PEOPLE & LIFESTYLE 

Francis Bouillon (born October 17, 1975) is an American professional hockey defenseman for the Montreal Canadiens in the National Hockey League. 

Bouillon was born in New York City to a French-Canadian mother and a Haitian father. Bouillon moved to Quebec with his mother when he was only 3 years old. He played Junior hockey in the Quebec Junior Hockey League with the Laval Titans and the Granby Predateurs. He was Granby's captain when they won the 1996 Memorial Cup.

NEMOURS JEAN-BAPTISTE
February 2, 1918 - May 18, 1985

53 Years of Konpa


Third child of a family of four children, Nemours was born on February 2, 1918, and died on May 18, 1985, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. After the premature death of his parents, Lucia, dressmaker, and Clément Jean-Baptiste, shoemaker, Nemours and his brothers and sister, André, Monfort and Altagrace were entrusted to their next of kin. After some studies at the two parochial schools, Jean-Marie Guilloux and Saint Louis de Gonzague, Nemours was on his own at an early age and tasted some difficult moments in his life. He did some insignificant
jobs to meet his needs. Having become a barber, Nemours could find without doubt, in his clients and the barber shop, the audience and the ideal place to discuss his love and express his talent for music. A gift received by chance was his first sponsorship through a friend, Antoine Duverger. Owner and banjo player, Duverger decided to entrust his beloved banjo to Nemours to avoid the parental reprimands children “of good families” in the beginning of the century did not play music. Nemours took advantage of this confidence and learned to play the banjo by himself. Luck was on his side, when Duverger did not respect one of his commitments to the Guignard Brothers. Nemours replaced him. The performance was a success and brought him back $30.00 and his recruitment by the Guignard Brothers. From this date, Nemours devoted himself completely to music, animating organized parties through the country; a career of about twenty-five years had just started. During one of his tours, he met Marie Felicité C. Olivier. They were married on September 28, 1946 and had three children Marie-Denise who died at the age of two (2) years, Yvrose and Yves Nemours, Jr.

The beginnings of Nemours’ career consisted especially of tours abroad throughout the country enlivening parties. Morever, on Saint Ann’s Day, July 26, 1955, Nemours created the rhythm that was to become the “Compas” in forming his own musical group, Conjunto International. The original band members were Julien Paul, Monfort Jean-Baptiste, (Nemours’ brother), Anilus Cadet, Mozart and Krutzer Duroseau, and for one month Wébert Sicot who was soon replaced by Frank Brignol. But, that was not his first attempt at being a band leader. Previously, he had led contemporary groups such as Anacaona, Jazz Atomique, and Jazz Atomique Junior.

Weber Sicot was never a member in Jazz Atomique and in Atomique Jr. Maestro Nemours Jean-Baptiste never played guitar in Jazz Atomique, he always played his
saxophone. Also, Louis Lahens was not a member in “Ensemble Aux Calebasses”, therefore he did not sing “Calebasses Kanpe.

In 1956, the career of the artist took a new direction when he met his first promoter, Jean Lumarque, owner of a contemporary club, “Calebasses” which means “Gourds”. Jean Lumarque organized the first tour overseas for Nemours and his group, accompanying them to the United States of America and Mexico. However, a short time after, Nemours had to leave Lumarque for Senatus Lafleur, owner of another Club, “Palladium”. Nevertheless, it was again Jean Lumarque who, in 1961, brought the group to the United States and on July 5, during a party at the headquarter of the United Nations, Nemours received a plaque. After another back and forth from Palladium to Calebasses, Nemours and his group were named successively “Ensemble aux Calebasses”, “Ensembe Nemours Jean-Baptiste”, “Ensemble Compas Direct”, and again “Ensemble Nemours Jean-Baptiste” were hired by René Marini, owner of “Cabane Choucoune”, where they performed from 1962 to 1970. During this period in 1963, Nemours and his group, participated for the first time in a carnival parade, at the public request. It is to be noted that Nemours suffered from glaucoma. In 1967, his opthalmologist had to remove one of his eyes during a surgical intervention in a hospital in Port-de-Paix.

Nemours stayed for two years (1970-1972) in the United States of America and performed in some clubs such as Chateau Caribe (Manhattan) and Canne-à-Sucre (Sugar Cane) (Corona, Queens). When he returned to his native country in 1972, he took charge of a new group, the Top Compas, rebaptized “Super Combo de Nemours Jean-Baptiste” and toured in Guadeloupe, from May to December 1973. In May 1974, a promoter from Guadeloupe, Hubert Romain, had them tour in turn through Guadeloupe, Martinique, France and then Guadeloupe again to return to Haiti in November 1974. Their transit in France, in September 1974, was an immense success prompted by the song “Ti Carole”, that was a hit on “Radio Télévision France Inter” for six months. When he returned to Haiti in November 1974, the group went back to “Cabane Choucoune” until its dissolution in 1979 with the departure to the U.S.A. of its founder, Wagner Lalanne.

