Nite Bjuti (pronounced as Night Beauty) — Candice Hoyes, Val Jeanty, and Mimi Jones — is an an acclaimed trio of Afro Caribbean improvisational artists, who use electronics, vocalism, bass, Haitian rhythms, sampling and spoken word to cultivate their narrative journey. The trio draw inspiration from a a centuries’ old Hatian folk tale called “Night Beauty,” about a girl whose bones begin to sing in the afterlife, her spirit seeking justice. The members of the trio play to rediscover the deeply buried Diasporic beauty in our world that’s transcendent cross generations. Fittingly, they made their debut at Jazz at Lincoln Center, as part of a celebration of 2018 International Women’s Day.
The trio have played NUBLU Jazz Fest, NYC Winter Jazzfest, The Schomberg Center and Jazz at Lincoln Center, and have done a live studio performance on WGBO. The trio are UMEZ Arts Engagement grant recipients for last year’s mixed media installation commissioned by the Schomberg Center for Research in Black Culture. They’re also 2020 recipients of the NYC Women’s Fund in Jazz Music, which has fully funded their full-length debut album, slated for an April 14, 2023 release.
Thematically, the trio’s debut reportedly contemplates existential themes including coming of age and deep physical, mental and spiritual change. The album’s first single, “Mood (Liberation Walk)” features around skittering voodoo and soca-like beats, ethereal cooing and wailing, a propulsive bass line, whirring electronics and a spoken word poetry to create a woozy synthesis of ancient folk traditions, contemporary electronic production and tight grooves. But the song also manages to a be an ageless conversation across time and space among members of the Diaspora, discussing things that only those within the community know and understand — and in the language that those within know and understand.
”What good is freedom if you don’t really feel free? Black girlhood maturation brings a range of evocative contradictory experiences,” Nite Bjuti’s Candice Hoyes asks, and “in ‘Mood (Liberation Walk)’ we express the sudden sensation of a girl jumping/jumped into puberty, roped into a new emotional reality, physicality and societal positionality. As explored in the music video, she jumps through the portals of her own design right until the foreboding street lights flicker. Jumping is tied to shared childhood experiences, embodies connectivity and the chasmic leaps of growth in the Black womanly experience.”