La Fanfare du Palais - Haiti, 2011
Even on the website amazon.com you can find an album of the Band of the National Palace of Haiti. And at the beginning of my long stay in Port-au-Prince, I had never heard of this band.
The whole adventure began one morning in September 2011, thanks to a police officer. I was rushing to an appointment downtown Port-au-Prince when around Champ de Mars, just at the opposite of the National Palace, I became "immobilized" as a pedestrian, by a zealous police officer ... On the immaculate lawn of the National Palace which states unlikely, a brass band plays and deploys quickly facing the Palace. Haitians around remain stoic and face the Palace.Some outline the military salvation while others are gathered. Not a sound, even passing vehicles on the Champ de Mars are also stopped.
At 8 o'clock precisely, it is the raising of the flag, it flaps in the wind and soon it overlooks the Palace. Then the band played the national anthem, my neighborssidewalk proudly singing, the hand on the heart. I frankly chills when that kind of attitude in Europe tends to disgust me! Once this formal ritual completed, the band gradually disappears from the green space by distilling notes of an oldclassic Jazz. It is this solemn moment, fairly unique given the urban chaos, among other things related to the aftermath of the January 12.2010, reigning in Port-au-Prince, repeated every morning for decades, which led me to discover the daily life of this atypic "fanfare". Although this band's repertoire is pretty classical, human potential that emerges is impressive.
So, here are in a few scattered fragments, the peregrinations of the Band of the National Palace of Haiti!