Michael LeMorin—composer, guitarist, and vocalist—was born in Les Cayes on the southern Caribbean coast of Haiti. As a child he listened to his mother sing Haitian folk songs while at work, and by the age of ten he had started to play the guitar. In 1980 he arrived in New York, where he immediately connected with the music scene. He played konpa, a popular Haitian dance band style, with the eminent band DJet-X. With the group Sakad he explored jazz infused with the music of Vodou (an Afro-Haitian spiritual tradition). In 1989 he founded Freedom Sound, the first band to marry Vodou and reggae.
LeMorin’s current band, Pawòl–Anago, blends the tropical grooves of Brazil and the Caribbean—reggae, konpa, samba, bossa nova—with jazz. Evocative lyrics in French, English, and Haitian Creole speak to both mind and heart. His latest album, Pawòl (Word), is representative of this sonic cocktail.
Featured image from photo by Kesler Pierre
Watch and listen to “Pawòl,” the title song of the album Pawòl.