Author and professor Yanatha Desouvre is celebrating Father’s Day this year doing what he does best — inspiring people.
With an album of lost footage from his uncle, Desouvre encourages people to live their lives to the fullest with Miami’s own “Unforgettable” moment. Like the rise of vinyl sales Desouvre hopes to bring to life the music his late uncle Daniel Coulanges. Kendall resident Yanatha Desouvre shares a heartwarming and remarkable story (featured in the Miami Herald, Miami New Times and WLRN’s The Public Story Teller an NPR affiliate) on http://tinyurl.com/danielcoulanges about one of the world’s finest guitarists, Daniel Coulanges. In 1989, two years before Magic Johnson announced he was HIV positive, Coulanges lost his life to AIDS; he was a mere 28 years old. Although his life ended far too soon, his legacy will last forever. Desouvre is using Coulanges music to raise awareness about HIV, encouraging everyone to know their own HIV status. This is important everywhere, but especially in Miami-Dade County, which Care Sources indicates is the number one county in Florida for new cases of HIV.
On a stage in Staten Island almost 30 years ago, a host grabbed the mike and announced the next performer, a Haitian classical guitarist.
"One of the world's finest guitarists, Daniel Coulanges," he said. "Please welcome Mr. Coulanges."
Wearing a charcoal-gray suit and a black bow tie, Coulanges took a seat on a black piano bench against a backdrop of verdant treetops. Without further ado, he moved his fingers up and down the neck of his guitar, strumming out the chords of "Killing Me Softly."
Coulanges died of AIDS shortly after the performance, in 1989. His godson and nephew Yanatha Desouvre says he wept when he saw footage of the Staten Island performance for the first time earlier this year. Now, Desouvre, a Kendall resident who works in IT at the University of Miami, is raising money to have the audio remastered and released to honor his uncle's legacy and encourage people to get tested for HIV.