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Kassav's Haiti Tour Canceled !!! reported earlier this morning that the Kassav’s tour to Haiti was canceled, due to financial difficulties.  According to our sources in Haiti, the promoters were faced with a hefty budget, if they were to move forward with the tour.  That same source told HB that, Kassav’s plane tickets alone reached $ 42,000 for a 21 member crew that included even band founder, Jacob Desvarieux’s personal doctor.

Speaking to Papa Jube earlier today, the did confirmed to HB that the tour has actually being postponed for Fall, in Octorber. Jube told HB that  “ due to the death of my daughter last month, the guys felt that it was appropriate to postpone the tour…we will bring Kassav to Haiti October 3rd and we’ll also include NY on that tour…” explained Jube.

Many diehard Kassav had already flown to Haiti or were making travel arrangement for that most anticipated tour where the band was scheduled to perform with, Tvice, Sweet Micky and Carimi…at “ Plas Piblik” and another gig with Zekle at  “ Parc de la Canne A sucre” in Tabarre.

Kassav’ (Haitian and Antillean Creole for a local dish made from cassava) is a Francophone zouk band which was formed in 1979. The core members of the band are Jocelyne Beroard, Jacob Desvarieux, Jean-Philippe Marthely, Patrick St. Eloi, Jean-Claude Naimro, Claude Vamur and Georges Decimus (who left the band to create another band, Volte Face, before returning to Kassav’ later) along with several other, more minor members. The total number of albums by the band and its members is approximately 30.

Kassav’ was formed in 1979 by Pierre-Edouard Décimus, a long-time professional musician who worked with Freddy Marshall. Together, the two of them decided to take carnival music and make it a more modern and polished style. It was the leading band to emerge from the formative years of Zouk. They gave the style a pan-Caribbean sound by taking elements from kompa, salsa, and calypso, and became world famous. Their first album, Love and Ka Dance (1980), established the sound of zouk.

Kassav’ continued to grow more popular, both as a group and with several members’ solo careers, finally peaking in 1985 with Yélélé, which featured the international hit “Zouk la sé sèl médikaman nou ni” (meaning “Zouk is our only drug” in French Antillean Creole) With this hit, zouk rapidly became a widespread dance craze in Latin America and the Caribbean, and was popular in Europe, Africa, and Asia. Zouk performers became known for wildly theatrical concerts featuring special effects spectacles and colorful costumes.

It has become a routine lately for Kassav to cancel appearances for the Haitian audience…A few years ago, they canceled a gig with Compas Fest in Miami after they were added to the line-up, the following year, they canceled an appearance at the Independence Day Festival in Miami after they were added to the line up as well, and now this latest cancellation, which lead many to wonder, why is it so difficult for Haitian promoters to acquire Kassav’s services.  Compare to most Haitian band’s  contract, Kassav’s is very demanding and they expect the promoter to follow every dotted “i” on their contract, which is probably why, we’ve been having so many last minute cancellations.  Hopefully this fall might be for real, let’s cross our fingers.


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