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A series of miniatures that resound with the off-handed nature of a Haitian folk tradition

Non traditional spins brimming with complex fingerings, mimics of drums rhythms that lie behind popular melodies which pop up unexpectedly here and there; these phrases are attempts to describe the playing of Jean Michel Clermont. This eloquent guitarist exhibits strong techniques of a classically-trained player. With a very personal approach he visits traditional and popular pieces of our repertoire to give them a new breath of life.

Jean Michel builds his motifs from an analogy with Lakous' drums. This music seems to speak straight to our soul because it calls for colors that depict the depth and the intricacy of our cultural heritage. As evidence by Libète, konplent, Nibo etc…Dialog is a journey in familiar territory with twisted escapades into unknown and surprising directions that weave beautiful tapestries full of promises.

With his own voicing and many old-new stories to tell, Jean Michel is sailing toward his own path strewn with masters' heritage blended with a certain vision of what a Haitian musical expression should be. To be watched closely…

Alphonse Piard, Jr.
September 29, 2007

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