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Fest: Sights and Sounds of Haiti Intern’l Jazz Fest

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 [/ultimate_heading][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”23832″ img_size=”medium” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”23831″ img_size=”medium” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”23833″ img_size=”medium” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”23840″ img_size=”medium” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”18621″ img_size=”medium” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”18622″ img_size=”medium” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”18623″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”23837″ img_size=”medium” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”18626″ img_size=”medium” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][ultimate_heading main_heading=”Karibe Hotel – The Official Hotel of PAPJAZZ” main_heading_font_size=”desktop:15px;”][/ultimate_heading][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”23839″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”18635″ img_size=”large” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”23838″ img_size=”medium” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”18637″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”18638″ img_size=”medium” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”18639″ img_size=”medium” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][ultimate_heading main_heading_font_size=”desktop:15px;”]Nestle in one of the hill sides of Port Au Prince, a sweeping view of the mountains was a pleasant view to open the curtains to. The rooms are spacious and airy and the beds cozy. With all the modern conviences from a full-service spa, gym, business center, tennis court, outdoor pool to free wi-fi in the rooms and throughtout premises you could get connected.


The Karibe Hotel nestled in one of the hill sides of Port Au Prince, a sweeping view of the mountains was a pleasant view to open the curtains to. The rooms are spacious and airy and the beds cozy. With all the modern conveniences from a full-service spa, gym, business center, tennis court, outdoor pool to free Wi-Fi in the rooms and throughout premises you could get connected.

The property featured 2 restaurants, I frequent the breakfast buffet with its variety of appetizing sweet seasonal fruits and a mix of Haitian and international cuisine ranging from scramble eggs with fish to a made to order omelets. The other restaurant which is located on the hotel’s roof top that overlooks a beautiful landscape of the city by day and  that hosts after parties from the festival. At night the interior designs showcased a long gated fireplace and water design on the sitting patio with the outside bar.

As the host hotel, it was common seeing artists arriving and mingling in the lobby before heading out to sound check in the afternoon. The beautiful open air lobby was a inviting relaxing area that had a full bar and televisions that showed various sporting events.

The luscious and spaces green gardens provided a shaded walking path while in and outdoor events could be easily accommodated on the grounds..

From the moment of arriving the reception desk staff was warm and helpful. And the working crews are extremely polite and professional.[/ultimate_heading][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][ultimate_heading main_heading=”Village Artistique de Noailles – Iron Works” main_heading_font_size=”desktop:15px;”][/ultimate_heading][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”23843″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”23846″ img_size=”medium” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”18644″ img_size=”medium” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”23845″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”18646″ img_size=”medium” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”23844″ img_size=”medium” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][ultimate_heading main_heading_font_size=”desktop:15px;”]When visiting Port-au-Prince, a stop at the Village Artistique de Noailles is a must. The village is a iron-working community of great artisans who take old metal drums and recycle them into converted pieces of hand-made art.  There, you are able to discover some beautifully unique.  When not in school, a 13-year- old learns a trade.


The village folks are hard-working friendly and gracious people who are willing to negotiate with you to ensure that you leave with that piece of art, jewelry, painting or hand-embroidered beaded item that you really love. [/ultimate_heading][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”18649″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”23864″ img_size=”medium” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”18651″ img_size=”medium” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”18652″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”18653″ img_size=”medium” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”18654″ img_size=”medium” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][ultimate_heading main_heading_font_size=”desktop:15px;”]L’Observatoire de Boutilliers offers outdoor seating, which allows you to experience an amazing open view of the country below. Once you get a glimpse of the view you immediately start taking pictures of the many beautiful angles.

This particular outing was special as the promoters of the PAPJAZZ festival (Joel Widmaier and Milena Sandler) joined us for lunch. We got to do a Q&A session as they talked about their hopes and dreams for future festivals as their main goal is to help promote tourism for the country of Haiti by being able to bring in more top American jazz artists as their wish list of performers is long.

The staff at the observatory was very accommodating to special requests along with a full bar. The restaurants offer daily specials and each dish ordered were presented with a excellent flair and each entree tasted exquisitely.

Just outside the restaurant entrance is a wide selection of souvenirs and vendors that sell everything from handcrafted jewelry, pottery and paintings.

A definite must add to your tour list.[/ultimate_heading][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][ultimate_heading main_heading=”The Distillery Rhum Barbancourt” main_heading_font_size=”desktop:15px;”][/ultimate_heading][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”23856″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”23858″ img_size=”medium” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”18658″ img_size=”medium” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”23869″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”18660″ img_size=”medium” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”18661″ img_size=”medium” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][ultimate_heading main_heading_font_size=”desktop:15px;”]The Rum Tour filled with the history, the process and the tasting ended with everyone buying several bottles from  the oldest rumry in the land. Located in Damiem, a midst the sugar cane plantation, we were got a firsthand view of how the process begins and ends. 



As piles of dried sugar cane is placed in large shredders all juices are extracted into a mush and cleaned and wash thru various processes that some of which are heavily secretive. So much so that various locations in the plant, pictures were not allowed to be taken.



