When the Drum is Beating
Since 1948, Orchestre Septentrional has been one of Haiti's most popular and celebrated bands, fusing Latin jazz with African rhythms and creating music that's dense, energetic and full of passionate joy. Filmmaker Whitney Dow chronicles Orchestre Septentrional's long and remarkable history in the documentary When The Drum Is Beating. While examining the formation of the group, the many musicians that have been part of the ensemble, their adventures in the music business and their lasting popularity, When The Drum Is Beating also uses their story as a framework to explore the often tragic history of Haiti and the many changes the nation has gone through, from slavery and revolution to dictatorship, massive political corruption, poverty and natural disasters. At the same time, the film celebrates the resiliency that has allowed the nation, its people and their music to survive despite it all. When The Drum Is Beating was an official selection at the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival.