It’s Haitian Heritage Month and we want to show some love to a genre that’s near and dear to the more than 80,000 Haitian Americans living in the 305 and beyond–konpa.
It’s like merengue but has its roots in African drums and big bands with horns blaring.
Over the years modern artists have incorporated some electronic sounds into the mix but the heart of konpa has never strayed too far from the original flavor.
Here’s a quick breakdown on konpa music:
THE NAME: It originates from the French phrase compas direct, which literally translates to direct compass. But in Creole it’s known as konpa or kompa.
HOW LONG HAS IT BEEN AROUND: It originated in Haiti in the 1950s.
THE SOUND: It’s like merengue but has its roots in African drums and big bands with horns blaring.
WHERE TO CHECK IT OUT: Saturday, May 19, is the Haitian Compas Festival at Mana Wynwood and you can find all the details here. There are also parties at Cafe Iguana and the Little Haiti Cultural Center before the festival, so you’ll have plenty of chances to check out some konpa music.
Still curious about konpa? Check out this Spotify playlist we put together. If we missed one of your favorite songs, hit reply to tell us the name and artist and we’ll add it to the list!