Though she has no roots in the region herself (that we know of), Lauryn Hill has long been a patron of Caribbean art and culture. As one-third of The Fugees, she was the lone non-Haitian in a group that brought the Caribbean immigrant experience to the world, creating a new lane for soulful hip-hop. As a solo artist, she recorded much of her debut album, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, at Tuff Gong Studios with some of Jamaica’s top musicians, including Earl “Chinna” Smith and Dean Fraser, taking inspiration from reggae and dancehall on tracks like “Lost Ones.”
More recently, she has surrounded herself with Caribbean performers in her current touring band, which includes Belize-born DJ Rampage and Guyanese dancer/singer Shakira Marshall, among others. Next week, she heads to Tobago for the Tobago Jazz Experience, where she’ll perform on a bill that also features soca stars Destra, Patrice Roberts and Benjai, in her first solo appearance in Trinidad & Tobago.
In conjunction with her appearance at Brooklyn’s Kings Theatre this week, Ms. Hill has co-curated Diaspora Calling, a showcase of contemporary artists from the African diaspora, with a special focus on art and artists from Haiti. The show, in partnership with MoCADA, Haiti Cultural Exchange, and Nader Haitian Art, will transform the grand lobby of the newly-restored, 1920s-era theater into a gallery featuring work from artists including Nadine Renazile, Jean-Baptiste Bottex, Francks Deceus, Mireille Delice, Maksaens Denis, G.E Ducasse, Shakespeare Guirand and André Pierre.
Public viewing hours are on Thursday April 14th and Friday April 15th, from 1-4pm. Ms. Hill performs Friday night, April 15th, at 9p.m.