Orchestre Septentrional, a Haitian institution

A hybrid of the Symphonia Trio and the Septentrional Quartet, the current Septentrional Orchestra, or Septen, as they are lovingly called by fans, began as a one-off collaboration to create a dance which would generate income. The success of this venture saw the two groups and their two guests permanently joined in July of 1948. Their continued domination of the music scene in Haiti, and its far-reaching Diaspora, makes them one of the most influential musical groups in Haitian music.


Marie jose, Orchestre Septentrional D'haiti:

For many years and through the recording of over 300 titles, Septen has woven its distinct, drum-driven sound, filled with vibrant horns, into Haitian consciousness. Heavily influenced by Latin sounds like bolero, meringue, mambo, etc. the band would later also takes its cues from the newly popular konpa music that was sweeping across Haiti.

More music videos from Orchestre Septentrional

Perhaps just as interesting as their sound is the groups longevity, earned through their decisive business method that has seen fresh faces and talent take up the mantle from the older generation, turning the band into an institution, a move which has kept them vibrant, current and alive for many decades. Throughout the advent of a 30 year dictatorship under the Duvalier family, intervention from a foreign country, the changeover of government 26 times, the tragedy of the 2010 earthquake and a cholera epidemic, the band has played on.

Septentrional Music Videos....

A 2012 documentary called, 'When the Drum is Beating' was made by Whitney Dow and played on PBS, featuring the band and their distinct 'rhythm of fire' sound, which has garnered them the name, 'the Ball of Fire of Haiti'. It chronicles their journey, hitting points like the loss of Roger Colas.

GASON DJE DJE (live) - Orchestre Septentrional d'Haiti

More great Haitian music in video...

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