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KLASIK LAKAY

Home of Haitian Classical Music

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Coming

SOON

New Languages

New Languages

Klasik Lakay will soon be accessible in several languages, beginning with Haitian Creole and French as the initial offerings.

Haitian Creole Resources

Haitian Creole Resources

Klasik Lakay will offer a diverse range of resources and supporting materials, including Haitian Creole International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) guides.

Haitian Drumming Resources

Haitian Drumming Resources

Klasik Lakay will furnish an array of resources and support materials, featuring Notation Sheets and comprehensive audio and video tutorials focused on Haitian Drumming.

Haitian Music History

Haitian Music History

Klasik Lakay will offer a range of books, articles, and resources produced by scholars and researchers highlighting the history and evolution of Haitian music.

Featured Artists

Featured Artists

Klasik Lakay will feature a special section highlighting talented Haitian artists, both local and from the diaspora, including conductors, singers, and musicians making waves on the global stage, showcasing their remarkable skills and achievements.

More works and composers

More works and composers

Klasik Lakay's catalog continues to grow, welcoming new compositions from both contemporary and past Haitian composers, enriching our repertoire with each addition.

Our Catalogue to date

99

Compositions

12

Composers

Browse our Catalogue

Complete Catalogue

Complete Catalogue

Chamber Music

Chamber Music

Choral Music

Choral Music

Orchestral Music

Orchestral Music

Piano Music

Piano Music

Solo Music

Solo Music

Chansons d'Haïti Collection

Chansons d'Haïti Collection

Meet the Composers

Guillaume, Sydney

Praised by the Miami Herald for their “impressive maturity and striking melodic distinction”, Sydney Guillaume’s compositions are known to be intricate, challenging and yet highly spirited. They promote human values and are full of heart and passion. Many of his choral works, most with original poetry by his father Gabriel T. Guillaume, have fostered an awareness of the beautiful Haitian culture and continue to serve as an ambassador for his native country. In 2016, he was inducted into the 1804 List of Haitian-American Change Makers, a prestigious list named in honor of Haiti’s year of independence that “recognizes Haitian-Americans in the United States who have demonstrated outstanding achievement and success in their profession and proven themselves to be forces for change in their communities.” In 2017, he was honored by the top music school in Haiti for his “great contribution in the expansion and the promotion of the music and culture of Haiti around the world.”


Guillaume’s compositions have been featured at numerous conferences and international festivals like the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA), the World Choir Games and Ireland’s Cork International Choral Festival.


Nearly all of his choral compositions have been commissioned works. He’s written for renowned choirs such as the Grammy-award nominated Seraphic Fire, the Westminster Chorus, the University of Miami Frost Chorale, the Nathaniel Dett Chorale, the Illinois Wesleyan University Collegiate Choir, the Saint Louis Chamber Singers and the Miami Children’s Chorus.


Guillaume also writes film music, having written original film and documentary scores for the Los Angeles based company Loyola Productions.


He is an active member of the choral community as a composer, singer, clinician and conductor. In 2013, he conducted the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association (PMEA) District 12 Honor Choir and, more recently, the 2017 Connecticut Southern Region Honor Choir. He has also presented at several symposiums and conferences, both domestically and abroad. Most recently, he presented at the 2016 West Virginia ACDA Conference and the FORO CORAL AMERICANO in Argentina.


Since 2013 he has been the conductor of Imbroglio Sextet, a group of musicians from Haiti, Spain, and the United States. The group met in Haiti at the École de Musique St. Trinité summer camp, where they all volunteer as music teachers. As the director of the sextet he has toured through Texas, Louisiana, Armenia, Great Britain and Spain.


His recent activities as conductor also include the 2024 ACDA Southern Region Conference Advanced SATB Honor Choir, the 2022 Georgia All-State Senior Treble Choir, the 2019 Florida All-State Middle School Treble Chorus, the 34th annual Idaho State University Choral Invitational Festival, the 2018 Maine All-State High School Mixed Chorus, an all-Guillaume concert at New York City’s Lincoln Center, the 2018 Virginia District 12 High School Mixed Chorus, and concerts with the Imbroglio Sextet at Carnegie Hall and at the 2018 ISME World Conference in Azerbaijan.


Sydney Guillaume graduated from the University of Miami in 2004, where his works were performed by the Miami University Chorale conducted by Dr. Jo-Michael Scheibe. Originally from Port-au-Prince, Haiti, he currently resides in Portland, Oregon, where he frequently workshops his music with university and high school choirs throughout North America.


