January 8


Celebrating 220 Years of Haitian Independence

January 8, 2024

Vol. 104 No. 02

In the vibrant ambiance of rhythmic music, dazzling lights and dance choreography, Haitians gathered on December 31st, at the Barclays Center in Downtown Brooklyn, to celebrate their independence.

The occasion marked 220 years since Haiti’s triumph in the battle for freedom against the French regime, declaring independence on January 1, 1804.

This “Konpa Kingdom” event, orchestrated by Jermaine Magras (Jay Upscale), featured collaboration with notable Haitian promoters and media personalities like Carel Perdre.

The Haitian international DJ Starkz and eight Haitian bands, mixing with solo artists, showcased their talent, among them Zafem, whose compas album recently hit the Billboard Top 100. Rutchelle Guillaume, recipient of the Trace award for Best Caribbean Artist in 2023, and VAYB’s lead singer Mickael Guirand were among the performers.

The participants were dressed to impress and showed their pride by flying their flag throughout the New Year’s Eve event.

Jay Upscale, addressing the crowd during the New Year’s countdown, pledged to expand the celebration by replicating this event in major cities like Miami, Boston, and even Haiti and Canada.

Starting at 9:20 p.m. and concluding at 1 a.m., the event received positive feedback from participants interviewed by the Canarsie Courier, expressing satisfaction and anticipation for future gatherings of this caliber.

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