Emeline Michel, born in Gonaïves, is a Haitian singer who has been called “The Joni Mitchell of Haiti.” Her songs merge native Haitian compas and rara music with jazz, pop, bossa nova, and samba. She’s a well accomplished dancer, versatile vocalist, songwriter and producer. She sang a version of Jimmy Cliff’s Many Rivers to Cross at Hope for Haiti Now: A Global Benefit for Earthquake Relief.
Not unlike many successful singers, before fame, Emeline Michel used to sing at the choir of her uncle church in Gonaives. She left her hometown to pursue her secondary education in Port-au-Prince, almost immediately after moving to the capital, Emeline Michel was discovered and within a couple of months she released her first single, Akai Kao; the song catchy tunes made it an instant international smashing hit, all while still in high school. After completing high school, Emeline received a scholarship to study music at the Detroit Jazz Center in the United States upon winning a talent contest. She received her bachelor in music studies, then returned to Haiti as a professional musician, and established herself as one of the top artist in Haiti, touring much of the Caribbean. The newest sensation of Creole music became an icon, and her appearance was in high demand, in numerous jazz festival all over the world. Including Canada, France and the United States of America.
Emeline Michel success continued to rise as she grace the covers of numerous cultural and Afro related magazines, and lending her much valued opinions on different subjects, most notably women issues, and poverty eradication in not only Haiti, but other third world countries around the world; in various TV and radio shows. Prominent news paper in the US and Canada started to take notice of the Haitian songstress. It was no surprise, when former President of the United States, Bill Clinton, chose Emeline Michel as the headline performer for his 2006, Clinton Global Initiative in NY City, an event gathering over 2000 world’s leaders, Presidents, famous thinkers, and prominent dignitaries.
Hailed by the New York Times as a “diplomat of music” and “the dancing ambassador with a voice serene and warm like the breeze,” Michel began singing with the gospel choir in the church of Gonaïves, Haiti. After studying at the Detroit Jazz Center she returned to Haiti, where her career blossomed. Now based in New York City, she runs her own production company, Production Cheval de Feu, and is a cherished voice for social issues surrounding women and children worldwide. Her most recent album Quintessence captures the reverence and gratitude for the present moment, showcasing Michel’s virtuoso vocal, singing in Creole, French and English, with finger-picked guitars, soulful backing vocals, a children’s choir, Haitian percussion, lush strings, playful trumpet and accordion lines.
Source: Wikipedia, Emeline Michel Website, http://www.emeline-michel.com/