Aztec Two-Step, Jen Chapin among performers at 7th Concert for Haiti

Rex Fowler, left, and Neal Shulman of Aztec Two-Step.

Rex Fowler, left, and Neal Shulman of Aztec Two-Step.

Like previous editions of the annual Concert for Haiti, the seventh event in the series, which takes place at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Montclair on Jan. 30, will feature a combination of national and local artists, including some musicians who are popular within the Haitian-American community.

The veteran folk duo Aztec Two-Step will perform, as will Jen Chapin, the daughter the late Harry Chapin and a critically acclaimed singer-songwriter in her own right; the Haitian roots-rock band Zing Experience; and Haiti’s Richard “Earthman” Laurent, who will sing with his daughter, Soleil Laurent.

Representing the local community will be jazz singer Melissa Walker (accompanied by students in her Montclair-based Jazz House Kids program); Cajun/country/Zydeco band Big Mamou; Montclair High School’s a cappella group Passing Notes; and a group featuring Cantor Meredith Greenberg, Leora Perlman, Bob Mellman and Peri Smilow from Temple Ner Tamid in Bloomfield, accompanied by Tom Parente.

Paul Beaubrun of Zing Experience.

Paul Beaubrun of Zing Experience.

The Unitarian Universalist Congregation is at 67 Church St. Advance tickets, priced at $25 (they will be $30 at the door), are available via or at Watchung Booksellers in Montclair.

Proceeds will go to WhyHunger, which fights hunger in the United States, Haiti and elsewhere; The Edeyo Foundation, which provides education, food, water and social support for impoverished children in Haiti; The Haitian Education Leadership Program; and Lamp for Haiti, which offers medical care and humanitarian assistance in its Cité Soleil Health Clinic.

The concert, first organized as a a relief effort after the earthquake that devastated Haiti in 2010, is presented by in partnership with the Haitian American Committee. “The Concert for Haiti brings together community members who care deeply about people and places beyond their  borders,” said organizer Cindy Stagoff. “We celebrate Haitian music and art and enjoy the collaborate efforts that always happen when the concert’s Haitian artists connect with some of our folk and jazz musicians.”

Those interested in becoming  sponsors can email Stagoff at Stagoff, a lawyer who lives in Montclair, is a board member of the Outpost in the Burbs and the advertising and marketing director for

"Opening Night Study #2," by Francks Deceus.

“Opening Night” (study), #2,” by Francks Deceus.

11/27 UPDATE: Budd Mishkin of the cable channel, NY1, will be hosting the event, and the Haitian-American painter Francks F. Deceus, who currently lives in Brooklyn, will be displaying his work, with 25 percent of the proceeds from his sales going to the cause.

Deceus, who lives in Brooklyn, has had his work displayed in group exhibitions at the Brooklyn, the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts in Brooklyn, and the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis.

“As a Haitian immigrant or ‘refugee,’ as I was sometimes referred to while growing up in Brooklyn during the 1980s, it was difficult to maintain explicit social and cultural ties to more than one place at a time,” Deceus has written. “This created a constant struggle with identity and acceptance. … I have always been interested in events and issues that affect large groups of people simultaneously.”

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1 comment

Perry October 29, 2015 - 11:12 am

We have made it our business to attend this benefit concert for many years. It is always a wonderful event. The media and people in general have to… put politely a short memory. The problems in Hati will be there for many years this concert raises awareness and funds for this very worthy cause. It also has a tendency to sell out so get your tickets now.


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