Sunday, May 2, 2021

Kreyol La Eastern Parkway “Labor Day Parade 2019” (Haitian Music Trucks & Crowds At Brooklyn's West Indian Parade)

Ayiti Biyografi, Sept. 2, 2019

Edited by Azizi Powell

This is Part III  of a three part pancocojams series about the word "Zoe" as an infomal referent for Haitians. 

Part III of this pancocojams post presents information about Brooklyn's annual West Indiand Day Parade. This post also showcases a YouTube video of the 2019 Brooklyn, New York's West Indian Labor Day parade that features a Haitian music truck and a huge crowd of paraders. Selected comments from several discussion threads of YouTube videos that focus on Haitian paraders during the Brooklyn West Indian Labor Day parade are also included in this post. Some of these comments include the word "Zoe" as a referent for Haitians.

The Addendum to Part III presents information about Haitian Rara processions, as Rara has greatly influenced the way that Haitians participate in the anual Brooklyn, New York West Indian Day Parade. 

Click for Part I of this series. Part I presents excerpts from several online sources about the word "Zoe" as an informal referent for Haitians.

Click for Part II of this pancocojams series. Part II showcases the official YouTube video of Black Dada's 2008 record "Imma Zoe". That pancocojams post also presents some biographical information about Black Dada and includes selected comments from that YouTube video's discussion thread. Many of those comments include the informal Haitian referent "Zoe".

The content of this post is presented for cultural, and entertainment purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to all those who are associated with Brooklyn's West Indian Day Parade. Thanks also to the La Kyreol band that is featured in this embedded video and thanks to the publisher of that video on YouTube. Thanks also to all who are quoted in this post.

Excerpt #1 
"The Labor Day Parade (or West Indian Carnival) is an annual celebration held on American Labor Day (the first Monday in September) in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, New York City.

The main event is the West Indian Day Parade, which attracts between one and three million participants.[2] The spectators and participators watch and follow the parade on its route along Eastern Parkway. Some of the Caribbean islands represented in the parade include Trinidad and Tobago, Haiti, Barbados, Dominica, Saint Lucia, Jamaica, Saint Vincent and Grenada, along with some Afro-Panamanians. mainland Caribbean countries such as Guyana, Suriname, and Belize also participate as well."....

Excerpt #2
From The wild magic of Caribbean Carnival is alive in Brooklyn 
Afropop Worldwide, September 29, 2016 ·By Morgan Greenstreet and Saxon Baird
"Every Labor Day, more than two million people pack into Central Brooklyn for the West Indian American Day Parade with flags flying, food grilling and music blasting from massive speakers on 18-wheel trucks. "Mas bands" — groups of costumed revelers — follow the trucks down the Parkway on foot, with hundreds, sometimes thousands, of dancers dressed in colorful bikinis, feathers, glitter and body paint."...
The articles and discussion threads that I've read on this subject all agree that Haiti always has the largest crowds in these parades. Unlike other nations, the Haitians don't mas (wear pant or other masquerade costumes). They sing, dance, and wave Haiti's blue and red flag, showing their pride for their ancestry.


These discussion thread excerpts are given in chronological order with the oldest video given first. Numbers are given for referencing purposes only.

Discussion thread #1 

Labor Day 2014, HAITIAN TRUCK

Trading PhotoS Sep 3, 2014

HAITIANS AT THE WEST INDIAN LABOR DAY 2014 in Brooklyn New York USA.  West Indian American Day Carnival.

Notice: Age-restricted video (requested by uploader)
My guess is that this video's publisher added an age restricted notice is because that video includes a few short scenes of women wearing very skimpy bikini tops and bottoms. Those women weren't part of the Haitian contingent of the Brooklyn West Indian Day Parade because Haitian participants never mas (wear costumes). 

1. Fabio C Villaquiran Jr, 2014
"THIS is what I miss MOST about Labor day! The AWESOME parades & the parties after!"

2. Kage NoKyojin, 2014
"Lol nobody turns up like the Haitians on Eastern Parkway

Dayum that's a live crowd...

