( mini-djaz ) is a reduced méringue
band format of the mid-1960s characterized by the rock band
formula of two guitars, one bass, and drum-conga-cowbell; some use an alto sax or a full horn section, while others use a keyboard, accordion
or lead guitar.
The 1915-34 US occupation introduced jazz music to Haiti. Local music bands were sometimes called jazz in comparison to the American big band jazz. The word "jazz" has become the equivalent of band or orchestra. The mini-jazz movement started in the mid-1960s, when small bands called mini-djaz (which grew out of Haiti’s light rock and roll
bands of the early 1960s that were called yeye
bands) played compas
featuring paired electric guitars, electric bass, drumset and other percussion, often with a saxophone. This trend, launched by Shleu-Shleu
after 1965, came to include a number of groups from Port-au-Prince
neighbourhoods, especially the suburb of Pétion-Ville
. Tabou Combo
, Les Difficiles, Les Loups Noirs, Les Frères Déjean
, Les Fantaisistes de Carrefour, Bossa Combo and Les Ambassadeurs (among others) formed the core of this middle-class popular music movement. By 1970, popular mini-jazz groups such as Tabou Combo, Original Shleu Shleu and Volo Volo de Boston
were touring throughout North American cities with musicians of the Haitian diaspora, establishing a mini-jazz scene most notably in Miami (Magnum Band
) and New York City (Gypsies de Queens).