All the exuberance of Haitian Carnival and New Orleans Mardi Gras is coming to The Fillmore Philadelphia on Sunday, January 9, 2022, when Philadelphia public radio station WXPN presents the Kanaval Ball. The public is invited to attend this free, all-ages indoor festival and can register for it starting at 10 AM ET this Thursday, December 9.
A first for Philadelphia, the Kanaval Ball will recreate the New Orleans celebrations that take place prior to Mardi Gras, and recognize the deep Haitian roots of that city's cultural identity. New Orleans-based, world renowned Preservation Hall Jazz Band, and the prominent Haitian bands RAM and Boukman Eksperyans, will perform. Adding to the joyous carnival celebration will be the Haitian folkloric dance company Nadia Dieudonné & Feet of Rhythm, known for the energy of its dancers and drummers, as well as a DJ, festive Haitian-themed decor, and more.
“Kanaval Ball will bring the joy and celebratory spirit of Haitian Carnival and Mardi Gras to Philadelphia, with performances from amazing musicians from both Haiti and New Orleans,” said WXPN General Manager Roger LaMay. “Attendees will experience the mission of our Kanaval project: to illuminate Haiti’s continuing impact on New Orleans music and culture.”
Kanaval Ball will cap WXPN’s year-long project Kanaval: Haitian Rhythms and the Music of New Orleans. This project has explored Haiti’s unique influence on the music of New Orleans through WXPN’s production of a radio documentary that aired nationwide during Black History Month; its Nou La series of short films celebrating Haitian Americans in Philly; special Haitian Flag Day and XPoNential Music Festival performances by Haitian-American artist Paul Beaubrun; and the presentation of the original theatrical piece, Breaking the Thermometer to Hide the Fever, which chronicled a pivotal moment in Haiti’s recent history, at Fringe Arts in Philadelphia. As part of its outreach efforts to the local Haitian community, WXPN assembled and consulted an advisory group to gain insights and facilitate conversations supporting this project.
Doors will open for the all-ages Kanaval Ball at 4 PM ET on Sunday, Jan. 9 at The Fillmore Philadelphia (29 East Allen Street, Philadelphia, PA, 19123). The Fillmore’s safety guidelines can be found here. Mardi Gras and Carnival-themed attire is encouraged, but not required.
Major support for Kanaval: Haitian Rhythms and the Music of New Orleans has been provided by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, with additional funding from the Wyncote Foundation. The Kanaval audio documentary was also supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Event information is available at http://wx.pn/kanavalball. More info about the Kanaval project is at xpnkanaval.org. Follow WXPN on social media, including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. For ways to stream WXPN, visit https://xpn.org/about-xpn/ways-to-stream-wxpn.