Music under the arbor, percussionist Daniel Bellegarde

Photo: Annik MH de Carufel Le Devoir
“Anba Tonèl”, the album of Daniel Bellegarde, is an ode true to the dance music and the free song in the arbor.

Since 1983, Daniel Bellegarde is the coach of the dream in all the rich niche of afro Montreal and beyond. Percussionist also open to music, brazilian, african, haitian, and elsewhere in the west Indies, he has honed his craft as few have been able to do. Since the beginning of the decade, he realizes an old dream : a tribute to the music of peasant caribbean, and particularly haiti. After having collaborated on more than forty discs, it launches its first : Anba Tonèl, an ode true to the dance music and the free song in the arbor.


“In Haiti, the arbor is a roof, a kind of small box or gazebo,” says Daniel in an interview to the Duty. It also means gwenn if wel, which is something repetitive, a bit like it can be found in the music trad québec or in other music. Those who play the banjo and the guitar, and it is said that they make music Anba tonèl gwenn siwell. “


Daniel cites a sentence that Toussaint Louverture was pronounced in 1803, and was very inspired to the realization of the disc : “me reversing, there was shot down in Saint Domingue only the trunk of the tree of liberty of the Blacks, but it will grow back because its roots are many and deep. “”This sentence haunts me,” says the artist. He died in 1804 and Dessalines has finished the work for the creation of a free and independent republic. “

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Haiti became the first black republic. At the time of colonization, the settlers were allowed some slaves to study the european music that they play. Several of them have learned the violin, the mandolin, or the piano and, with time, they have created orchestras and créolisé certain styles, such as the contredanse, the quadrille and even the minuet. For example, the minuet-kongo haitian is the encounter of the structures of the dances of the european courts with the songs meet african traditions, whereas the contredanse is led by a commander which is similar to the calleur of Quebec.


“Make the music allowed the slave to soften the conditions of her life painful, but at the same time, many musicologists say that he did so to parody the colon. As the european music were more conventional, the Africans have brought in the percussion and the dance became more swaying, ” says Daniel.


All of this appears fully on Anba Tonèl, an album absolutely irresistible and full of history. Daniel Bellegarde is surrounded by wonderful musicians, including the guitarist, Toto Laraque, the singer Marco Jeanty, the fiddler bottinien David Baker, the percussionists, Diol Kidi, and Sacha Daoud, oudiste-banjoist Hassan El Hady and bassist Erik West-Millette. It exudes a creative footprint of this spirit is very casual own the music of rural, but with a sound quality that is not heard on the archival recordings.


A song voodoo is deployed on a rapid pace, a spoken word is declined in the twoubadou, Némours Jean-Baptiste is included in the contra-dance, as a part of the famous Orchestra, Super Jazz of the Young people of Haiti. In Flirtation, it is believed to perceive the influence of the old time american. Daniel explains : “This is from a quadrille of the island of Dominica. They speak creole, but the majority is English-speaking. It has created a quadrille called Jing-Ping. “The island was recently devastated by hurricane Maria. Wish better days in the near future.

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Available on Bandcamp as early as next week. Show-launch at the Maison de la culture du Plateau-Mont-Royal, Saturday to Saturday 16 h.

Anba Tonèl

Daniel Bellegarde, Independent