Sharing Grandmothers

Sharing Grandmothers is an original, multidisciplinary piece that features two female artists – one from Africa and one from the African Diaspora – who are songwriters, musicians, storytellers, and dancers, as well as culture bearers of traditional Black artistic practices.

The project brings together two multidisciplinary artists who each embrace a rich cultural heritage and mastery of traditional songs, stories, rhythms and dances from their respective cultures. The intent of this collaboration is to devise a song cycle with a theatrical structure around music and lyrics, which serves as a vehicle to discuss issues that women face globally, and particularly speak to the double oppression of Black women both in the U.S. and Africa.

Inez Barlatier is a 1st generation Ayisyen-American (Haitian-American) multidisciplinary artist. Inez performs as a singer-songwriter, rhythm guitarist, recording artist, percussionist, dancer, actress and a hand drum instructor. She has performed nationally and internationally with Kazoots, Jan Sebon & Kazak International, Venus Rising Women’s Drum & Dance Ensemble and One Drum, as well as appearing as a solo musician and with her own band. Inez began her music career at the age of 12 years old as a member of her father’s band, Jan Sebon & Kazak International.  CBS 4 News Miami featured Inez and her work as a TYA artist in a segment called “Miami Proud” in December 2019. Her work has also been showcased on National Public Radio (NPR), WLRN (Miami), WDNA (Florida), Complex TV, Island TV, The Miami New Times and The Miami Herald. She was awarded a L.E.A.P. grant from Miami Theater Center which sponsored a children’s educational and interactive show entitled “Ayiti, the Pearl of the Antilles” produced and directed by Inez. The Knight Foundation partnered with Miami Light Project awarded Inez with a Knight Arts Champion grant in December 2017 resulting in her debut EP entitled MOUN | MOON co-produced by James Valsin. Her lifelong passion and exposure to multicultural and folkloric music is reimagined in her work creating fresh yet nostalgic and often emotional experiences. While performing internationally, Inez works as an accountant, a teaching artist, a drum circle leader, an actress and dancer. Her theatrical portfolio includes the presentation in Cuba, El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua of “Writing in Sand”, a 3-women play written and directed by Carlos Caballero of FUNDarte, and upcoming contemporary works written and directed by award winning playwright, Teo Castellanos.  Inez strives to positively impact the lives of women and girls using the arts as a tool for self-empowerment.

LORNOAR (Berthe Lebah Etono) is a singer, songwriter and dancer from Cameroon. Born and raised in Yaoundé, the capital city, she began her career at an early age. She made her debut as a professional singer in 2007, being featured in a prominent local night-club and was hired by a famous band that offered her the opportunity to tour extensively throughout the country and to back vocally most of Cameroon’s greatest singers. In 2010 she won First Prize in the nationwide competition of female voices “MASSAO” in Douala, and in July 2011 released her first solo album, earning numerous hyperbolic reviews. Her first video clip “Ote Ben Ma” was released in January 2012, followed by a second clip with her hit song “ZEN”. A popular TV show “Rendezvous with Lornoar” has been aired on the National TV Channel. In 2012 she toured through Paris, and in 2014 she performed in various venues in Harlem and Greenwich Village in New York. There, she recorded her second album «100%» under the supervision of the great bass player from Cameroon Francis Mbappe and Michael Jackson’s percussionist Bashiri Johnson (including the popular title and musical video “Moment in The Sun”, featuring US hip hop star Freedom Williams). That same year she performed before the General Assembly of the United Nations in New York at the Official Launch of the International Decade for People of African Descent. Since then she has toured extensively in Europe and African countries. In July 2017, she represented Cameroon in the” Chanson” category at the 8th Francophone Games in Ivory Coast. She was officially selected for the 10th edition of MASA (Marché des Arts du Spectacle Africain), World’s greatest market for African Performing Arts and is included in the official selection of 5 major Festival and Markets in various international cities. Lornoar’s work builds on the legacy of African oral heritage. Her music is made of various rhythms: from bikutsi to bossa nova, through makossa, batanga, ekank, ekomot, mbalax and reggae, even including highlife and pop. From her cabaret years she has retained a strong stage presence and the ability to adapt to any kind of musicians and audiences, which helped her enjoy great success in Europe and the USA.

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