This is overdue -- sharing a great source for Haitian Music


I found them a couple years ago, looking for the two collections of music by Toto Bissainthe -- Volume 2 was findable but Volume 1 not anywhere. (I had found a copy of her Haiti Chante at Amoeba records some time before, but it was definitely not available)

Toto Bissainthe was an unique singer with an angelic voice* who sang what one might call Haitian Country Music, incorporating some Vodou music into her compositions. She lived in exile while Poppa Doc Duvalier was in power. She died in 1994.

The owner of CheckoutCDs --Bernard Etheart -- said he thought it was out of print, but he'd look on my behalf, and got back to me a few weeks later with the goods.

CheckoutCDs has a very large inventory and now has sample cuts for many of the artists whose works they sell -- really helpful since some wonderful musicians are people I've never heard of and can't find their recordings anywhere else (meaning I can't go to Amazon to hear them).

The CD categories they offer are Rasin(Roots), Kreyol Jazz, Ragga/Rap, Zouk, Francaises, and Konpa.
You can look under alphabetical listings under any category, and hear cuts from most. 

They also offer DVDs -- comedy, drama, Music, Romance and Documentaries

The one documentary I've bought is a famous one called The OblivionTree -- it deals with a place and a town and a tree in Africa that slaves passed by on their way to the ships, and no one who went past that tree was  ever seen again.  It's an amazing documentary, even including interviews with the descendants of the prime slave trader who still live there, in the same place.
CheckoutCDs is a great resource -- you can pretty much be sure that gifts you give from there will be music or films your giftee doesn't already have, probably not even ever had heard of, and Bernard Etheart is very helpful, aware of the fact that you may not be familiar with the genre.

The only thing I get from doing this is realizing I finally got around to giving Bernard the appreciation I have for his site and his help.

Toto Bissainthe: clips of her songs online at:

Bernard Etheart
Tel: 305-537-6509
Fax: 801-406-2246 –
 210 174th St. #1406
Sunny Isles Beach, FL, 33160 


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