Looked fun as hell"

3. riri alexander, 2014
"What type of haitian music is this? Im trying to look for it on youtube, only getting zouk"

4. Wendy Beausejour, 2014
"search for "T-Vice kanaval" or "Djakout kanaval""
"T-Vice is a Haitian compas band currently based in Miami, Florida.[1][2][3][4] The group has performed throughout the world, most notably in cities of Miami, New York City, Chicago, Toronto, Paris and throughout the Caribbean through various concerts, carnivals, and festivals.[5]"

Djakout kanaval is (or was?) another Haitian music band. Videos of  this group can be found on YouTube.

5. Kendrick ross, 2015
" @riri alexander   its called it a "kanaval' played during carnival season"

6. young jr, 2014
"Zoe" is an informal referent for Haitians. That referent was coined by Haitian Americans from the Haitian Creole word "zo" which means "bones".

Farah Joseph, 2015
"I love my ppls Haiti!!!!!!! 🔵🔴🔵🔴 When the Zoe's come through on the Pkwy everything shut dwn

8. Farah Joseph, 2015
"Same here proud Haitian over here my ppls be lit🔵🔴🔵🔴"

Jamellia Jack, 2015
"I was their . I love the Haitian float . even tho I was with the Trini band . I love their vybz"

10. Intense Fitness, 2015
"I was have the time of my life in that crowd....................T-Vice always know how to bring the party to Estern Pkw."

11. Christian Martinez, 2017
"when you see free CAM shirts you know its gonna be lit 😂"
CAM was the sponsor or one of the sponsors of the music truck in that video. Here's information about CAM:
"CAM, short for “Caribbean Air Mail,” is a popular wire service with agencies in Haitian beauty salons, bakeries, shopping plazas — and office buildings. " 

"kote tout zoe yo"
Google translate from Haitian Creole to English
"where all my zoe"

13. Herlin Jordan, 2019
"We shut everything  down when we pull up"

14. V. T., 2020
"You guys don't masquerade at all.  It would be better if you did"

Discussion thread #2
[This is the discussion thread for the video that is embedding in this post. 


1. GET2DANEWS, 2019
"Haiti always go hard on the parkway"


2. Denise Mitchell, 2019
"Big up

Eastern Parkway.

I feel good

So good so good

This is how we carnival in NYC"

3. Yves Augustin, 2019
"Respect still due to T VICE !!but KREYOL LA  did their thing !!"
Here's what appears to be outdated information about the musical group Keyol La
from [No date is given for when this pge was written. I haven't found any other online informational page about Kreyol La" and I've found no informational page online about Djakout.]  
"Kreyol LaKreyol La is the third most popular band behind T-Vice and Djakout in Haiti's Kanaval. Each year the Band is in a competition with the rival Krezi Mizik, also known as Nou Krezi. In 2007, Kreyol La win their first victory over Krezi and had a better meringue Kanaval than Krezi that year.

In 2009 they won again over Krezi. In 2012, Kreyol La was declared the third champion band in Kanaval, and won twice from the group band Krezi. It was stated that Kreyol La and T-Vice will finally be rivals in Kanaval but T-Vice will always be rivals with Djakout #1."...

Phe Dem, 2020
"T Vice has a long story of dominating the parkway but Kréyol La was special ...
T Vice and Kréyol La are two bands that represent Haiti on music trucks in Brooklyn's West Indian Day Labor Day Parades. Click for information about T Vice and click for information about Kréyol La.

Another very highly regarded Haitian music truck that usually participates in Brooklyn's annual West Indian Day parade features "Sweet Micky"Michel Joseph Martelly. Click for,May%202011%20until%20February%202016.&text=Martelly%20was%20one%20of%20Haiti's,the%20stage%20name%20Sweet%20Micky. and read some comments in Discussion #2.
immediately below.

Yves Augustin, 2019
"Wow , Just amazing in such a bad weather to pull the biggest crow[d] ever in a rainy labor day thats a plus !!"

Discussion Thread #3
Emmanuel V Sep 2, 2019
Labor Day Parade 2019 Eastern Parkway Kreyol La

1. Miss Panama, 2019
"I am from Panama, and my boyfriend is Haitian. YEEESSSS!!!!!...Haiti killed it again because they play live instrumental Kompa music while their artist sings live as well. This powerful combo makes the music reverberate to your inner core. Now if the Panama floats can get themselves together and show stronger representation and not always look underrepresented every year..Sheesh!!!!"
This comment is written in bold in this video’s discussion thread

2. DCz Carmelo, 2019
"Kreyol La used to play like 5 different songs👇🏾

- Team Madada - mpa gon goud (mean: ain't get no money)

- Lodji Baby - Diaspora

- Team Madada - manzè Matel (mean: she bounced it " creole version of Chambala - El Boom")

- Colmix - kote plezi a ye (mean: where the party at).

