The musicians had an opportunity to play for Sister Cities Essex Haiti Board member, Bob Lamothe, when he was visiting Deschapelles with a group form Yale University as part of a 5-year project of the Yale School of Forestry and Public Health. Bob is an accomplished musician and he and his Band provided the lively entertainment at the Have a Heart for Haitifundraiser on March 2, 2012. He was impressed with their musicianship and looks forward to returning to Deschapelles and being able to spend more time playing with them and expanding their “styles.”
During my visit to Deschapelles, April 1-14, I did not have a chance to visit with the musicians as I was primarily involved with the initiation of the Early Education Teacher Training program. But I did have a wonderful afternoon with Castillo St. Armand who has begun clarinet lessons. We played pieces together from the technique book I brought with me. As the hour progressed, we played some of the duets in the book. He is making very good progress, and he wanted especially to conquer the incidentals so he could begin to play jazz. Although there are no definite plans yet for a future trip, they are eager to continue our collaboration with the opportunity to play as a group under the direction of Maestro Paddy (Hurley), with the opportunity to work with musicians who are facile in playing by ear, with the expansion of their existing skills venturing into jazz, bosso nova, blues and salsa.