WEST PALM BEACH — The Rayond F. Kravis Center for the Arts is launching its cutting-edge P.E.A.K. series — Provocative Entertainment at Kravis — with BélO, the singing phenom from Haiti, Nov. 17 at 7:30 p.m.
BélO’s concert will be held in the outdoor Gosman Amphitheatre. Guests are invited to bring their lawn chairs and picnic baskets.
Tickets are $15 and may be purchased at the Kravis Center Box Office, 701 Okeechobee Blvd. in West Palm Beach, online at kravis.org/belo or by calling 561-832-7469 or 800-572-8471. Group orders of 10 or more receive a discount and may be placed by calling 561-651-4438 or 561-651-4304.
BélO, Haiti’s outspoken groove innovator, interweaves the Afro-Caribbean depths of Haitian tradition with a progressive voice for social and political transformation.
BélO keeps the socially conscious spirit of reggae alive, while drawing on the vibrant sounds of his artsy native town of Croix des Bouquet, and a globally informed, upbeat pan-African vibe.
It was there BélO first performed as a shy grade-schooler, and recorded his first tape. During summers he spent time with his grandparents in a remote village, where he heard and experienced vodou, Haiti’s unique mix of spiritual and musical traditions that permeates all aspects of rural life and helps support social cohesion.
Both before and after Haiti’s 2010 earthquake, BélO has made music and performance a powerful platform for addressing issues and transforming opinion.
Whether singing to children in orphanages or raising awareness of AIDS, BélO knows exactly why he does what he does, as audiences across the U.S. are experiences thanks to his participation in CenterStage (centerstageUS.org), an initiative of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs
‘GOOD SIDE OF HAITI’
“With the love I have for my country, I can only give back,” he said. “I make music because I really want things to change, and I believe in the power of music to do that. For that reason, Center Stage is very important to me as an artist. Not only will I be able to learn more about the American culture, but I can also share my culture with a broader audience and show the good side of Haiti.”
Center Stage brings compelling contemporary artists from Haiti, Indonesia, and Pakistan to the United States to engage Americans in cultural diplomacy as a way to create opportunities for greater understanding.
Administered by the New England Foundation for the Arts, with funding from the Asian Cultural Council, the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation, and the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art, the public-private partnership is the largest public diplomacy effort to bring foreign artists to American stages in recent history.
The Kravis’ P.E.A.K. series, made possible by a grant from the MLDaury Arts Initiative in honor of Leonard and Sophie Davis, focuses on ethnic diversity and contemporary themes, to elevate the creation and understanding of artistic expression, with an emphasis on performers drawn from diverse cultural backgrounds and communities.