NWAYO (pronounced n-wah-yo) is a Haitian Creole word that refers to the hardest part of the fruit, or the core, and aptly represents Jean’s deep reflection while creating her most recent body of work. Through compositions and arrangements, Jean passionately reveals her personal narrative and explores the fusion between tradition and modernity by blending jazz with Haitian rhythms and tonalities.
The recording showcases a diverse repertoire that is not often captured in a single recording. Her velvety alto is creating a powerful sense of emotion and liberation that transcends language barriers.
“Her sophomore release Nwayo—Haitian Kreyol for core or center—is an amalgam of pure jazz vocalization steeped in Caribbean rhythm and soul.” -All About Jazz, James Nadal
NWAYO REVIEW ON
ALL ABOUT JAZZ
by James Nadal
published on June 24, 2016
"Pauline Jean is one of those rare musicians who possesses an ancient spirit. Her Haitian roots extend her heritage back to Africa, to the griots of tribal societies. She could of course be happy and successful as a jazz singer, but mystical influences engaged her with a deeper realm, chosen by ancestors to tell their story, in their language. It is a serious undertaking which she manifests with music..." -James Nadal
Pauline Jean and Edwidge Danticat
"NWAYO" features a collaboration with the esteemed literary artist, Edwidge Danticat. Pauline composes music to Edwidge's poetry entitled "Their Blood, Bondye (God)". On May, 11, 2016, Pauline made a special appearance in Selected Shorts at Symphony Space and performed the piece.
December 26 - 29, 2017
In several weeks, Pauline will join a group of fellow musicians on their second mission trip to Haiti as part of Experience Ayiti (December 26th-30th). The group will bring instruments along with various educational and health-related resources to several communities on the island; they will also conduct a range of clinics and concerts to benefit local artists in need. For more information go to
NWAYO REVIEW ON
by Christopher London
published on February 25, 2017
"Though relentlessly hammered by political and economic unrest and equally ferocious weather, Haiti has managed to foster a vibrant jazz community; its deeply layered homegrown rhythms, generally known as Creole jazz, blend regional, African and American influences. Among the music’s foremost practitioners is vocalist and composer Pauline Jean, with her espresso-dark, dulce de leche-smooth contralto and story-weaving elan." - C. London
Although I have spoken with so many of you already, I want to thank you again for the tremendous support and love you all have shown me for my special NWAYO release event in May. As I have mentioned before, producing this album was an incredible journey, and it means a lot that you were
there to celebrate this milestone with me.
I also wish to thank my generous sponsors once again who made this performance possible. They are:
Interstate Mechanical Services, Inc.
Murette's Banquet Hall
Desdunes Law Firm, P.C.
Below is a link to some of the photos from that evening ~ they capture the festive and joyous spirit perfectly:
NWAYO release concert photos
Sending blessings and sincere thanks.
Check out some more of the NWAYO CD Release Concert Highlights at the Baruch Performing Arts Center on May 26, 2016.
Nice mention in DOWNBEAT MAGAZINE! Check out the article by Sharonne Cohen.
Excited to learn that my performance at the 2016 PAP Jazz Festival was televised (for the first time ever) on the major cable network CANAL +.
Check Out My Exclusive Interview on
HaitianBeatz.com. Come read about my upcoming project "NWAYO", my recent performance at the PAP Jazz Festival and more...
Had an amazing time at the Port-au-Prince International Jazz Festival. For highlights....
Saxophonist Godwin Louis and I presented an overview of our ongoing research on Haiti's role and impact on Jazz at PAP Jazz Festival!
Highlights of our presentation at APAP - Gail W. Boyd Showcase. For a little taste of our performance ...