The name “Wesli” is predicted to become a household name after winning the Canadian Junot Award in 2019 for World Music Album of the Year (“Rapadou Kreyol”). Phantom Theater is producing the concert on Saturday, August 17, as a fundraiser to purchase lights for the Edgcomb Barn where productions are held.
Artistic director Tracy Martin met Wesli when she was visiting Montreal, and he offered to come and play in Vermont, a “place he loves.”
A native of Haiti who has made Canada his adopted country, Wesli’s music links Haitian vaudou and rara with reggae, Afrobeat and hip-hop. His latest album aims to give a new mainstream life to rhythms and instruments that have been neglected as Haiti faces an onslaught of global commercial music and culture. He weaves contemporary messages into traditional forms, keeping a wide range of roots percussion at the heart of open-eared arrangements.
“One unique thing we do in all the various genres we play,” Wesli said, “is dance! We dance to everything in Haiti.” He and the seven-member band accompanying him will play at Mad River Park on August 17 at 8 p.m. The gate opens at 7 p.m., where Lawson’s will be selling drinks. Chairs will be available, but concertgoers may bring their own.
Tickets are available by going to sevendaystickets.com/events/Wesli-8-1702019. A ticket comes with two drinks and an opportunity to meet with the musician, and there are also less expensive tickets online. Tickets can also be purchased at the gate the eve of the concert with cash, check or Venmo. Go to www.phantomtheater.org for more information.