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In Downtown Miami, our Focus On Puerto Rico residency program is in full swing. 


Tom Bogaert, Rocket Number Nine

On his first visit to the Ghetto Biennale in 2013, the Belgian artist Tom Bogaert heard something familiar in the rara marching music he saw being played in the streets of Haiti. Already doing work on the legendary interplanetary jazz legend Sun Ra’s visit to Egypt in the early 1970s, Bogaert read in the dog-eared pages of an old copy of the Lonely Planet that Sun Ra was also rumored to have visited Haiti, perhaps ten years earlier, during his so-called “lost years.” It was even said that Sun Ra might have composed his masterpiece, Rocket Number Nine, in Port-au-Prince. What Bogaert heard in the sounds of the streets made him believe this could be true, and during his return visit to the 4th Ghetto Biennale he determined to find out. In this interview in our rather rainy Radyo Shak Tom discusses his Sun Ra Ra project and ponders the question: could Rocket Number Nine have its roots in Haitian rara? We will let the listeners be the judge.

Pandan premye visit Tom Bogaert te fe pou 3yem Geto Byenal la, atis belj sa-a te tande yon bagay k li te rekonet andan misik rara k li te ankontre nan lari. Li te deja fe anpil travay sou kestyon voyaj misisyen Sun Ra te fe nan Egypt debu zane 70, epi li te we nan yon ansyen kopi gid “Lonely Planet” k Sun Ra te supoze visite Ayiti tou. Yo te di tou k sa te posib k Sun Ra te konpoze chedev li, “Rocket Number 9” nan vil Potoprins la. Sa li te tande nan lari te fel panse k sa te kapab vre, donk pandan retou pal pou 4yem edisyon Byenal la li te vle konpran verite sa-a. Nan yon intervu andan Radyo Shak pandan yon gwo lapli, Bogaert ap diskute pwoje pal sou Sun Ra epi panse nan kestyon—eske “Rocket Number 9” te gen rasin yo nan misik rara tankou “Fize Numewo Nef”? Nap kite ekoute yo deside.



Ghetto Biennale: Radyo Shak


Radyo Shak was the independent broadcast voice of the Ghetto Biennale lakou 2015. Based in a shack in the Grand Rue Atis-Resistans compound of Port-au-Prince, Clocktower Radio's Radyo Shak broadcast Haiti's biennale happenings, from December 10-21, 2015. Radyo Shak Program Director Richard Fleming and Radyo Shak Project Director Jake Nussbaum hosted freeform radio in the bidonville, including Rara bands, interviews with locals, artists and writers, project updates, and Haitian revolutionary history over FM radio, Internet radio, and analog broadcast amplified through speakers and PA. The Kreyòl language programming from the Radyo Shak is available here: Geto Byenal: Radyo Shak (Kreyòl) In addition to the recordings archived here that were collected onsite during the biennale, Clocktower's Ghetto Biennale: Radyo Shak series includes additional material gathered from Haitian musicians, DJ sets, record labels, expats, artists, and more, to give our listeners a complete audio landscape of Haiti in the world today.