In 1980, about a quarter of a century after the launching of his immense career, Nemours found himself a lone musician. Fortunately, Eddy Zamor, radio personality and producer during the 60’s in Haiti, having become a promoter of music in the U.S., was able to come to Nemours’ rescue. He sponsored an evening for Nemours’ twenty-fifth anniversary of “Compas” and the event was celebrated in great style with the group “Skah Shah” at the Club “Olympia Palace”. The evening was, in some fashion, a tribute crowning the great career of Nemours Jean-Baptiste. His next attempt to play in the U.S.A. in 1981, this time accompanied by a long time musical rival, Wébert Sicot, was destined to fail. Nemours became seriously ill and had an operation in New York in Elmhurst Hospital, Queens. He passed the last four years of his life in Haiti, fighting against prostate cancer and blindness. In spite of the plea to the contrary of his wife and children, he chose to die in his country, always saying when he died his value would be recognized.


Nemours and the Compas Direct

Until the mid point of the twentieth century, the needs of the Haitian public in live musical presentations animation had been satisfied mainly by the troubadours and the cadence “tipico” coming from the neighboring Republic. This cadence and/or the Hispanic groups dominated the major part of our public festivities or/and much of the private. The beginnings of Nemours in 1955, and 1956, have been marked by this cadence that has allowed him to capture the heart of the public. However, Nemours never appreciated this colonisation of the haitian musical market. On one side of the haitian border, the Dominican and the Cubans lived their music, on the other side our brothers were humiliated by the foreign provenance of these two groups.

Inspired in some way by this national feeling helped by his intelligence, Nemours has given to the Haitian people their proper cadence: the “Compas”. After the launching of his career, he has not stopped with the banjo skills, he had learned le saxophone and the guitar.

Another attractive future of Nemours’ public image was his profuse creativity. At the peak of his career, he pampered his public regularly with a new composition. Almost every Saturday, his fans were waiting for him at Rex Théatre and they were never dissappointed either by the content and or the form. The Haitian ladies, regularly the object of satire by the musicians, were Nemours’ favorites. There were hits such as “aprann renmen”, “rob antrav”, “Solange” not to cite others. As for the “Compas”, his dear child that he brought to live, he never ceased to predict its success and longevity. Hits such as : “Universal Compas”, “Vivre Compas”, “La Joie de Vivre” provide proof. For Nemours, the key to this success or longevity is to keep the rhythm or cadence as simple as possible.

Banjo player, guitariste, saxophonist, composer and band leader, Nemours Jean-Baptiste, was a complete artist. He has been for Haitian music what the Heros of his country were for Haiti. At his death, on May 18, 1985, he had passed a rich heritage to the Haitian musical market. The foundation created by Nemours constituted an inexhaustible source that has inspired and continues to guide the succeeding generations. Today still, a half century after the creation of Compas, the Haitian public never tired of dancing to the music of Nemours and the Compas.
 



Jean Beauvoir

Born of Haitian parents in Chicago, Illinois, Jean was destined to be a performer. He was the leader of the junior high school rock band at 13, which lead to playing dances and clubs throughout the New York area. At 15, he was recruited to be musical director for Gary US Bonds and went on to do shows throughout the US with Dick Clark, Bo Diddley, Chuck Berry and many others. Soon after this, he became the youngest lead singer of the group The Flamingos of I Only Have Eyes for You fame.

Having difficulty at home with his choice of profession, he moved out on his own and headed to the Big Apple at the tender age of 16. Before long, he found himself in contact with the New York punk scene. After seeing an ad in a local newspaper, he was recruited for what was the beginning of the group "The Plasmatics". He changed his image to suit the part: the awakening of the blond Mohawk.

The Plasmatics went on to take over the US and worldwide press within six months of his entry to the gang. Wendy O 'Williams and the band's exorbitant stage antics shocked millions and made them a household name as a highlight of the 6 o'clock news and Saturday morning cartoons. After three years of constant touring and recording, Jean decided it was time for him to move on. Gary U.S. Bonds manager coincidentally introduced little Steven to Beauvoir. Recognizing his talent, Steven convinced him to participate on the Little Steven & Disciple of Soul albums Men without Women and Voice of America. This was the beginning of a long friendship and working relationship. These critically acclaimed albums and two years of worldwide touring gave Jean the credibility that he needed to be accepted as an artist of his own rank. He soon partnered up with Gary Kurfirst and Richard Branson and signed his first co-venture label deal with Virgin Records with Jean's solo album slated as the first release.

