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Monvelyno Alexis

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Monvelyno was exposed early to the "rasin" movement while growing up in the vicinity of Carrefour Feuilles, Haiti. He had the opportunity to learn from the founding members of "Groupe Ca" (known as Foula in the late eighties), a musical combo with a revolutionary concept, consisting of creating a music that would preserve the authenticity of the African legacy in the Haitian musical heritage. Lesly Marcellin, alias Samba Zao, one of the most innovative musicians of this movement, guided the young musician and helped him understand the language of the drum as it relates to the percussive nature of the guitar.

A native of Port-au-Prince, Monvelyno started playing the guitar at the age of 18, giving up the wind instruments (flute, clarinet and trumpet) of his high school years; the same instruments that nurtured his passion for music, especially the Gospel genre that brought awareness of his talents as a singer. By his early twenties, he matured into a skilled guitar player. His passion moved his work forward, in search of an original musical language.

His journeys took him to the temples of the African musical legacy. Soukri, Badjo, Souvnans unlocked hidden potentials and opened new avenues. The idea of Kod ak Po (Strings & Skins) originated from conversations with voodoo clerics and deep studies of their rituals and spiritual songs. It will take, however, a few years to shape these ideas and freeze them into what the listener will discover today as a major step in shaping and defining the contour of an original rendition of Haitian music.

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