Emeline Michel’s Concert at Kings County Hospital


Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Program and Kings County Hospital made history with an unprecedented concert, featuring Emeline Michel, at the hospital, on June 4, 2010.  The concert’s concept was Healing for Haiti and Emeline stayed in tune with that reference as she sang original and traditional songs that described: Haiti, the resilience of the Haitian people and her longing for positive changes.  Her voice was pure and captivating as ever, full of nuance, tone, and comprising of the fundamental elements of melody, harmony and rhythm. 

            In parallel, she displayed her repertoire of some of the different styles of Haitian, folkloric dance as well as her signature as a dancer that she was not known to be, until then.  “Mais” and “yanvalou” were on the top of the list; dance steps that crossed the Atlantic Ocean hundreds of years ago. “This concert was a true gift to the Haitian community,” someone commented “and a commendable act by the sponsors who, in some way, struck a keynote in combining art with the initial efforts of rebuilding Haiti.”

            The auditorium was quickly filled with individuals eager to see and listen to Emeline again. While the audience was mostly of Haitian descent, the international presence, just like what was portrayed on TV, in the aftermath of the earthquake, was comparable.   That everyone applauded and enjoyed Emeline’s performance was not a surprise; it was not either unexpected to hear here and there: “I wish it were much longer”.  This is always the general comment after every Emeline Michel’s performance. 

            Kings County hospital’s staff did an excellent job! One can only hope that a similar concert with the spirit of healing can happen again at the Hospital, but for those who had the opportunity to attend this concert, it was indeed a healing and memorable event. As the Master of Ceremonies, I had the best of it. Emeline Michel will perform at Jacobi Hospital, free of charge, on November 3, 2010. RSVP is required via (718) 918-3827.

Herold Simon, M.D.