Primary Instrument: Band/ensemble/orchestra
Boukman Eksperyans ushered in a musical revolution during the late-'80s with their Grammy-nominated debut album, “Voudou Adjae.” This brilliant release introduced the world to Boukman's signature worldly high energy sound that fuses traditional Haitian and Caribbean rhythms with rock and reggae, all the while spreading their spiritual message. “Voudou Adjae” brought the band international prominence and made them spokespeople for the common Haitian.
Boukman take their name from a Vodou priest who helped to unify the Haitian slaves. The slave leader led the revolution against the French colonists which ended in 1804 with the former slaves victoriously forming the first Black republic in the world. Boukman Eksperyans spread their Vodou unifying spiritual message throughout the world with their artful blend of traditional Haitian rhythms with rock, reggae, and Caribbean sounds.
Boukman Eksperyans became Haiti's leading advocates for social reform in 1990 when they released the song Ke-m Pa Sote, which dealt with the horrendous living conditions in Haiti as a product of the oppressive government. The message resonated with other Haitians and was rapidly incorporated into the repertoires of other Haitian bands. Their 1992 album, “Kalfou Danjere/Dangerous Crossroads,” was met with death threats, phone taps, and a radio ban by the military authorities due to its violent nature.
Since their emergence on the scene, Boukman has continued to wake-up the masses by releasing countless critically acclaimed albums, including “Libete (Pran Pou'l!)/Freedom (Let's Take It)” (1995, recorded at Bob Marley's Tuff Gong studio), “Revolution” (1998, recorded at fellow Haitian Wyclef Jean's studio), and “Live at Red Rocks” (1999, recorded live at the famed Red Rocks amphitheater in Colorado). They have also performed worldwide everywhere from Haiti (where they draw tens of thousands of fans per show) to the Caribbean, throughout North America, Canada, Europe, Japan, and Africa both as a headlining act and alongside The Fugees, Oumou Sangare, Femi Kuti, and Baba Maal.
In 2009 Boukman Eksperyans released La Révolte Des Zombies, proving they have lost none of their legendary punch. Lyrics are in a mixture of French, Creole and English as the group combine their signature voodoo rock with hard-nosed influences. Meanwhile, the Haitian group's arrangements are charged with a powerful new force.
Boukman Eksperyans' musicality and political courage has made them the most popular roots band in Haiti.