Music of Haiti

The rich cultural heritage of Haitian music is rooted in the rhythms and spiritual tradition of Africa.  Two styles that I would like to highlight are compas (kompas) and rara. The main difference between these two styles is that compas has more a softer sound whereas rara is music more energetic and festive.  Compas is more suited for a night out dancing while rara is played during the season of Lent.

Both styles use traditional instruments like European brass and woodwind instruments but rara music features makeshift bamboo and metal horns.  Compas may even use electronic keyboards and electric guitar.

One group who epitomizes the Compas sound is Ochestre Tropicana d’Haiti:

Here is a mix of different groups:
Compas/Kompa mix

The Rara sound can be heard in groups like Boukman Eksperyans:

This is video of Rara celebrations in one part of Haiti RARA LEOGANE 2012: 

Here is a documentary put together about the history of Rara and Haiti:

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