By Francesca Andre
On March 3 Haitian singers Anie Alerte and Riva Nyri Précil brought their jazz-infused Kreyol music to Brooklyn Academy of Music’s BAMcafé in honor of Women’s History Month.
The sultry duo, opened with “Yon Sel Pitit” (My Only Child). The traditional Haitian song tells the story of a woman, praying to God that he saves her only child from an illness as he lay dying.
She has “no friends, no family, no support,” said Précil. “In honor of women’s month, we wanted to come together and support one another, share the stage and uplift each other in a way we don’t see often enough. Which is why we chose to sing ‘Yon Sel Pitit’ side by side, to strengthen each another through this historically melancholic tune to serve as a reminder that we aren’t alone at all.”
The show was about not only about celebrating Women’s History Month, but also paying homage to Haitian women.
“We came up with a concept and a repertoire that truly honored the music, the work and spirit of Haitian women in music such as Yole Derose, and Emeline Michele,” Alerte said.
For these two solo artists, coming together to put on a memorable performance was about being in sync with their music and energy.
“We rehearsed on numerous occasions to ensure that we (the band) were all on the same page,” Précil said. “Communication is key, especially when working with other artists to be sure that everyone is on track and the energy is consistently positive. We were all so excited that we just wanted to put our best foot forward, which we did and are so pleased with the way everything turned out.”
“It was also an honor and a beautiful experience to share the stage with Riva,” Alerte said.
Celebrating women and their achievements is important and should be a daily priority, Précil said in an interview with Caribbean Life.
“Women should be celebrated every single day, so when we get an entire month we should maximize on that opportunity to show them what we’ve got and flaunt our endless gifts.”