13 - December - 2017

Wesli Band

Afro Beat - Reggae - World
From Montreal, Quebec

BIO

Born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Wesli (Wesley Louissaint) built his first guitar out of an old NGO- provided oil can and nylon shoe lace when he was just eight years old. Coming from a family of 7 children where music was a daily food for the soul, it became second nature to him, a unique and vital way out of the violence and misery found in the surrounding ghetto. Wesli’s musical journey started in the gospel choir of his local church and then he adopted the guitar as his main instrument.

Ever since, Wesli has worked relentlessly, perfecting his art, his only hope for a better life. Very early, he took part in serious projects such as the afro-roots Jazz 4ever quartet and SoKute. He performed in many of Haiti’s concert halls and traveled abroad with Kreyol Mizik company. In his teens, Wesli produced and recorded the album Horizon with SoKute. Their soul music gathered wide success and even made them famous outside Haiti.

In 2001, Wesli, the singer, multi-instrumentalist and versatile composer, chose Montréal as a new home. He worked with Productions Nuits d’Afrique and many big festivals such as the Festival international de jazz de Montréal and the Francofolies. He also participated in Calgary’s Afrikadey!, Toronto’s Franco-Fête, Vancouver’s Folk Music Festival, Winnipeg’s Festival du Voyageur, New York City’s APAP and Marseille Babel Med Music in France.

Wesli worked as a guitarist for some the greatest Caribbean artists, namely: Jacky Rapon, Lea Galva, Jocelyn Delormeau, Thierry Cham, Leila Chico, Sonia Dersion and late Edith Leyfel. In Montréal, he played with Lorraine Klaasen, Lilison Di Kinara, Gage, Inword, and Nathalie Choquette. He also shared his strings with some big names from Africa, such as Sekouba Bambino and Monique Seka, while they visited his city. Additionally, Wesli and his band have opened at sold out concerts for Tiken Jah Fakoly and Magic System at Montréal’s L’Olympia, as well as opening for Alpha Blondy at the Métropolis.

Since 2008, Wesli and his band have regularly performed on more than 50 big festival stages across Canada, including some 30 shows every summer. Wesli has appeared on many television and radio shows such as CBC National (both English and French), Belle et Bum, Des kiwis et des hommes, Pour un soir seulement, as well as Studio 12.

Wesli has acquired strong skills and knowledge through these experiences and his debut album, Kouraj (2009), “deals head-on with the struggles of everyday life, including the dire situation in his homeland (extreme poverty, kidnappings, the environment...); but, equally, he stresses the importance of reaching for higher ground [...] The majority of the songs are sung in brilliant Creole and French, with one English cut, “Na wè yo”, that speaks out about the forgotten people of Africa. African instruments (Cora, Balaphone, Calabash, Talking drum), Haitian drums (Manman tambou, Segon, Kata) and stellar guitar and sax solos drive a highly compelling recording.”1 It went on to win 4 stars in the magazine Voir 2 and was nominated for the World Music album of the year at the 2009 Canadian Folk Music Awards. From then on, the musical scene partners have been raving about “the leading voice of Montréal’s world music: maybe even the most promising artist for the world scene.”3 “Wesley Louissaint, is a born entertainer who’s groove machine skilfully cooks up afrobeats, reggae, rock and Haitian Rara into a unique blend of spicy pot-o-feu. »2 Wesli won Radio-Canada (CBC) Revelation of the year 2009-2010, Babel Med Music Award in France and Nominee for the Gala Soba in the World Solo Artist of the Year category.

Be it in an acoustic formation (guitar, voice and percussion) or with his big band, Wesli consistently delivers a rich, festive and uniquely engaging sound. He conquers the heart of his audience through complex musical arrangements and universal messages of hope, truth and peace. Critics have crowned him “the strongest world creature Montréal presently has to offer internationally” Alain Brunet, La Presse4. Wesli was also featured on the cover of Voir Saguenay in August 2011.

The release of his second album, Liberté dans le noir, in December 2011, has confirmed those affirmations. The 17 tracks feature duos with many major bands and artists: the great Tiken Jah Fakoly, Mes Aïeux, Radio Radio, Paul Cargnello, Boogat and Karma Atchykah.

Already it has gathered much success:
Top 25 Album of the year 2011, Voir.ca newspaper (barely 6 days after its release) Top 3 World Music Album of the Year 2011, Le Devoir newspaper
4.5 stars Album Ranking, Voir.ca
4 stars Album Ranking, 24h Montréal
The song « Né sous le soleil » was Top #1 for over a week, followed by Top #2, right behind La Bottine souriante over the Holidays 2011, EspaceMusique.ca

Moreover, Wesley Louissaint has produced, composed and arranged musical creations for films, including CBC’s documentary about Dany Laferrière. He composed, with Arianne Moffat, Nomadic Massive and Doba, the popular song « Nap chante pou Ayiti » the day after the earthquake in Haiti, on January 12th 2010.

He also collaborated with other Montréal artists as an artistic director and composer, namely for Senaya (Garde la tête haute, 2005) and Sara Rénélik (Aube, 2006); as well as working as a musical director for Line 1 Company.

 

SunFest Website http://www.sunfest.on.ca/festival/performers/wesli 

Voir’s Kouraj review, Ralph Bloncy http://voir.ca/fiches/cd/wesli-kouraj/

3 Article by Yves Bernard, Le Devoir http://www.ledevoir.com/culture/musique/338461/wesli-fin-pret- pour-la-prochaine-etape

4 Article by Alain Brunet, La Presse http://blogues.cyberpresse.ca/brunet/2011/01/09/wesli-pret-pour-la- planete/

5 Article by Joël Martel, Voir http://voir.ca/musique/2011/08/18/tam-tam-macadam-wesli-le-fameux- destin-de-wesli/

Watch A Video

Gigs

summer 2013 tour - Montreal, Quebec Canada - Saturday, June 1, 2013

alliance Française tour - Haiti, Haiti - Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Band Members

Wesley Louissaint. Sanya Michèle Elie
Kattam Laraki-cote.André Désilet.David Mobio.Rachel Therrien.Frantz.Daryl Meili

Manager

Melanie Desjardins
Rubis Varia
www.rubisvaria.com
Email: melanie@rubisvaria.com
Phone: 514-932-8342 ext.230
Mobile: 514-214-3052
100 sherbrooke est Montreal, Quebec
Canada, H2X 1C3

Discography

Liberte dans le noir
independent, 2011

Kouraj
independent, 2009