Haiti - Culture : Azor passed away...
"I have the drum in the soul and the music in the bowels" dixit Azor.
The band "Racine Mapou de Azor" was lead by Lénord Fortuné "Azor", singer and drumer who used to belong to several bands, of konpa (SS One and Scorpio) and folklore (Bakoulou group), before becoming part of the band "Racine Kanga de Wawa". During th 90's, with the rasin movment, this band, directed by Jacques Maurice Fortéré "Wawa", started to play voodoo music in concert: with them, voodoo music shifted directly from the hounfort voodoo temples to live stage.
The success of the band "Racine Mapou de Azor" partly means the normalization of voodoo, through music, its recognition as a culture, and the acceptation of the African and rural part of Haitian identity.
From this perspective, the members of the band, who admit to be voodoo practitioners, explicitly join tradition and the symbolical universe of voodoo, to which the name of the band refers. They aspire to maintain the contact with the roots of their traditions and the sacred, like the mapou, voodoo sacred tree with imposing roots, renowned for accomodating the spirits.
Musically, with songs and percussions, bas drums and congas, the band "Racine Mapou de Azor" plays traditional music or pure rasin, i.e. without modern arrangements or electric instruments. Marked by the tireless beat of the drums of petro inspiration, hardly supported by the drum machine, the powerful voice of Azor, with the characteristic tone of the voodoo priest, assister by a women chorus, celebrates the voodoo loas, sings the attachment to the roots and comments on the episodes of the political life and others artistic quarrels...
After several tours outside of the country (between them nine trips to Japan) and a documentary (Haïti, cœur battant de Carl Lafontant), the band "Racine Mapou de Azor" succeeded in keeping the genuine traditional music of their country, while they use the modern ways of broadcasting, which allows their musical productions to be part of the professional musical scene in Haiti, and to compete with usual meanstream music.
Today Haiti has lost a great artist.
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