Kanaval: Haitian Rhythms & the Music of New Orleans: Episode 1

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/976648559/976840589" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

A sketch map of Saint-Domingue, a French colony in the Caribbean from 1659-1890. Following a revolution by enslaved Africans, the territory was declared the Republic of Haiti. Archive Photos/Getty Images hide caption

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Archive Photos/Getty Images

A sketch map of Saint-Domingue, a French colony in the Caribbean from 1659-1890. Following a revolution by enslaved Africans, the territory was declared the Republic of Haiti.

Archive Photos/Getty Images

In order to understand the deep connections and musical relationship between Haiti and New Orleans, we must go back to before Haiti was Haiti.

The island was a French colony called Saint-Domingue, prized for its money-making prowess from sugar and coffee crops. Sugar was extremely lucrative, but its production was punishing. In order to maximize profits, the colonists' economic model entailed working slaves literally to death and then replace them with newly enslaved Africans.

These conditions enforced brutal slave labor by a recently enslaved population, in an era alive with revolutionary ideas. Eventually, they yielded just that: a revolution.

Explore xpnkanaval.org for even more on the documentary.


Kanaval has been supported by the Pew Center for Arts and Heritage. This project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional support from the Wyncote Foundation.