Excitement from the tour guests arose while viewing the bottling process. Being able to see the various sizes from pocket to liter was fascinating. But partaking in the actual sipping of the finished product was the main event. Not to sip on empty stomachs, a lite brunch of nuts, breads, and sauces were provide which also help clear the pallet as samples of different aged bottles were open.



Since we were surrounded by sugar cane fields I asked if we could sample a actual stick, but regrettably all the canes had been used for the making of the sugar cane refreshment.  It was sweet, refreshing and non-alcoholic.


Sadly to say, the owner of Barbancourt recently passed a week prior to our arrival. A son and daughter also works at the plant and its safe to say that one of them will take control of the business.   Here’s wishing them continued success.

[/ultimate_heading][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][ultimate_heading main_heading=”Museum and Galleries of Haiti” main_heading_font_size=”desktop:15px;”][/ultimate_heading][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”23868″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”23863″ img_size=”medium” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”23857″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”23855″ img_size=”medium” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”23853″ img_size=”medium” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][ultimate_heading main_heading_font_size=”desktop:15px;”]There is so much more to Haiti than what you see and hear on the 6 o’clock news.


The National Museum of Haiti documents a culture rich in heritage from the slave trade to the royalty of Kings and Queens as you feel the pain and the jubilation of Kings taking a divided north and south Haiti and uniting it into one. 

From Kings to Presidents the history of the nation can be told by the many variations of the national flags, or by the beautiful canvas of artwork as artists vividly capture the struggles, hopes, and dreams for the country. I would suggest in taking the tour with a guide, as the detail explanations of the artwork make them come alive even more.

One of many proud moments on display is a flag that traveled on Apollo 11 to the moon. As it now sits on top of a moon rock.

With many museums, art galleries and sidewalk painters any taste and budgets can find works of art to proudly be displayed once you are back home. [/ultimate_heading][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”23851″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center”][ultimate_heading main_heading_font_size=”desktop:15px;”]Erol Josué secretary of Culture 
Minister and Ethnologic and Voodoo Museum Director.[/ultimate_heading][ultimate_heading main_heading_font_size=”desktop:15px;”]Erol Josué secretary of Culture 
Minister and Ethnologic and Voodoo Museum Director.[/ultimate_heading][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”23867″ img_size=”medium” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”23854″ img_size=”medium” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”18673″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”23866″ img_size=”medium” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”23860″ img_size=”medium” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][ultimate_heading main_heading=”Local Food Industries” main_heading_font_size=”desktop:15px;”][/ultimate_heading][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/3″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”18676″ img_size=”medium” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][ultimate_heading main_heading=”Local Food Industries” main_heading_font_size=”desktop:15px;”]

Port-au-Prince has created its own locally produced brand of chips called Papito’z.


Papito’z has successfully managed to infuse all the rich and vibrant flavors of the culture into tasty packages. 


Papito’z  chips come in four varieties:  plantain, sweet potato, potato,  and breadfruit. All come in Onion and Sour Cream flavor.  All natural and made with only five ingredients the chips are fresh, the flavors are bold and the taste is addicting. 

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The sweet taste of Haiti. Makaya Chocalat. Filled with various fruit flavors along with the rich chocolate and smooth buttery flavor of the white chocolate, there is no wonder that the company is having sweet success.  Approaching its first-year anniversary the company is expanding to the US soon and starting next month a kiosk will be at the local airport.

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I cannot thank everyone who made this a wonderful experience, as I would surely do it again.


However, the following, I had to simply say a personal Thank You! 


Coralie Gardere, Milena Sandler, Joel Widmaier and Stephanie Armand.

Joel Widmaier, with all the things that can happen as a promoter in putting on an event, dealing with all the artists and their requirement, I appreciate the moments you took time to chit chat with everything going on around you and seeing your showmanship on stage, it was clear that the crowd considers you a home town favorite son.


Milena Sandler, it truly was my pleasure in meeting you. It seemed as I was meeting an old friend due to our many emails during the course of last year, and as Director seeing your tireless efforts in doing whatever needed to be done, but always with a smile. Thank you for inviting me.


Stephanie Armand, thanks for being a wonderful host, by making sure that all of us were taken care of. Your insights on the island, customs, the people and for the tours that you were able to join us on your excitement made them even more enjoyable. 


Coralie Gardere, thank you for your help whenever I request something. Your eagerness to please was only surpassed by your warmth and friendliness that you showed to everyone.


Desi Pierre, an awesome tour guide, translating French to English for many of us and major kudo’s to you for surprising me with a bag of sugar cane. Even though you said they are not in full season, they were very sweet to the taste. Two Thumbs Up!


Jean-Jacque, what an excellent driver, fearless and on time. If I ever need a personal driver in Haiti, you are definitely the first one I am calling.



As I said there are so many people that I could mention here, from volunteers to performing artists that I felt like, I made new friends for life. Mushy Widmaier, Richard Barbot, Norman Imeran and last but not least the beautiful volunteer Adele Vorbe Thank You ALL!

[/ultimate_heading][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]However, the following, I have to simply say a personal Thank You! for taking such good care of Smooth Jazz Magazine.