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Legendary Haitian Guitarist, Dadou Pasquet

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Dadou Pasquet: Haiti's Ambassador to the World of Music Video. Short excerpt on Haitian musician Dadou Pasquet, who helps open the world of Haitian music to the U.S. population while helping Haitians in the U.S. maintain contact with their culture. He sings of the Haitian struggle and the persecution of refugees. 

Dadou Pasquet is one of the most exciting and legendary Haitian musicians of the 21th century. In the mid 60's he began a musical career with a New York based Band called, "Tropicale". He later joined Tabou Combo where he brilliantly displayed his skills as one of the most renowned guitarist in the world of Haitian music.

With the emergence of Magnum band in 1976, Dadou Pasquet and his brother, Tico Pasquet, created a unique sound in Konpa that blends elements of Haitian root, jazz, pop, and soul filled Creole music. Some of their most famous works include" Paka Pala", "Ashadei", " Fierte", " Moun Sa", "Pike Devan"," Severite", and my personal favorite, "Courage". After 27 years in the business, Magnum band built a musical legacy that has influenced many musicians of our generation. Today Magnum band is still performing strong, and sounds just as good now as it did then. As a testimony to their faith and endurance in the long journey in the Haitian music industry, Magnum Band released their 32 second album in May 2001 just before they travel to Paris to perform in one of the world's most acclaimed musical stage, Zenith. This summer( 2003) you can look forward to Dadou's solo project " Dadou Pasquest en Troubadour, a collection of Magnum Band's classic tunes.

For the better part of the past two decades, Magnum band and Dadou Pasquet have been gracing stages in Haiti, and abroad. Over the years, this combination has come to represent one of the highest standard in Konpa music, and Magnum has produced recordings that stand today as the pinnacle of Konpa music. Dadou Pasquet, the legendary musician behind Magnum band, is one of the few special Haitian artists who possess uncanny ability to deliver music in a genuinely convincing and effortless fashion. His subtlety phrasing and smooth guitar playing with flawless intonation has become synonymous with Magnum. Dadou Pasquet plays the guitar with such passion, warmth, vibrancy, and accuracy; with his only one of a kind vocal and command guitar technique that can only be achieved through years of experience and Allah' s giving talent ( Dadou is of Muslin Faith).

In today's world, making music requires much more than talent. Anyone who is involves in the Haitian entertainment industry can testify to the fact that the contemporary business practices by the so-called Haitian producers are not very effective and progressive, and most Haitian artists at one point in their career, have been victimized by producers' lack of business savvy and social bias. Haitian producers usually do not set chapters on goal setting, developing a marketing plan, time management, networking, contracts, getting bookings and radio play, using the Internet to promote konpa, or customizing a demo for maximum exposure, as well as how to put together a press kit. In a recent dialogue, Dadou Pasquet voiced the frustrations he encountered over the years dealing with Haitian producers. Dadou believes that most Haitian producers fail to understand certain ethical principles and adopting solid business to promote Haitian music. As a result of producer's lackluster efforts, Haitian artists are struggling to be heard and to be successful. This is evident if one considers the fact that no single Haitian artist has ever sold more 100,000 copies of their products since konpa Direck was launched in 1955. When Haiti has a population of more than 8 million natives here and abroad. This is a very sad state of affair, as we all know that most Haitian artists die poor and are under-appreciated. Antoine Rosini Jean Baptiste ( Timanno), Ti Paris, Roge Colas,
Coupe Cloue , Nemour Jean Baptiste, and Weber Sicot have all died penniless.

As we all know the subject of criticism in Haitian music is a very complicated matter. If you write or talk about certain issues over the radio that do not convey a positive image of Haitian producers, they tend to take everything personal and alienate the artist in question. When it is in fact producers label owners, and promoters have really failed to do their job or honor their contract with artists. According to Dadou Pasquet, Magnum has been the victim of a deplorable incident with their most recent album "Revelation" released 3 years ago. To this day, the producer in question failed to honor his contract with Magnum Band, as a result the album was never promoted and the band was not provides with with a video clip as required per contract. I don't mean to make any value judgments, but producers have a lawful responsibility to honor their contract, regardless whether they think an album is a commercially viable product, otherwise you tend to compromise with the creative spirit of an artist.

Dadou Pasquet's frustration with the Haitian Music Industry and producers who demean and threaten konpa's distinctive aesthetic values, may lead him to eventual stop writing and producing konpa music . When asked to highlight some of the best and worst moments in his musical career, on reflection, Dadou considers the loyal fans' appreciation for Magnum band over the years. The low point of his career occurred when a particular producer rejected an Emo project, an upcoming group from Lagonave, which Dadou directed. Emo's project was not rejected for lack of talent but because its members were dark in complexion. This a serious problem in the Haitian music industry that needs to be address by industry personnel. Today in order for a Konpa group to be succesful, its members cannot only comprised of people of color, depicting the depth of prejudice against skin color within konpa music industry. Dadou Pasquet 's and Magnum band outstanding contribution to Haitian Konpa exemplify tenacity and courage in the Human spirit, and the Haitian public will never loose faith in them. Learn more about him http://www.magnumband.org

By Rene Devis