Guillaume,
Sydney
Perrault, Jean Rudy

Born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, performer, conductor and composer, Jean (Rudy) Perrault is a sought-after educator/clinician, composer, performer, and conductor, nationally and internationally. His compositions have been commissioned for, and performed by, world famous musicians and ensembles. His latest commissions are a piece for clarinet and djembe entitled “Omaj a Rasin” and a Ballet (Seremoni) for cello and world percussion. Other recent compositions include: “Fallen”, a Duo for Cello and Piano for the Bardin-Niskala-Duo, a work for string orchestra “Sometimes, I Feel…” commissioned by the Northwest Suburban Conference high school orchestra programs (depicting the events surrounding the George Floyd murder), a duo for flute and double bass entitled “Caged” (commissioned for the 2020 National Flute Conference), a piano trio, "We Three Kings", commissioned by the Clayton-Jackson-McGhie Memorial organization (marking the 100th anniversary of the 1920 Duluth lynching), a duo for violin and cello (Dialogues for violin and cello), a duo for cello and hand drum (Peze Kafe), and an arrangement of Ludovic Lamothe’s Danza #4 for violin, cello and hand drum. 


Future projects include setting to music three poems of world-renown author Edwidge Danticat, and a composition for large orchestra entitled "Cognitive Dissonance". For more than a decade, Rudy has been collecting, digitizing, and editing the piano works of Haitian classical composers. His latest compilation: The music of Solon Verret, will soon become available. Rudy’s compositions, compilations and arrangements are distributed through JW Pepper.


He is Professor of Music, and Director of Orchestras, at the University of Minnesota Duluth. He is a frequent judge/panelist at festivals and competitions in all corners of the world. Rudy is a founding member of the Kako Foundation (kakofoundation.com), a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing music to at-risk youth in the US and Haiti. He is a Fulbright Scholar, and the recipient of the 2022 UMD College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences (CAHSS) Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity award.


Perrault,
Jean Rudy
Bontemps, David

Composer and pianist David Bontemps is a native of Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Music lovers, his parents enrolled him early in private piano lessons. Most of his musical training was with the renowned pianist-composer Serge Villedrouin.


In 1998, he won a first medal at the Inter-Caribbean Piano Competition in Guadeloupe, awarded unanimously by the jury, then in 2001, the bronze medal at the upper level of the National Piano Competition in Port-au-Prince.  In 2000, he gave his first recital in Port-au-Prince: Bach, Mozart, Chopin, Ravel, Rachmaninoff and the Haitian composers Lamothe and Élie were in his repertoire, as well as his own compositions. 

 

In 2002, he moved to Montreal where the musicologist, professor emeritus, Claude Dauphin presented him as «the new hope of Haitian composers», then ranked him among the classical composers of the new era in the essay Histoire du style musical d'Haïti, in 2014.


He accompanied the mezzo-soprano Chantal Lavigne for the creation and recording of the Offrandes Vodouesques (Voodoo Offerings), a 24 songs cycle by the Haitian composer Werner Jaëgerhuber (1900-1953), released in October 2007.

 

In 2010, Yves Bernard wrote in Le Devoir: «David Bontemps is a real hope for Creole music. [...] He traces an open universe by sailing as well on the tunes of the terroir and voodoo songs as on jazz or western or Haitian art music [...] The inspiration is abundant and David Bontemps will leave his mark.» 


He released two solo recordings:

 

- Vibrations, released in 2012 on the label Nuits d'Afrique, a disc dedicated to his piano compositions for which he received a grant from the Conseil des Arts et des Lettres du Québec and the Canada Council for the Arts. Praised by the press (Magazine Audio ranked this album at the top of its preferences of the year), Vibrations has been presented in many recitals: in October 2012 to a full hall at McGill University’s Redpath Concert Hall and at the Canadian Museum of Civilization Theatre in  2013.

 

- Gede Nibo, 2017, distributed by Sélect, is a disc devoted to his variations on the famous theme of the Haitian composer Ludovic Lamothe (1882-1953), with which he supported a piano festival in Jacmel, the Haiti Piano Project, led by the pianist Célimène Daudet. With this repertoire he also performed the first part of a recital by pianist Alain Lefèvre in 2018, then performed in a joint recital with violinist Er-Gene Kahng in California in 2019.


On IciMusique (CBC-Radio-Canada), Frédéric Cardin wrote in 2017 that the recordings of the pianist David Bontemps help "discover an unsuspected part of Haitian music: classical music!" then, in 2022, Marie-Christine Trottier described him as a “master of the decompartmentalization.”

 

In 2006 he founded and directed the Creole jazz quintet Makaya for which he composes and arranges  most of the songs. This group, winner of the Bronze Medal at the Syli d'Or World Music Competition in 2007, released its homonymous first record in May 2009. Thanks to this album, the quintet was finalist at the TD Grand Jazz Award at the International Jazz Festival of Montreal in 2010.

With a second album, Elements, distributed by Sélect and released in 2016 with a grant of the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, Makaya collected enthusiasm and admiration: topping jazz and world music airplay on IciMusique and CIBL radios, among best performances in the 2016 FIJM by Le Devoir, and the Vision Diversity and CIBL prizes.  In 2018-19, the quintet toured 14 houses of culture in Montreal as part of the Conseil des Arts de Montréal en tournée.

