Boukman Eksperyans takes us back to our Roots

Boukman Eksperyans is a Haitian “mizik rasin” (“roots music”) band that formed in the late ’70s when Lolo Beaubrun and his wife Mimerose joined a Haitian spiritual community (a “vodou lakou-s”) and founded a vodou-music study group called Moun Ife (“People of the Abode of the Deities”).

The band’s lyrics detailed the harsh living conditions in Haiti and called out the Haitian powers-that-be; its members fled the nation after the 1991 military coup overthrew Jean-Bertrand Aristide and lived in exile for many years. The name “Boukman” references Dutty Boukman, a Haitian vodou priest who is generally agreed to have started the Haitian revolution in 1791, and “Eksperyans” refers to the “Jimi Hendrix Experience.” This video gives us a good sense of both, and should definitely inspire us to want to learn more about Haitian music.

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