Musical Artist Edmond Dédé
In addition to contributing to Louisiana literature, Haitian émigrés were also part of the musical scene. The most celebrated Afro-Creole musician was Edmond Dédé (1827-1901). He was born in New Orleans of free immigrant parents who entered the city in the 1809 Haitian refugee movement. The son of a musician, Dédé was a violin prodigy and studied with the city’s best instructors, both white and black. In 1847 he moved to Mexico to continue his violin studies in a less racially repressive environment. In 1851, however, he returned to New Orleans, where the Afro-Creole community raised funds to send him to France to complete his education. After study at the Paris Conservatory of Music, he embarked on a long and successful career in France as a composer and conductor. Though he visited relatives in New Orleans in 1893 and performed a series of widely acclaimed concerts in the city, he returned to France the following year.