Goussy Cèlestin | Haitian Folk Dance & Jazz

Artist’s Bio:

Goussy Célestin’s personal mission is to stir up all her musical influences into a moving experience, incorporating Jazz elements, and dance influences.  She has studied/performed music and dance for the last two decades with such esteemed names as Ron Carter, Jimmy Heath, C. Scoby Stroman, Max Roach, Donald Byrd, Barry Harris, and Sheila Jordan as a jazz pianist-vocalist, while studying with Pat Hall, Jean Leon Destiné, and Camille Yarbrough, as a dancer. 

Ms. Célestin currently performs throughout the NYC-Tri state area as a musician and dancer. She is an alum of ASE Dance Theater Collective, a neo-folklore ensemble dedicated to the traditional/contemporary arts of the African Diaspora filtered through Haitian music and dance. She is also a member of ¡Retumba!, an all-female multi-ethnic music-dance ensemble dedicated to the traditions of the Caribbean and Latin-America, in addition to serving as lead vocalist for Charanga Soleil. Ms. Célestin’s wide range of interests and versatility, has led her to study classical piano, Jazz and Latin music. While in Cuba, she had the honor of performing with members of the Buena Vista Social Club, as well as performing/mentoring with members of Grupo AfroCuba de Matanzas, Yoruba Andabo and Clave Y Guaguanco. She has performed at Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center, Del Terzo Studio at Carnegie Hall, Symphony Space, SOB’s, the Knitting Factory, NJPAC, Tilles Center, Newark Symphony Space, Joe’s Pub, as well as various jazz clubs in NYC. A highlight of Ms. Célestin’s jazz career is a duo piano performance with renowned jazz pianist John Hicks. Her musical travels include Cuba, England, Wales, Japan, Haiti, as well as touring parts of the US.

Goussy Célestin at City Lore:

Afro-Haitian Dance Resdiency: Exploring the connections of rhythm, language and movement throughout the African Diaspora, particularly West Africa, Ayiti (Haiti) and the United States with a focus on three rhythms: Ibo, Congo and Juba.

What students and teachers say about Goussy:

“My name is MD Hossen from Class 2-202.  We worked with Ms. Goussy and learned the Haitian dance called Ibo Lele.  This dance celebrates our ancestors or the ones that came before us.  In this residency with City Lore, we learned how to sing the song Ibo Lele while bounding to the beat by clapping your hands and following the rhythm.”

— MD Hossen, Class 2-202, P.S. 69 in Jackson Heights, Queens

“My name is Bianca Isabella Rojas from Class 2-202.  In this residency, I rally liked clapping to the beat and listening to the music.  It made me feel that my ancestors were there with me having fun.

— Bianca Rojas, Class 2-202, P.S. 69 in Jackson Heights, Queens