Haitian Music...
More Than Just "Compas Direct"

We've seen different, cool, Haitian music styles come to the scene over the years. And each one of us has a favorite rhythm...

It can be Compas, rara, rasin, Haitian rap, or any of the other sound mixes found on the nation's radio airwaves.



Listen to six lead singers of Haiti's music

Compas, Kompa, or Konpa

This original musical genre inspired the Zouk that is a less faster music.  It can take as many different styles as the musician who adopts it, without losing its particular cadence.

Konpa is our own merengue!  And we thank Neymours Jean-Baptiste for what can be called today: Ayiti's national music!

Here's a Kompa variation unique to the singer's personal style:


jacques sauveur jean


This is a musical style that's typically Haitian. As you probably know, it has strong links with the Voodoo religion.

We can easily remember the times we woke up in the middle of the night to the electrifying rythm of a Rara street band totally "possessed" by the sound of Bamboo trumpets and the mystic "Tanbou"... all during Easter season!

The video slideshow below shows pictures of colorful street dancers, and let you taste the beat...

Rara music



Like the Reggae of Bob Marley, Haitian Rasin is a music that fights for the cause of the people - the peasants, the poor man, the unsophisticated person.  The style reminds us to go back to our roots: the Sanba lifestyle.

Rasin appeared in Haiti by the end of the 70's.

In the video below, Sanba artist Steve Brunache cries out to his people in a rasin song about Unity... Feel the vibe right after the song's intro!

Rasin Music


Now, would you like to watch a few classic video clips from Ayiti's musical repertoire?

Check out the Haitian music videos on the next page. We selected them just so you can revisit -or get a taste of - past memories.

Go from Haitian Music to Haitian Culture Homepage