- Colmix - Duvalier..

- And some Kreyol improvisation

Thanks me later 👊🏾"

Haitian Nationalist, 2019
"Haitian crowd so big we need our own parade on 5th Avenue y’all"

Lorie Paul, 2019
"It was Very Beautiful and a whole lot of Fun 💙❤😀! It's Haitian Carnival mixed with RaRa 👀💙❤😊☺🥰😀..."

5. how to remember for teste Lagoava, 2019

"The base of our music which is "" RARA ""  the base 0f Our COMPAS  both originated in haiti, makes it very easy  to  play whatever  song  from whatever  language.

Mostly improvised translated  musical were played  in that event but arranged with the haitian compas to make enjoyable and easy to people to have fun.

This haitians are goodi at this when they want too.


6. Joseph Dubois 1, 2019
"Nice Video, Emmanuel V!  Great Job!  The Band (Kreyol La) sounds "Excellent".  Two Thumbs Up!  Thank you for posting the video"

7. Navan Cognac, 2019
"What genre of music is the band playing?"

8.Joseph Dubois 1, 2019
"This is a Very Popular Band from Haiti.  Therefore, the Band (Kreyol La) is playing “their own” Haitian-Style Carnival Music."

9. SHANKOJA, 2019
"What’s the song at @4:32? greetings from  🇯🇲 btw but if you know the song please tell me I love it so much"

10. HaitianMassive, 2019
"The genre is call : Raboday : a mix of( voodoo drums ,rara,kompa,afrobeat and some church songs base)   Anyway The band is Kreyol-la A haitian Kompa band and

They were playing a mashup of those songs

Joe 100%Haitian, 2019
"This is Raboday in Haiti, improvisation  most of the time!

carlens plaisir, 2019
"The song name is "M pa gen yon goud" by colmix & Me deng"

JH, 2019
"Damn Rain!!!! I travelled all the way to NYC, missed this as they recommended we stay in doors and seek cover due to a pending storm; but, I will be back next year, rain or shine!!!!"

14. Haitian Nationalist, 2020
"How are your plans looking LOL"

15. JH, 2020
"@Haitian Nationalist . LOL indeed. No one could have predicted this. Yes, COVID has brought us all to our knees! Not even sure if next year it will be safe."

16. Shirley Dutes Saint-Louis, 2019
"Haitians always put the parkaway parade on the map I love my nation we the best 🙌🏾🇭🇹🙌🏾🇭🇹"

From [retrieved May 2, 2021]
Rara is a form of festival music that originated in Haiti that is used for street processions, typically during Easter Week. The music centers on a set of cylindrical bamboo trumpets called vaccine, but also features drums, maracas, güiras or güiros (a percussion instrument), and metal bells, as well as alsos which are made from recycled metal, often coffee cans. The vaccine perform repeating patterns in hocket and often strike their instruments rhythmically with a stick while blowing into them. In the modern day, standard trumpets and saxophones may also be used. The genre though predominantly Afro-based has some Taino Amerindian elements to it such as the use of güiros and maracas.

The songs are always performed in Haitian Creole and typically celebrate the African ancestry of the Afro-Haitian masses. Vodou is often implemented through the procession.[1] 


During rara Haitians dance and march in the street while the band plays. Each band has their own rhythm that defines them even while marching in the dark. It is a celebration of the now but also a remembrance of the ancestors who made it so. Each person has their own unique way of dancing to the beat. 

Rara in Haiti is often used for political purposes, with candidates commissioning songs praising them and their campaigns. Rara lyrics also often address difficult issues, such as political oppression or poverty. Consequently, rara groups and other musicians have been banned from performing and even forced into exile—most notably, folk singer Manno Charlemagne who later returned to Haiti and was elected mayor of Port-au-Prince in the 1990s."...
This excerpt is reformatted in this pancocojams post to enhance its readability. A 2018 excerpt of that Wikipedia page is included in this pancocojams post:

This concludes Part III of this three part pancocojams series.

Thanks for visiting pancocojams.

Visitor comments are welcome. 

No comments:

Post a Comment