It was an honor to join violinist Randall Goosby, harpist Charles Overton and tenor George Shirley for a panel discussion on our experience as Black musicians working under the “classical” canon. Our talk concluded with powerful performances from each artist. Watch the performance of my piece “Hammers” with myself on flute and the wonderful, Sandbox Percussion.

I had the immense pleasure of co-producing Nathalie’s new album “Fanm d’Ayiti” and it has finally arrived! It’s like Christmas in August! Read the full press release below, and get ye to BandcampSpotify, Apple Music, or your preferred digital platform to buy and stream the full album today. For all of the audiophiles out there, the album is also available on vinyl and sounds simply delicious. Thanks for supporting, and enjoy the music!

ANNOUNCING:

Nathalie Joachim’s Fanm d’Ayiti

debut album from Haitian-American composer, flutist, and vocalist alongside Grammy-nominated Spektral Quartet

out today — listen + support here

+ release shows

Chicago at Black Ensemble Theater – Sept. 13

NYC at Ecstatic Music / Kaufman Music Center – Oct. 26

photo by Josué Azor

“a unique mixture of classical music, electronic programming, hip-hop, neo-rhythm & blues and folkloric elements rooted in the Haitian cultural heritage.” – El Intruso

“For a very long time I didn’t feel comfortable calling myself a composer, because the people for whom that title was reserved did not look, or live, or create music that was anything like mine.” – 15 Questions with Nathalie Joachim

New Amsterdam Records is excited to release Fanm d’Ayiti, the debut solo album fromHaitian-American composer, flutist, and vocalist Nathalie Joachim. The album, which translates to Women of Haiti in English, shows Joachim exploring her Haitian heritage and celebrating the songs and stories of some of Haiti’s most iconic yet under-recognized female artists. The songs on Fanm d’Ayiti were all written or arranged by Joachim and feature her performing on vocals, flute, and electronics alongside the Grammy-nominated string ensemble Spektral Quartet.

In addition to Bandcamp, the record is now available on all digital platforms including SpotifyApple Musicand Amazon. The record is also available on vinyl here.

You can watch I Care If You Listen‘s track premiere of “Alléluia” from Suite pou Dantan off the album here.

Information below on performance dates supporting the project, including the Chicago release show Sept. 13 at Black Ensemble Theater and the NewYork City premiere at Kaufman Music Center’s Merkin Hall on October 26,as part of the 10th Annual Ecstatic Music Series. Joachim will also be an artist-in-residence at Kaufman Music Center this fall, and is additionally known for her work as a flutist and co-artistic director for Eighth Blackbird, and co-founder of flute duo Flutronix.

Nathalie Joachim + Spektral Quartet – “Papa Loko”

Fanm d’Ayiti features the powerful Haitian female voices from yesterday and today, including the recorded voices of Joachim’s grandmother, the girls choir of Joachim’s family’s home farming village of Dantan, and conversations with Emerante de Pradines, a prized voice of Haiti’s Golden Age; Milena Sandler, daughter of the late, famed chanteuse Toto Bissainthe; and celebrated vodou songstress Carole Demesmin.

Fanm d’Ayiti began in 2015, shortly after the passing of Joachim’s maternal grandmother. Joachim explains:

“She and I spent many a cherished moment underneath the mango and coconut trees in her yard in Haiti – and in my childhood home in America – singing songs with one another. It was our way of telling each other stories, and her way of passing on a centuries-long cultural practice of oral history. Her absence ignited a deep desire for understanding in me. In what ways did our voices connect with the voices of other Haitian women? What did our songs tell us about our past, and what might they mean for the future? The foundation of Fanm d’Ayiti began to reveal itself readily through conversation: with my family, and with others willing to share their piece of our cultural puzzle.”

These exchanges led Joachim to learn about and honor the dozens of Haitian female artists who were each committed to carrying forward the story of the first free black republic, who used their voices to uplift future generations by celebrating the nation’s strength.

“I feel lucky to be joining my voice with theirs,” continues Joachim, “and bringing listeners a sonic portfolio of my originals and arrangements of historic Haitian songs, woven together in a musical celebration of activism and hope.”

Fanm d’Ayiti tracklisting

  1. Papa Loko (Interlude: September 24, 1918)  STREAM
  2. Suite pou Dantan: Prelid
  3. Suite pou Dantan: Alléluia
  4. Suite pou Dantan: Resevwa Li
  5. Lamizè pa dous
  6. Interlude: Couldn’t Tell Her What To Do
  7. Manman m voye m peze kafe
  8. Legba na konsole
  9. Madan Bellegarde
  10. Interlude: The Ones I Listened To
  11. Fanm d’Ayiti

Upcoming performances:

09/13/19 — Chicago, IL @ Black Ensemble Theater (Chicago premiere and album release) LINK
10/26/19 — New York, NY @ Kaufman Music Center / Ecstatic Music series (NYC debut and album release) LINK
01/10/20 — Chapel Hill, NC @ Carolina Performing Arts at UNC LINK
02/19/20 — College Park, MD @ Clarice Smith Center at UMD LINK

After 25 years, Hans Zimmer returns to The Lion King with the Re-Collective Orchestra, of which I was co-principal flutist! In a recent article, NPR revisits Zimmer’s Disney origin story, and his collaboration with the legendary Lebo M. (who contributed the iconic vocal and arrangement to the movie’s intro). Zimmer contacted Re-collective Orchestra after seeing the viral orchestral rendition of “All the Stars” from Black Panther, of which I also contributed flute. We recorded The Lion King soundtrack at Sony Studios last April, and it was an experience unlike any other! Stephanie Matthews, concertmaster and co-founder of Re-Collective Orchestra, stated in the article: “It’s really hard to describe the energy in the room, and what happened on that scoring stage, I mean, the representation and the diversity, but also the energy and the camaraderie, and then just using this shared language of music to translate and to transform this already super iconic score. It was just… it’s hard to put into words.”

>Read the Article Here

So excited to announce that I was the co-principal flutist playing on the new live adaptation of Disney’s The Lion King original motion picture soundtrack! I had the most amazing time in Los Angeles with the Re-Collective Orchestra. It was an incredible opportunity to play new adaptations of old favorites, and is such an honor to be a part of this groundbreaking film. The Lion King comes out in theater’s today!

>Read the NPR Article

>Listen to the Soundtrack on Spotify