Jean-Baptiste Nemours

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Slowing down the rhythms and simplifying the melodies of the merengue, Jean-Baptise Nemours created a new style of dance music, konpa, and ushered the music of Haiti into modern times. With its straight-ahead…
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Slowing down the rhythms and simplifying the melodies of the merengue, Jean-Baptise Nemours created a new style of dance music, konpa, and ushered the music of Haiti into modern times. With its straight-ahead beat propelled by bass drum, snare drum, hi hat, and cowbells, the musical style had dancers on their feet throughout the late '50s and '60s. A regular performer at functions for dictator Francois Duvalier, Nemours challenged Les Jazz De Jeune and saxophonist Webert Scott's Super Ensemble Compas Direct for the right to be called "most successful band in Haiti."