A warm welcome to the Summer edition of Kreol.
In this richly packed issue we hope to capture some of the sizzle of Summer by bringing you colourful stories from right across the Creole World.
Some of the people and places we’ll be featuring will be well known to you, others will be completely new as we strive to shed light on unsung heroes! A richly deserving candidate in this category is none other than Darryl Guillory, legendary in his part of Louisiana as the Creole cowboy in a traditionally white world of wranglers. How does this passionate, complex man square his Creole identity with his life in a role, traditionally assumed by many to be filled by a rugged Caucasian in the John Wayne mold? What you’ll discover about him will touch your heart, and you’ll also learn what makes him unique in more ways than one! Meet him.
In our mission to dig deeper into Creole culture we’ll also be exploring “creolization” specifically as it applies to the architecture of Louisiana. Come with us on a fascinating journey that starts in rural France and culminates in a startling metamorphosis of colonial construction in the Bayou State. The challenge of keeping cool in an age long before air conditioning led to some of the most distinctive features of Creole architecture, notably the famous long porches, high ceiling and raised floors. But have you heard the terms “witch hat roof” and “suckulation”? If not learn more.
Continuing our journey south into the sunny Caribbean we bring you an inspiring report from the International Festival de Jazz de Port-Au-Prince in Haiti. Now in its tenth year and growing ever stronger we meet the Festival’s manager, Milena Sandler, who reveals the magic ingredients that made it such a huge success. Drawing in celebrated artists from the Jazz world it has become one of the biggest Jazz events in the whole Caribbean. From humble beginnings in 2007 when it was first staged by Haiti’s Jazz Foundation, it has become a musical phenomenon with a truly universal appeal, making a much needed contribution to boosting Haiti’s tourism industry. Learn more.
Continuing with the theme of musical milestones, we were thrilled to meet Tee Don the “Rubboard King” who was raised in Lafayette, Louisiana. His father invented the type of rubboard that is synonymous with Zydecko, the traditional music of South Louisiana. For those who are unfamiliar, it is a percussion instrument with a ribbed metal surface played by strumming with a bottle opener or spoon handle. Tee has made over 3,000 of them and once supplied 12 to the touring dance troupe of an R & B Superstar! Find out who!
We also met Godwin Louis, a gifted saxophonist and shining talent on the jazz circuit. His rich Haitian roots have undeniably guided him on his path and we were fascinated to learn more about his uncanny gift to conjure truly magnificent sounds.
Within the soulful, heartfelt world of the Blues there couldn’t possibly be a better example of a guitarist than Jeff Chaz. His long turbulent career marks him out as a true survivor, undoubtedly feeding his performances.
In our brand new Remembering Section we honour the legacies of two of the biggest giants of the Jazz world. Louis Armstrong –“The Ambassador of Swing” who famously knocked The Beatles from their 14 week number one spot! and Miles Davis who overcame a turbulent battle with addiction to revolutionize the jazz scene ushering in a period of “jazz fusion.”
We are also delighted to introduce our travel section, highlighting the many attractions of the World’s diverse creole destinations. We meet Roland Ratsiraka the man re-designing Madagascar’s international image- a vast island with huge untapped potential for adventure travellers followed by a revealing interview with Willy Rossier Manager of the Guadeloupe Tourist Board who tells us about the island’s “charm offensive” and why it has doubled its visitors in the last few years!
Whatever your tastes we’re sure you’ll find something to entertain and inform you in this issue. We wish you a truly golden Summer time!