Not long after recording his first album for Virgin, Sylvester Stallone, while editing in a Hollywood studio, caught a glimpse of the editing of Jean's video for the track entitled Feel the Heat. Stallone chose this track as the leading track for his film Cobra. Jean and Gary added Columbia Records to the mix. Beauvoir selling over 1,5 million copies worldwide from his first solo effort lead to productions and co-writing ventures with artists such as KISS, The Ramones, N'Sync, John Waite, Deborah Harry, Lionel Richie, The Pretenders, Carol Davis, Nile Rogers, Nona Hendryx, Desmond Child, Jim Vallance, Andreas Carlsson, Harry Sommerdahl, Doro Pesch and many more. He toured and performed in support of acts such as The Eurythmics, David Bowie, Tina Turner, Bon Jovi, Van Halen, The Who, Dave Mathews., and Aerosmith. He was a member and Co-Producer of Little Steven and The Disciples Of Soul and performed with Bruce Springsteen and The E-Street Band. He's made hundreds of personal and TV appearances throughout the world and has sold in excess of 30 million records worldwide as an artist, producer and songwriter.

Jean also expanded his musical horizons through his groups, Voodoo X (Columbia Records International) and Crown of Thorns (Interscope Records). He released four additional solo records to date and was also actively involved in the hugely successful Hand in Hand Charity in Berlin Germany amongst others throughout the years including his direct involvement in support of helping his country Haiti.

As an entrepreneur, he formed companies to harness the different facets of his musical career. He founded Voodoo Island Records/Voodoo Island Productions in 1984. Over the course of his professional career, he has created joint venture partnerships with some of the most powerful music industry luminaries such as Richard Branson (Virgin Records), Al Teller (Columbia Records), Ted Fields and Jimmy Iovine (Interscope Records), Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley (Kiss), Lou Perlman and labels such as Def Jam, Warner Bros, Avex, EMI, Edel and more. Through these partnerships he has released or contributed to over 100 Albums over the past two decades.

Beauvoir is also the founder and President of Hot Boy Music and Tigre Noire Music co, two music publishing companies whose partners have included SBK Entertainment, EMI music publishing, CBS Songs International, Polygram Music Publishing, Bertelsmann Music Group and currently Rondor/Universal Music Group. Beauvoir's worldwide music catalogue contains over 250 published titles.

In addition to his film music work with Sylvester Stallone, his credit list includes the title tracks for Stephen King's Pet Semetary, Wes Craven's blockbuster Shocker, Flawless Robert DeNiro, School of Rock (Jack Black), Christmas with the Kranks (Tim Allen, Jamie Lee Curtis and Dan Akroyd), The Guilty (Bill Pullman), Rock and Roll High School Forever, Berlin Nights and RV (Robin Williams). He has also appeared in Cameo roles in films such as "A Man Apart, Cellular and The Bronx Warriors.

For 6 1/2 years, Jean served as CEO/Managing Director of Steven Van Zandt's media and entertainment company, Renegade Nation, who's operations include terrestrial and Sirius Satellite radio programming, live event and television production, record label operations, music licensing, merchandising and an online social networking venture, "Fuzztopia".

The "Beauvoir Haiti Foundation" created by Jean Beauvoir is continuing to work on Haiti relief efforts following in the footsteps of his parents, Raoul and Eddie Beauvoir (deceased), who devoted the last 20 years of their lives in service of Haiti through the funding and building of a medical clinics and community activism.

(Flo Rida) Tramar Dillard is the name, but we all know him as Flo Rida. He is Haitian –American rapper and singer.  He was raised in Carol City, surprise surprise he was raised by a single mom. Praises to single moms! He has 7 sisters and grew up singing in a gospel group. Can you imagine Flo Rida busting those notes in church? That would be mad entertaining! 
He studied International Business Management at University of Nevada for two years and went to Barry University for two months and came back to Florida to pursue his number one passion music. 

Joseph Edouard "Joe" Gaetjens Birth: Mar. 19, 1924 Port-au-Prince Ouest, Hait iDeath: Jul. 10, 1964, Haiti


US Hall of Fame Soccer player. He scored probably the most famous goal in US soccer history, the goal that beat England in the 1950 World Cup 1-0. Born in Haiti to a prominent family, he went to the US in the late 1940s to study accounting at Columbia University. Playing for local team Brookhatten of the American Soccer League, he won the league's scoring title, which led to his selection to the 1950 US World Cup team. He was not a citizen but was allowed to play for the US team as he had declared his intent to apply for citizenship, which was the rule at the time. In the 1950 World Cup, vs England, his diving header of a Walter Bahr cross in the 37th minute was the only goal in the famous US victory (the US were 500:1 longshots) over England. After the World Cup, he played professionally in France before returning to Haiti and eventually played for the Haitian national team in a 1953 World Cup qualifier vs Mexico. His family was politically prominent though he was apolitical. However, this did not stop the minions of dictator "Papa Doc" Duvalier from arresting him. He is assumed to have been executed in the infamous Fort Diamanche prison on or about July 10, 1964. His body was never found. In the 2005 movie "The Game of Their Lives" (aka "Miracle Match"), he was played by Jimmy Jean-Louis.

