The Kennedy Center



BélO, Haiti’s outspoken groove innovator, interweaves the Afro-Caribbean depths of Haitian tradition with a progressive voice for social and political transformation at home and abroad. A singer, songwriter and guitarist, BélO keeps the socially conscious spirit of reggae alive, while drawing on the vibrant sounds of his artsy native town of Croix des Bouquet, and a globally informed, upbeat pan-African vibe.

Based in Pétion Ville, Haiti’s music central, and equally at home among the Afro-French communities around the world, BélO finds powerful sonic ties that span the Atlantic and powerful ways to move audiences, to action and to sing along. His Kreyol lyrics reflect the complexities, joys and struggles of Haiti today.

Hailed as Haiti’s musical ambassador he is a spokesperson for the Haitian Red Cross, UNICEF, is an official advocate for Haiti’s disabled, and a patron of “Hope for Haiti.” These commitments are evident in BélO’s polished, often urgent, always catchy songs, and fuel his onstage presence. Whether playing on a porch or for presidents, BélO longs to engage his audience in ways that go beyond culture and language.

“I was chosen to be an activist artist,” exclaims BélO. “It would be easier to earn more money or be more popular doing love songs. But I was born an activist musician. I live it, I feel it, and I have a vision.”

Haiti Debout (Haiti Stand Up!), BélO’s third album, was released in 2011 and is dedicated to Haiti and the strength of the Haitian people. A lyric from Wozo (Reed), one of record’s many fine tracks, captures its spirit: "Ou se wozo ... ou mèt tande'w pliye, ou pap kase." "You are a reed. You will bend, but you will not break.”