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#249: Martha Jean-Claude (new book) (fwd)

From: Emmanuel W. Vedrine <evedrine@hotmail.com>

Une rétrospective en images de l?itinéraire de Martha
CIDIHCA. Montreal. 1999. 60 p.

Actress, dancer, singer and writer, Martha Jean-Claude was born in 
Port-au-Prince, Haiti (1919). She met Victor Mirabel (Cuban journalist) in 
1947, who later became her husband. Short stay in Venezula (where they got 
married?). Their children: Magdalena, Linda, Richard and Sandra. She started 
her acting career under Elie Lescot?s Administration. In one of the 
celebrations of  Bicentenaire de Port-au-Prince", two great voices were 
heard: Martha?s and Luliane Casimir. Arrested in 1952 (under the Paul E. 
Magloire?s Administration) after the publication of her play "Anriette" 
(judged to be subversive by the police), She flew to Cuba on December 20, 
1952 to join her husband. In 1957, she left Havana to go to Mexico for the 
movie "Yambao" (working side by side with Cuban-Mexican actress, Ninon 
Svilla. She had a great success at the "Cabaret Afro" and produced in 
Mexican Television. She would return to Cuba the following year. Martha 
later became member of the "l?Union des écrivains et artistes de Cuba". A 
well-known figure in the artistic  and cultural Cuban world, she 
participated in conferences and protests in solidarity with Haiti in Cuba, 
in Mexico and in Panama. At one time, president of  "l?Association des 
Haitiens résidant à Cuba" (The Association of Haitians living in Cuba) where 
she received many Haitian intellectuals visiting Cuba. With the support of 
the Minister of Culture, she founded the group "Mackandal" with her son 
Richard and her daughter Sandra. In 1986 after the fall of Duvalier, she 
visited Haiti. Her tours include North and South America, The Caribbean, 
Europe and Africa.


"Acclaimed as the real representative of the art of her homeland, Haiti, 
which she has shown the world through her wonderful melody. Martha 
Jean-Claude has acted with great success in Caracas, Venezuela, at the 
principal broadcasting and Television stations. In Mexico she appeared in TV 
and radio, and in the swanky ?Afro? nite club gathering constant acclaim as 
the real interpreter of Calypso and Vodu. Cuba, where she is staying at 
present, has been the main stage of her latest success. She has appeared in 
top programs of radio and TV, motion pictures, etc. For more than three 
months she has been the main attraction of the ?Vodu Ritual? in the known 
the word over ?Tropicana? Cabaret. This show obtained for its members the 
recommendation of the Government of Haiti.

I DON?T CARE FOR IDA. - A pretty Calypso melody where you find the non so 
good intentions of the school teacher caressing too soon his ex-pupil, Ida, 
as well as the cold reaction of her mother. It?s a suave and sensuous 
expression of the country land full of color and melody.
ANGELINA. - ?If you don?t know about washing and ironing, go back home?, 
says the verse and we find the truth about people of Haiti expressing 
themselves in a constant song. The girl who doesn?t know about washing, 
cooking and ironing must return to her parent?s home, seems to be the 
expression of a disappointed husband in a strictly melody.

POPURRI. - Three melodies coming out of the deep country side in Haiti? A 
Calypso, a Merengue and a further and sweet Merengue makes this composition 
with a musical variety as diverse and rich folklore stream.

INVITATION AU VODU. - Echo of drums coming down the mountains makes the 
author dream - Martha Jean-Claude -, who has the magic of making things talk 
in this Meringue where drums also talk and candle lights invite to dance 

DODO TITITE. - It might be sair this is a fishermen song. And it is. Father 
went looking for crabs. Mother must go to wash in the river. What will 
become of the baby? Baby must sleep unless risking the danger of meeting the 
big horrible crab and be eaten if the doesn?t Dodo. ?Crab? symbolizes the 
devil who so many mothers sing while putting their babies to sleep all 
around the world?" (Quoted from a newspaper)


November 20, 1967 - "Palais des Beaux-Arts", with the pianist Guillermo 
Rubalcava. Recital, Martha Jean-Claude

June 20, 1967 - "Casa de las Americas". Recital, Havana, Cuba. She is 
accompanied by the pianist, Armando Medina Dulfo, percucionists: Gerardo and 
Justo Pelladito, and Jose Castillo.

April 26, 1978 - "Maison de l?Unesco à Paris". "Concert sous les auspices de 
la délégation Cubaine"

March 17, 1979 - "Auditorium National" with Richard Mirabel. Jornadas del 
Canto libre, Mexico. With Soledad Bravo, Noel Nicola, Angel Parra, Patricio 
Manns, Pedro Luis Ferrer, Sara Gonzales.

October 22, 1982 - "Festival de Varadero"

Jan. 24/25, 1986 - "Place des Arts, Montreal", with Nicole Arcelin, Georges 
Rodriguez, la troupe de danse Louines and the group Mackandal.

July 7, 1986 - 'Retour triomphal' in Haiti after 34 years in exile - Singing 
with Manno Charlemagne, Abudja, The  Descendance Choir of Cuba and is 
accompanied by RAM, lead by Michard Morse, son of Emérante de Pradines.

October 17, 1987 - "Salle Claude-Campagne", Montreal, with the group 

October 25, 1987 - Madison Square Garden, New York. With the group 

October 29, 1987 - "Lobby, Assemblée Générale des Nations Unies", New York.

Nov. 1, 1987 - Ritz Theater, New York

February 22, 1991 - "Théâtre National", Port-au-Prince, with the group 

May 17/18, 1991 - Rising Sun, Montréal.

December 17, 1994 - "Théâtre Le Château". Hommage à la communauté haitienne.

July 6, 1996 - "Stade de Port-au-Prince". Concert with Celia Cruz.

March 21, 1998 - Fondation Culturelle Martha Jean-Claude (in Petionville).

1956 "Canciones de Haiti" (Songs of Haiti), GEMA. Havana, Cuba

1971 "Yo soy la cancion de Haiti" (I am Haiti?s song)

1972 "Martha canta a los niños" (Martha sings to the children). EGREM. 
Havana, Cuba.

1975 "Agoe", EGREM. Havana, Cuba

1976 "Canto popular de Haiti" (Popular song of Haiti).. PENGAGRAMA, Mexico.

1993 "Soy mujer de dos islas" (Woman of two islands). SIBONEY, SANTAGIO, 

1997 "Antologia de las canciones de Martha Jean-Claude" (Anthology of Martha 
Jean-Claude?s songs)

[translation: E. W. Védrine]

"Le 21 mars 1998, jour anniversaire de ses 79 ans, Martha Jean Claude donne 
un ultime concert à Pétionville, à la Fondation qui porte son nom. Ce 
récital, offert sur sa terre natale, annonce son retrait définitif de la 
scène musicale. Martha Jean-Claude - toujours digne, l?oeuil malicieux et le 
sourire éclatant - vit aujourd?hui retirée, au milieu se sa famille et parmi 
ses petits enfants, Dans sa maison de Casino Deportivo, à la Havane. Elle 
fêtait ses 80 ans le 21 mars 1999, jour de l?arrivée du printemps."


CIDIHCA (Centre International de Documentation et D'Information 
Haitienne-Caribéenne et Afro-Canadienne)
359 rue St-Pierre, 1e étage
Montréal, Québec. H2Y 2L9
Tél: (514) 845-6218
Fax: (514) 845-6218

* Courtesy of

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