Lakou Mizik project is a multi-media celebration of Haitian music and culture, spearheaded by accomplished documentary filmmaker and producer, Zach Niles. Zach has worked in Haiti since early 2010, when he first did work with Ciné Institute in Jacmel. The Abundance Foundation is working with Zach to produce this project featuring Haitian musicians, which will serve as an exploration of Haitian culture & resilience through the music & stories of local artists.
Haitian musicians have always played the role of journalists and historians, documenting the country’s history and helping to shape its path forward. Whether expressing through Vodou rhythms, or voicing political frustrations and daily difficulties of through the Troubadou and Racine traditions, music has always been at the core of Haiti’s identity.
Today a young generation of artists is keeping this musical tradition strong, speaking the truth to those in power and narrating the world they live in through music made in their neighborhoods, villages, and post-earthquake camps.
Lakou Mizik will bring an older generation of musicians together with their younger counterparts to reinterpret classic Haitian folk and protest songs on the recording of a new album. Building from a base of traditional instrumentation, the songs will incorporate updated lyrics and creative production to keep the music both rooted in the past and resonant in the present.
Lakou Mizik will give new meaning and new life to songs that have informed and entertained Haitians for generations while introducing the world to the beautiful musical heritage and continued cultural strength of the country.
Zach Niles is the co-director and producer of the award-winning documentary Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars. Co-Founder of WeOwnTV.org a media education center for youth in Freetown, Sierra Leone. Zach was the associate producer of the film Peepers and for the television series Live at the Fillmore. In January/February of 2010 Zach served as acting director for Cine Istitute, a film school in Jacmel Haiti. Zach manages the band Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars and works on music tours by artists such as Paul McCartney, The Rolling Stones, George Michael and Madonna. Currently Zach lives Port-au-Prince, Haiti.