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Bart Hoen  

musician, French Guiana

Left to Right: Ruhiyyih, Bart Hoen and Toroa.
Photo: Sonja van Kerkhoff, 2005.

Photo by Bart Hoen.
The photo is of one of the members of a group of Steel Pan players in French Guiana. Steel Pan is a Trinadadian tradition but has a few aficionados in this country who occasionally play for the carnival and other events.

Letter from Bart Hoen, French Guiana
I've been playing with our African drum group of 7 people since Istvan Dely, a Hungaro-Cuban trained resident of Colombia visited French Guyana and initiated some youth during a Pearls of the Caribbean teaching project. A few full moons ago, we added the guitar for the first time. The lead drummer plays a wonderful African style guitar, and I brought my little amp so we could hear it above the drums. The Malian drummer's wife sang, we had about 4 djembés, a Djabara (shaker), a doundoun (big bass rhythm drum), a recorder, and some bells (pieces of iron that we "clang" for the rhythm). And for the first time, I brought my whole family, my wife, my two daughters, a neighbour boy, and a girl in the DDW [Diversity Dance Workshop) dance group. My kids all have basic notions about drumming, and so while the "pros" practised, they accompanied. African music is very good in that way, it allows people to participate, dancing, singing, rhythmically and instrumentally. One daughter likes dancing, the other likes the rhythm. Our neighbours are Malian Moslems, very nice people, the DDW dance group had danced at their Tabaski festival. We hope that with our contacts of friendship and solidarity, we can invite the group to play for the opening of the Bahá'í Center in Cayenne.

Arts Dialogue, June 2001, page 2.

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