History and Philosophy
In the spring of 2004, a group of friends accidentally started to meet every Friday simply to “hang out”, with no specific purpose. At times, they would watch music videos, sports, or discuss various topics ranging from family issues, acculturation, the US economy and its occurrences, to, inevitably, Haiti. The discussions about Haiti were positive in nature because the unplanned focus was “the good old days”, including the growing experiences and the many activities which constitute the fond memories that they and so many other Haitian-Americans keep within themselves as a treasure.
After Gregor Blaise dug his 25 year-old High School Band saxophone out of his Miami home garage, jamming to Les Shleu Shleu, Les Ambassadeurs and Les Fantaisistes old songs started. Eddy (Didy) Altiné brought in the groove and the guitar solos, Jean Kerby Baton added the needed bass, Edouard Leon and Patrick Louis took their roles as percussionists and all, they formed the group PNP-Plezi’n Nap Pran with Pantal Guilbaud and Philippe Carrie as vocalists. PNP members then engaged in the interpretation of tunes from Tabou Combo, Skah Shah, Les Shleu Shleu, Les Fantaisistes, Les Ambassadeurs, Ibo Combo, Les Difficiles, Nemours Jean-Baptiste, Webert Sicot, Septentrional, and Pepe Bayard/Gary French. The purpose had then become self-explanatory: The weekly gathering was for the release of stress from work, family/children, bills/financial obligations, changes in the US, career uncertainties, deterioration of Haiti, etc.
On July 10th, 2004, PNP performed for the first time for about 100 guests at Greg Blaise’s house in Kendall. That performance led to many others during which we had professional guest musicians such as Georges Loubert Chancy, Ardouin Doudou Chancy, Dadou and Tico Pasquet, Gaguy Dépestre, Yvon Kapi André, Serge Guerrier, Fungcap, Smith Jean-Baptiste, Ricot Mazarin, José Tavernier, Michel Pressoir, Joe Trouillot, Arius Joseph, Eddy Germain, Alix Nozile and Richard Duroseau, to name a few. These musicians are PNP’s friends and honorary members. PNP performs 2-3 times a month.
PNP’s philosophy is as follows:
• PNP is a musical group that provides professional entertainment.
• PNP plays upon request only.
• PNP, the Retro Master interprets Haitian, French, American and Spanish songs from the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s and 80’s.