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a119: Article from Rockland Journal News (fwd)

From: Steven White <polanve@optonline.net>

Haiti's vibrant music has many sources

(Original publication: , 20)

Haiti's vibrant music has many sources

Listening to music is an immediate experience. Writing about the complex
history behind the music of Haiti has been a personal obsession for EdRainer
Sainvill for the past decade.

"For my last 15 years, I was a journalist for Haiti Progress, writing about
music," Sainvill, who was born in Haiti and lives in Brooklyn, said during a
break signing copies of his book, "Tambours Frappes Haitiens Campes,"
yesterday at Konbit Neg Lakay in Spring Valley. "And people always told me,
'Why don't you write a book?' "

Drawing on his own experiences writing about music, years of research and
interviews with musicians and friends of music legends no longer alive,
Sainvill compiled a 570-page history of Haitian music. The book traces the
music from its beginnings in the Indian and Caribbean cultures of the 1400s
through its influence from European, African, Cuban, Brazilian and French
songs of the 1800s and 1900s. He touches on Haiti's influence on jazz and
includes biographies of the most important Haitian musicians.

"It's about Haitian music in every dimension," Sainvill said. "I want people
to know about Haitian music in all its aspects because mostly people who
listen to Haitian music, they don't know what was before."

Nancy Milien, a Spring Valley resident, said she heard Sainvill being
interviewed on a radio program and invited him to Rockland to discuss his
book and sign copies.

"I think that he did a phenomenal job and there's a lot that people could
learn regarding Haitian music and the musicians," Milien said. "I felt it
was necessary to bring that here."

Michel Vilson of Hillcrest was one of nearly 20 people who dropped by Konbit
Neg Lakay to meet Sainvill and purchase his book. He enjoys Haitian music
and appreciates its rich history, he said.

"I felt it would be a good reference," Vilson said. "It looks at several
influences. Haitian music has a very different flavor. There's some jazz,
there's dance music, 'compa'  this looks at the music beginning in the 15th

The book, which is in French and sells for $49.99, is independently
published. For information on purchasing a copy or to talk to Sainvill,
write to him at Edrainer@aol.com or at P.O. Box 340862, Brooklyn, N.Y.

Reach Randi Weiner at rweiner@thejournalnews.com or 845-578-2468.