Bringing It All Back Home: Tiga Jean-Baptiste and the Struggle for Haiti’s Musical Heritage

Tiga Jean-Baptiste is an up-and-coming recording artist from Haiti. He was raised the son of a well-known Haitian drummer, and grew up in the voodoo tradition. Today, he fronts a band called Tchaka, and also releases his own music. He has opened for fellow Haitian Wyclef Jean, and has a new album coming out in a couple months.

Tiga is also a rarity: a young Haitian who knows his musical heritage, and takes pride in it. In the last few decades, Haitian traditional music has been neglected by most of the country’s people. This speaks to a lack of cultural equity in Haiti, a problem with far-reaching consequences for every culture. The Association for Cultural Equity, started by famed archivist Alan Lomax, and now run by his daughter, Anna Lomax Wood, now seeks to help preserve Haiti’s musical heritage, so that more people can enjoy Haitian music the same way Tiga does.

Here’s the audio:

[audio:http://jmitche.journalism.cuny.edu/files/2012/05/Haiti_Feature.mp3|titles=Haiti_Feature]

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