LAKOU MIZIK is a collective of Haitian musicians who are blend Troubadou, Vodou, Rara and Urban Soul. With legends like master vodou drummer Sanba Zao, and young stars like Steeve Valcourt and Jonas Attis – LAKOU MIZIK is a thrilling bouyon of modern roots music!
African, French, Caribbean and American influences collide in Haiti like nowhere else in the world and LAKOU MIZIK draws inspiration from all of them. There’s the insistent spirit stirring rhythms of vodou drumming, the french café lilt of the accordion and the joyful percussive punctuation of the Rara horns – all mixed with scrappy, socially-driven lyric writing and a dash of Motown swagger. The end result is a soulful stew of deeply danceable grooves that feels strangely familiar yet intensely new and 100% Haitian.
Music is at the vital core of Haiti’s sense of self and musicians have always played an important societal role, both in documenting the country’s history and helping to shape its path forward. Today a young generation of artists is keeping this tradition alive, narrating the world they live in through music that is made in their neighborhoods, villages and post-earthquake camps. LAKOU MIZIK brings together these musical generations in celebration of the cultural continuum while using Haiti’s deep well of creative strength to shine a positive light on this tragically misrepresented country.
Over the past 3 years LAKOU MIZIK has been honing their electrifying live show in the clubs of Port-au-Prince – where their hours-long concerts feel like part spiritual awakening, part political rally and are altogether intoxicating. They have steadily building a passionate fan base and with their debut album set to release in 2015, LAKOU MIZIK is determined to bring their music to the world stage and represent Haiti’s hopeful emergence.
In Haitian Kreyol the word “Lakou” carries multiple meanings. It means the backyard, a gathering place where people come to sing and dance, to debate or share a meal. It also means “home” or “where you are from” – In the wake of the earthquake of 2010, the continued barrage of negative news and images, and the repeated phrase “poorest country in the Western Hemisphere,” the band, LAKOU MIZIK, or “Music from the Homeland,” is a defiant musical expression of Haitian pride and hope.
The nine members of LAKOU MIZIK range in age from late sixties to early twenties and come from across Haiti's musical, social, religious, and geographic spectrum.
A joyous antidote to Haiti's hard times. **** - The Guardian
Its songs, some of which are topical, draw on the rhythms and incantations of voodoo, the trumpeting of rara carnival music and hearty call-and-response vocal harmonies on their way to galloping, exultant dance grooves. - New York Times
The sound of Vodou drummers, Rara horns and an accordionist blend into a soulful and party-oriented rasin experience, an Afro-Soca Carnival vibe of the highest order. - NPR
But then the music kicked in and they damn near levitated the place. Lakou’s unique blend of Haitian roots traditions - insistent voodoo rhythms, rollicking racine melodies, twobadou lyricism and blaring rara horns - was irresistible and for the next 40 minutes, the dance floor was filled with New Yorkers defrosting in their subtropical warmth - Songlines
Join solo artist Tom Ulichny, performing his compelling new music which combines world groove, fusion jazz, slide blues, and experimental folk.
Multi-instrumentalist Tom Ulichny graduated Magna Cum Laude from Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA where he studied guitar, drums, and world percussion. He spent a semester in Pune, India, studying Indian rhythmic systems and tabla under Rajeev Devasthali in 2004, and has spent the last twelve years experimenting with a more contemporary application of the tabla, kanjira, djembe, frame drum, and ghatam.
Ulichny now makes his home in midcoast Maine and has entered his fifth year of business as the founder and Executive Director of Midcoast Music Academy, a community music school in Rockland, Maine. His passion for both percussion and stringed instruments led him to live looping, which allows him to record instantly while performing and build complex layers of melody, harmony, and rhythm.
It has been nearly 18 months since Ulichny launched his solo album, "Lately,” which has been well received; Brian Farrell of Portland Radio Group said "... what just happened is magic... Some truly breathtaking music...". Tom's new work to be released this year will continue to emphasize a natural analog sound that closely mimics the live experience.
Drawing from influences as diverse as old school slide and fingerpicking blues, Americana, traditional Hindustani and Carnatic music, experimental folk singer Andrew Bird and Afropop artist Oliver Mtukudzi, Ulichny's music is a powerful mix of traditional and contemporary soul.