|Presented by Lakou Mizik|
Olence Calixte is a blind musician from Ile de la Tortue off the North coast of Haiti. At the age of 15, he was struck by sudden blindness. Soon after, his mother gave him a guitar to keep him occupied. He's rarely been seen without one since. He now lives in a tent next to the ruins of the Catholic Cathedral in Port-au-Prince. He plays his plaintive songs for any of the tourists that come by, hoping they are feeling generous so he can feed his family. Mostly, though, he plays for his community of fellow homeless friends that live near him on the street. He brings comfort through his songs, which range from heartbreaking to humorous, but always speak to their everyday reality... With the help of filmmaker Inigo Gilmore, Lakou Mizik recently brought Olence into the recording studio to play some of his music - we fell in love with his songs and his spirit and now hope to release an EP for him in 2013.. it was produced in true international Lakou Mizik style with vocals and guitar recorded in Port-au-Prince, lead guitars in Montreal, Bass in Nashville and even some horn lines in Brooklyn. This song is a true collaboration...
Lakou Mizik is a project I've been working with, helping to create a cross-media platform that supports the creative economy in Haiti. For the last days of this holiday season, I have personally sent in funds to support Olence Calixte's music. As a gift to you for engaging with my work and ideas throughout the year, please click here to download the song for free. (You will have to provide your email address to PeaceTones, who is handling Lakou Mizik's sales of this song, but you can unsubscribe at any time.)
If you'd like, feel free to donate further to Olence. Or support Lakou Mizik's work to support collaboration with other Haitian artists by clicking here. And please feel free to share the links far and wide.
(100% of sales of this song through PeaceTones goes directly to blind Haitian street musician Olence Calixte. Donations to Lakou Mizik support further work with Haitian musicians, include Olence and many others).