Haitian hip-hop artist Vox Sambou offers an inspiring mix of powerful music and social action, pointing to the great possibilities of blending the arts with community activism. A key hip-hop figure in Montreal, Vox is a member of the celebrated ensemble Nomadic Massive and assisted in launching the Solid'Ayiti initiative after the devastating earthquake hit Haiti last winter.
I curled my body around some blue-jean-covered legs as the human attached to them started to read a copy of The New York Times pulled from the antique rack in the cramped lobby of the most famous literary landmark in Manhattan, The Algonquin Hotel. A momentary purr slipped out as I cosied up to watch the morning hubbub begin. It was a few weeks before my historic home would celebrate its 107th birthday.
I was privileged over the summer to be allowed to drop in on Toronto's Girls Rock Camp, hopscotching from room to room as various groups were working out songs. It was a marvel to witness girls teaming up musically:
"Well I think it might work better in F-sharp."
"You think so? Let's try it." (they jam)
"Or maybe we can try this chord?" (audio sample)
"Oh that works better!"