Louder Than the Tanbou

The Journey of a Young Haitian Violinist

ISBN: 979-8-3507-2330-4
By: Gabriel, Yves


Michel Debaunaux, a musically gifted pre-teen, finds himself caught between familial expectations, the realities of societal standards, and his own artistic pursuits as he becomes drawn to the captivating sounds of the Haitian drum. As his talent grows as a violinist, he is faced with his greatest dilemma: to fall in line with his parents’ decision to stay away from the tanbou or choose to challenge it. Told through multi-generational perspectives, Louder Than The Tanbou is a catalyst for conversation; it explores how cultural narratives shape and dictate how we view the world and how faith and folklore can restore how we view ourselves.


Yves Gabriel

Yves Gabriel, a Haitian multidisciplinary visual artist based in South Florida, often draws his inspiration from social, cultural, and political discourse. The short story stems from a painting that he conceived as part of the Krik! Krak?: Is Anyone Listening? series, which spans over twenty years. Its title, Louder Than The Tanbou, became the impetus for his inspiration for the book and his understanding that drumming, no matter how loud it gets, cannot silence the social constructs that continue to permeate the Haitian community here and back home.