 

In 2015, he composed and recorded the music for 12 short films from the Through Positive Eyes project, UCLA, to counter the stigma of HIV-positive people. 


In 2020, he arranged and orchestrated 10 Haitian folk songs for string quartet, featured on baritone Wilbert Chancy’s album Envitasyon (Invitation).

 

His suite Traces was chosen by Toronto choreographer Kevin A. Ormsby for a commission from the National Ballet of Canada. The world premiere of the work took place on April 27, 2021, with stage performances at the Harbourfront Centre in August 2021.

 

The Tulsa Opera, Oklahoma, USA, has programmed two of its melodies Il a neigé and Secret  for the Greenwood Overcomes commemorative concerts on May 1 and 2, 2021. The recording of the concert is nationally broadcast in the United States as of June 2022.

 

In 2020, he composed the opera La Flambeau on an eponymous drama by Faubert Bolivar. He associates with the Orchestre Classique de Montréal and the Hamilton BrottOpera to present the world premiere in Canada in 2023, and to record the work to be released on the Atma Classique label.

Bontemps,
David
Ducasse, Christopher

Christopher, a native of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, is a highly accomplished musician and conductor known for his exceptional talent and dedication to the world of choral music. Currently appointed as the Artistic Director of Hypatia's Voice and one of the conductors at the Ottawa Children's Choir, His journey began at the Holy Trinity Music School, where he immersed himself in the study of voice, violin, and piano, laying the foundation for his future career.


In 2007, Christopher's remarkable musical abilities earned him a coveted position as a member of the esteemed Philharmonic Orchestra of Holy Trinity. His passion for conducting soon emerged, and in 2011, he assumed the role of conductor for their main choir, "Les Petits Chanteurs," a position he held with great distinction for four years.


Driven by a thirst for knowledge and artistic growth, Christopher seized the opportunity to participate in the BLUME HAITI Scholar program, joining Lawrence University in 2015. He immersed himself in the vibrant exchange of ideas and cultures there, further refining his musical expertise.

Continuing his pursuit of excellence, Christopher embarked on a new chapter in 2017, enrolling at Silver Lake College of the Holy Family, where he completed his Bachelor's degree in Choral Music Education. Recognizing the importance of advanced education, he went on to obtain a master's degree in Choral Conducting from McGill University in Montreal, Canada, in 2023.


Throughout his illustrious career, Christopher has demonstrated his versatility and proficiency by collaborating with numerous choirs in both permanent and freelancing capacities. From leading the young talents of "Les Petits Chanteurs de Sainte Trinité" in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, to co-conducting the Adleisia Choir in Montreal and with college students as he has shared his passion and expertise as a Course Instructor and Conductor of the McGill Concert Choir, imparting his knowledge and passion to aspiring vocalists and shaping the next generation of musicians. Christopher has showcased his ability to connect with singers of all ages and backgrounds. Christopher presently holds the position of Artistic Director at Hypatia's Voice, a Treble Voice Choir based in Ottawa. Additionally, he is an esteemed conductor on the Artistic team of the Ottawa Children's Choir and Music Director of Le Petit Choeur de Rosemère.


Christopher's remarkable talent extends beyond conducting. In 2018, he was awarded the first prize at the prestigious WCDA Conducting Competition, a testament to his exceptional musical prowess. He has also composed both vocal and instrumental pieces, captivating audiences with his creativity and artistry. Notable performances include works performed by renowned ensembles such as the Philharmonic Orchestra of Holy Trinity Music School, the Lawrence University Cello Ensemble, the Fox Valley Symphony Orchestra, and the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir.

While Christopher's primary focus lies in choral conducting, he possesses a diverse range of interests and talents. In addition to his baritone vocal abilities, he is an accomplished pianist and violinist. Furthermore, photography is a beloved hobby, allowing him to capture and express his unique world perspective.


Christopher's artistic endeavors have garnered significant recognition and praise. His latest work, a composition commissioned by the Fox Valley Symphony Orchestra in Appleton, Wisconsin, premiered in April 2022, captivating audiences with its symphonic grandeur. Additionally, his choral compositions, including "Agnus Dei" and "Sanctus - Benedictus," were published by Cypress Choral Music in the spring of 2022, further solidifying his reputation as a gifted composer.


As Christopher continues to inspire audiences and musicians alike with his extraordinary talent, his unwavering commitment to musical excellence and his passion for the transformative power of choral music remain the driving forces behind his remarkable career.

Ducasse,
Christopher

Kanaval by Sydney Guillaume - Kokopelli Choir

Music by Sydney Guillaume

Fòs nou by Christopher Ducasse conducted by Dr. Jean Rudy Perrault

Music by Christopher Ducasse

VIDEOS