Mary Edmonia Lewis was the first African American and Native American woman to gain fame and recognition as a sculptor in the international fine arts world. She was of African American, Haitian and Ojibwe descent.


(Benz Antoine) 

This tall, strikingly handsome leading man has already made 75 film & television appearances. He is often hard to recognize because of his uncanny ability to drastically alter his look, speech patterns and mannerisms in chameleon like fashion. Benz Antoine was born in 1972 in Montreal, Canada. He is the oldest of the 3 children raised by his Haitian mother, Rose Marie. After graduating from high school, Benz enrolled at Concordia University intent on a career in Economics, which quickly turned into Philosophy, which came in handy during his days of rhyming on the m-i-c; which he did for the next 2 years. With the taste of fame still in his mouth, this gifted rapper, often mistaken for LL, was unwittingly taken down the path that would ultimately become his. In 1993, while reluctantly accompanying his then girlfriend to an audition; he was coaxed into reading for a role as a businessman in a corporate video. The rapper quickly turned actor and he hasn't looked back since. With his acting versatility and powerful sexual presence, he had no difficulty finding work in numerous television productions. He made his first big screen appearance in Romeo Must Die as the Crabman. Since then he has appeared in the blockbuster hits Get Rich or Die Tryin', Four Brothers, the critically acclaimed I'm Not There and most recently, he appeared in Death Race!!!

Josephine Premice was many things; a Tony Award nominee, a dancer, a singer, a mother, and, by marriage, a true-blue Upper East Side socialite -- but above all else, she was a truly powerful, drop-dead-gorgeous pioneer who broke boundaries with elegance, wit and charm. As a little girl in 1930s Brooklyn, Haitian-American Premice studied dance with Martha Graham and Katherine Dunham -- and at 20, she began her career in a production of "Blue Holiday" starring Ethel Waters. Officially bit by the showbiz bug, Premice went on to sing, dance, and act her way through a flurry of Broadways hits, including "A Glass Menagerie," "Bubbling Brown Sugar," and the Balanchine-choreographed "House Of Flowers," which co-starred her lifelong BFF, Diahann Carrol. Her performances were so vibrant that a New York Times critic once wrote that "Ms. Premice can almost make a feather boa come alive!" In 1958, Premice famously married the White, blue-blooded socialite Capt. Timothy Fales, and became one of the reigning socialites in New York -- a jaw-dropping feat at the time. After her death in 2001, Premice's daughter, television writer/producer Susan Fales Hill, wrote an autobiography about life with her uber-glamorous, boundary-breaking mother called "Always Wear Joy" (it's an ESSENCE favorite!). Premice was truly a fierce and fabulous woman, and we salute her!



  • Independent film director, producer, writer and actor Jerry LaMothe (Tami's man from basketball wife) has acquired five film titles and at least 11 film festival invitations; but who’s counting? The Brooklyn-born, Haitian-American’s body of work has always reflected the Black experience—from his 2000 debut Amour Infinity about a single father trying to do right by his son to his helming of Nora’s Hair Salon, a spin-off of Ice Cube’s Barbershopseries to his critically-acclaimed telling of New York’s 2003 power outage, Blackout. The Long Island University graduate’s latest is a short entitled The Tombs, which takes its name from the sobriquet for New York City’s central booking system. Executive produced by Basketball Wivesstar Tami Roman, the film premiered during this year's 15th annual Urban World Film Festival.
  • Despite his success, LaMothe makes it known that his journey has not been easy. 

Travis McCoy is well known as the MC for the band Gym Class Heroes. He was born to a Haitian father and a mother of Irish and Native American descent. McCoy was born in Geneva New York and formed his band when he met the drummer Matt McGinley in Gym class.

Blake Griffin ethnicity is Haitian African American and Caucasian. He' full names Blake Austin Griffin. He was born in March 16, 1989 in Oklahoma City, He is an American professional basketball player for the Los Angeles Clippers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Griffin had a renowned high school career at Oklahoma Christian School, winning state titles each of his four years under his father, Tommy Griffin, who was the head coach. He played college basketball for the University of Oklahoma Sooners and was awarded numerous accolades in his second year including the Naismith College Player of the YearOscar Robertson Trophyand the John Wooden Award.

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