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Musician Spotlight



Haiti / Canada

Born in 1980 to a musical family of seven children in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Wesli (Wesley Louissaint) built his first guitar at the age of eight by stringing an old oil can with nylon fishing line. From these humble beginnings, he has gone on to become one of Haiti’s most inspiring and celebrated musical ambassadors. Wesli has earned acclaim across the globe for his appealing music, energizing live performances and charming personality. In 2019, his accomplishments were officially honored when he won the Juno Award (the Canadian equivalent of the GRAMMY) for World Music Album of the Year. The sounds of Wesli’s childhood––from Evangelical gospel to reggae, Afrobeat, funk and, of course, the diverse roots music of Haiti––continually influence his compositions, which blend traditional Haitian rhythms and lyrics with a wide range styles. Based in Montreal since the early 2000s, Wesli explores a variety of genres while keeping his musical identity firmly anchored in his roots and Haitian cultural heritage.

Wesli’s latest endeavor, the ambitious two-album project titled "Tradisyon," pays homage to Haitian and African diasporic traditions, blending traditional genres with contemporary sounds to create a vibrant and captivating musical experience. This stand-out track, “Ay Lina,” is a classic banjo-led twoubadou song first sung by the Haitian icon Ti Paris in the 1950s. The lyrics are full of double-entendres and tell of a man asking a girl he loves to come and dance with him: “My ideal is to have you, Lina / To calm my madness / Fulfill my desire.”


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Caribbean Celebration

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