Revelers dances at the Vorld Music Creole Festival on October 28 in Roseau, Dominica. Photo: AFP
The street band performs at the Vorld Music Creole Festival on October 26 in Roseau, Dominica. Photo: AFP
In the middle of the kaleidoscope of Roseau's dominant capital, streets were pulsing with the sounds of African drums and steel, bamboo "tube bumps" and accordion.
Impromptu of entertainment has appeared on the roads and beaches during the weekend of the festival, which is the world's Creole Music Festival, a chance to show the origin of today's global, but true Caribbean sound.
The 20th edition of the festival brought thousands of people across the Caribbean to a small island nation and sent a message that Dominica moved from the hurricane Mary, who took tens of lives here last year because she wiped out her homes and livelihoods.
Creole music has its roots in Africa, a continent that has led most of the population's freedom in the region.
Today, both legs are firmly in the Caribbean, and the music contains rich subtlety of plain strokes, beautiful melodies and raising texts.
The action for the festival included the Jamaican reggae singer Chronikk nominated for Gramma, Trinidad sokke star Machel Montano and former Haitian president and musician Michel Martellia, who performed under his scenic name Sveet Micki in a live set of humor and political commentary.
The first serenade, the 11-piece Dominican band that began playing in the church in the 1980s, reunited for the festival after losing their instruments to the hurricane, which devastated most of the Caribbean.
"I love the fusion of music and the way it evolved over the years. These days we use drums, keyboards, trumpets, thrombones and sak," explained trombonist Christopher Dangleben.
"Creole music is our national identity and our lyrics promote peace, humanity and our island."
Age style, global audience
Like the Caribbean, Creole music is diverse.
The sounds of the island are expanding all over the world – especially reggae and socks, but also bachat and reggaeton, taken to a wide audience through immigrant communities and the power of the Internet.
In Dominica, Creole music still uses an old instrument like horns with horses; a large tambourine known as tambal; Guy, consisting of a rod that is looted with a steel chest arm and a maracas-style shock-shake, usually made of coconut shells and beads.
The first serenade plays bouion – which roughly translates as "melting". It is a mixture of traditional folk style known as jing ping with white, reminiscent of African dance dances, as well as reggae and soke.
Veteran musician Derek Peters, who is in charge of creating a style – says he honors the sounds of living and the dominoes of different people, whose ancestors include Amerindian Caribs, African slaves and French and British colonizers.
"The reason he remained popular is that it includes wider music that is now like dancehall, R & B and hip-hop," Peters said.
"Each island has its own creole"
The World Creole Music Festival was first introduced in the late nineties as a means of showing the dominoes of local music and culture – and entertained more tourists on the island, which has only about 70,000 people.
This year it was more important that the preparations for the 40th anniversary of independence on November 3 took place.
Thousands of people attended the three-day event every night, said the organizer of the Marva Villiams Festival.
"We still have a lot of work to help the world understand what Creole means Creole is a way of life and each island has its own creole based on its history and culture-how to eat, sleep, train and communicate." She said.
Caribbean languages of Creole languages were born in plantation fields from slavery in the region as a means of communication without raising the freedom of the masters.
Dominica's broken French language today is wrapped up in its musical fabric, commenting on everything from attitudes and sex to food and politics.
"Setting up the festival together this year was a challenge with a lot of hotel rooms that are not available" due to ongoing repair works by Maria, Villiams acknowledged.
"But we did a lot of cleaning so that people do not constantly remind us of the hurricane, we invited the world to join us, and the atmosphere was better than ever."
This feeling of optimism and bachanalia – in such a great contrast with the disaster that was published in September 2017 – was embodied among a multitude of parties on the streets.
"We came out to enjoy life to the maximum," said taxi driver Earl Archibald.
"There was a big reunion with so many family and friends who came back home. I saw people I did not see from high school."
Gregoire Antoine, who attended the festival for the 15th time, said: "This one is like no other, we have more artists, lots of great names, and I've never seen so many people."
For Colin Piper, director of tourist authorities in the country, "this brings revenue, but we also needed time to relax and let go of the message that Dominica moves."
Title of the newspaper: The sound of the Caribbean