Wyclef Jean brings his "Carnival" to Saint Michael's

COLCHESTER -- The Saint Michaels College Student Association is sponsoring a concert by the hip-hop rap star Wyclef Jean on Friday, April 4, in the Ross Sports Center on the college campus. Doors open at 7 p.m., Wyclef Jean begins at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20 for Saint Michaels students and employees and can be purchased in the Saint Michaels bookstore. Tickets are $30 for all others, and can be purchased at http://smc.frontgatetickets.com/choose.php?lid=20612. Former lead Fugees rapper and sometime guitarist, Wyclef Jean made his first solo recording in 1997 and has since recorded seven CDs, staged big benefit shows, and produced work for some of the best artists of the day. Wyclef Jeans own recordings include The Carnival (Columbia, 1997), The Ecleftic: 2 Sides II a Book (Columbia, 2000), Masquerade (Columbia, 2002), The Preacher's Son (J, 2003), Greatest Hits (Columbia, 2003), Welcome to Haiti: Creole 101 (Koch, 2004), and Carnival Vol. II: Memoirs of an Immigrant (Columbia, 2007) According to Steve Huey in All Music Guide, Wyclef also became hip-hop's unofficial multicultural conscience, engaging in numerous high-profile charity benefit shows for a variety of causes, including aid for his native Haiti. He was nominated for Best Hip-Hop Act at the 2000 MTV Europe Music Awards. In 2005, he earned a Golden Globe nomination for his track entitled Million Voices featured on the soundtrack to the film Hotel Rwanda. Steve Huey says in All Music Guide that Wyclef Jean fuses his hip-hop beginnings with as many different musical styles as he can get his hands on, though, given his Caribbean roots, reggae is a favorite. Jean has worked as a producer and remixer with an array of pop, R&B, and hip-hop talent, including Whitney Houston, Santana, and Destiny's Child, among many others. The son of a minister, Wyclef Jean was born in Croix-des-Bouquets, Haiti, in 1972. When he was nine, his family moved to the Marlborough projects in Brooklyn. By his teenage years, Jean had moved to New Jersey, taken up the guitar, and begun studying jazz through his high schools music department. In 1987, Jean formed a group with his cousin and high school classmate that evolved into the Fugees. The trio signed with Ruffhouse Records in 1993 and released their debut album, Blunted on Reality. They hit their stride with their next release, The Score, that sounded like nothing else on the hip-hop landscape in 1996, said musicologist Steve Huey. Hit singles like "Fu-Gee-La" and "Killing Me Softly," turned The Score into a chart-topping phenomenon. With sales of over six million copies, The Score still ranks as one of the biggest-selling rap albums of all time. Turned soloist, Wyclef Jean brought out The Carnival in 1997 which included the hit single We Trying to Stay Alive, that Steve Huey says recast the Bee Gees' signature disco tune as a ghetto empowerment anthem. Another single on The Carnival, the Grammy-nominated Gone Till November, was recorded with part of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra. Those two songs helped push The Carnival into Top 20, triple-platinum sales. Jeans Masquerade, released in 2002, presents worldbeat fusions, re-worked songs by Bob Dylan and Frankie Valli, and guest parts by Tom Jones and Israeli violinist Miri Ben-Ari. In 2003, Jean released The Preacher's Son, and an album of traditional Haitian Creole music, Welcome to Haiti: Creole 101. In 2007, he released a sequel to his first album, this one, Carnival, Vol. 2: Memoirs of an Immigrant, with a diverse guest list, including Akon, Mary J. Blige, Norah Jones, Shakira, Paul Simon, and Sizzla. For further information contact the Saint Michaels College Student Association at 802-654-2304 or email at studentassociation@smcvt.edu

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