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Haitian singer/songwriter BélO melds reggae and jazz with other musical genres - rock, worldbeat, "Rara" traditional Vodou rhythms - in a style known as "Ragganga."
It's a potent sound, but it's not just the music that makes his work soar. His lyrics are as socially conscious as he is; his debut album "Lakou trankil (Quiet Streets)," for instance, dealt with the problems facing Haiti.
BélO, now 33, won Prix Radio France International Discoveries of 2006.
He will give a concert Friday at Connecticut College. His performance is part of Center Stage, an initiative of the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, administered by the New England Foundation for the Arts, in cooperation with the U.S. Regional Arts Organizations.
BélO also appears in performance at noon today as part of The Day's "Live Lunch Break" series streaming at theday.com.
- KRISTINA DORSEY
BélO, 8 p.m. Friday, Evans Hall, Connecticut College, Mohegan Avenue, New London; $22, $20 seniors, $11 students, $20 faculty/staff, $18 senior faculty/staff; (860) 439-2787, onstage.conncoll.edu.