As part of a series about Kanaval, produced by New Orleans based producer Eve Abrams for WWNO, Abrams – who was a producer on the team that produced the Kanaval documentary, presents a conversation with New Orleans’ resident Al Grandoit (pictured above/photo by Eve Abrams) during a walk along the kanaval parade route in New Orleans, in February, 2020.
Grandoit was born in Boston, to Haitian immigrant parents. He spent several years growing up in Port au Prince with family, and he’s lived in New Orleans for 12 years. “I fell in love with the city, the culture,” he says, about moving to New Orleans. “It was just amazing to see the connections with Haiti.”
Dressed up as Toussaint Louverture, the leader of the Haitian revolution, Grandoit talks about the revolution and the spirit of kanaval. Listen to the story below.
This interview is part of a series – Exploring The Deep Ties Between New Orleans and Haiti – Eve Abrams produced for WWNO in New Orleans, in collaboration with the Kanaval project producers at WXPN in Philadelphia. This series was produced by Abrams as part of WXPN’S Kanaval: Haitian Rhythms & the Music of New Orleans, which has been supported by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage.