Manno Charlemagne

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Manno Charlemagne
Manno 3.jpg
Manno Charlemagne
Born Joseph Emmanuel Charlemagne
April 14, 1948[1]
Port-au-Prince, Haiti
Died December 10, 2017 (aged 69)
Miami Beach, Florida, U.S.
Occupation Singer, songwriter, acoustic guitarist, activist, politician

Joseph Emmanuel "Manno" Charlemagne (April 14, 1948[2] – December 10, 2017)[3] was a Haitian political folk singer, songwriter and acoustic guitarist, political activist and politician. He recorded his political chansons in both French and in Creole. He lived abroad in exile twice, both during the 1980s and again during the years 1991–1994, when the country was ruled by a military junta led by Raoul Cédras.

Early life[edit]

Charlemagne grew up in Carrefour, to the south of the capital of Port-au-Prince, where he was influenced as much by the songs of the peasants who moved into the area in search of a livelihood, as by his Catholic school choir. Raised by his aunt, he did not know who is father was until he was 37 years old.[4]

Political career[edit]

In 1986, after the fall of the Duvalier dictatorship, Charlemagne organized a youth group and choir in his old neighborhood, Carrefour. For a brief time following Bertrand Aristide's landslide victory on 16 December 1990, Charlemagne found himself in the role of a government booster. He served as an unofficial minister in the Aristide cabinet, an assignment that ended abruptly nine months later, when a military junta overthrew Haiti's first freely elected president.[5]

On 11 October, a truckload of troops pulled up to his home, roughed him up in front of his family, and hauled him off to jail. His wife, Chantel, went into hiding with the couple's baby son, Ti-Manno, and later fled to the island of Guadeloupe.[6]


Charlemagne took up guitar and singing at the age of 16. By 1968, he had formed a band named Les Remarquables. He later started a twoubadou band named Les Trouvères with Marco Jeanty.[4]


Charlemagne died in Miami Beach, Florida on December 10, 2017, aged 69, after a struggle of several months with lung cancer which had spread to his brain.[7]


1978, Manno et Marco, Marc Records


  1. ^ "Haitian blogs". Retrieved 24 January 2018. 
  2. ^ Davison, Phil (23 January 2018). "'Manno' Charlemagne, Haitian troubadour and political activist, dies at 69". The Washington Post. Retrieved 24 January 2018. 
  3. ^ Davison, Phil (January 23, 2018). "'Manno' Charlemagne, Haitian troubadour and political activist, dies at 69". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on 2018-01-24. Retrieved January 24, 2018. 
  4. ^ a b Averill, Gage (April 15, 2008). A Day for the Hunter, a Day for the Prey: Popular Music and Power in Haiti. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 9780226032931. 
  5. ^ [1][dead link]
  6. ^ Steven Almond (January 29, 1992). "Manno Charlemagne". Miami New Times. Retrieved November 4, 2008. 
  7. ^ Glenn Garvin. "Haitian folk singer who had sharp words for politicians dies in Miami Beach". Miami Herald. Retrieved December 11, 2017. 


External links[edit]