Home > February 2010 Haiti Trip > Hangin’ with a Rock Star in Haiti

Hangin’ with a Rock Star in Haiti

Jorel Carte is a rock star in Haiti.

I say that figuratively, but it’s pretty close to dead-on in some of the communities he belongs to.

I first had the opportunity to meet Jorel in Tampa about a year ago. My buddy Andy Hafer had run into him on a prior trip to Haiti and invited him to stay at his home if he should ever be in Florida. Jorel brought his accordion along and, though he only stayed a couple of nights, we had the chance to get to know each other and jam. I knew that when I visited Haiti one day I would see him.

That almost didn’t happen. On the late afternoon of January 12, Jorel was attending university class on the third floor of a continued education building in Port-au-Prince. Moments before the big quake hit, he stepped outside – leaving his shoes and books behind – to get better reception for a cell phone call. The building collapsed and many perished.

Jorel is on the part-time staff of The Lazarus Project. He possesses an amazing gift of music that he shares with the children at The Village of Hope school and church, and the handicapped orphans at the Little Children of Jesus orphanage (more on that later).

When he found out we were in town, Jorel rode his bike about 12 miles out to where we were staying. I walked into the orphanage with him and saw first-hand the looks on the kids’ (and staff members’) faces. His personality glows, and positive energy emanates from his broad smile. He fires up the room with music that makes you want to jump up and down.

When I get around to encoding the 40 GB of video from this trip, I’ll show you what I mean. But in the meantime, here’s a more tranquil clip from his 2009 trip to Tampa. Enjoy!

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  1. February 25, 2010 at 1:50 am

    Keep the memories coming Paul. This is great.

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