Dominica’s Creole culture is a fusion of African, European and even indigenous influences, has been around for centuries in Dominica, and it continues to be an important part of the island’s culture.
The influence of Jazz and Creole can be seen in many aspects of Dominica’s culture, including its music, dance, food, and art. For example, the annual Jazz ‘n Creole Festival is a major event in Dominica, and it features a variety of jazz and creole musicians from Dominica and around the world. The festival also features traditional creole food and fashion.
Creole cultural activist, songwriter, singer, performer and “culture media” service provider Gregory Rabess is one of the artists whose work has been influenced by both of these elements, which are themselves the results of migration movements through the centuries. Rabess shares his perspective:
Rabess, known also to some as “Woshe La” – a name which derives from one of his songs, explains the impact of jazz on his own music and creative process:
Dominica’s culture has definitely been and continues to be influenced by historical migration flows. This Creole culture has helped to make Dominica a unique and vibrant island.
As we celebrate the annual “Jazz season” in Dominica, the International Organization for Migration (IOM-UN Migration) reminds us that migrants help cities to thrive and become more vibrant, successful centres of economy and life – which aligns with Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) #17.
If the basic foundation is laid, where migrants have access to pathways for regular migration, and the basic necessities to fulfill their rights and their responsibilities, migrants will be empowered to contribute positively to developing themselves, and their home & host economies.
Listen to music from Gregory Rabess here: https://www.youtube.com/@gregoryrabess