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Miami Proud: Folk Singer Gets Career Boost From Miami Theater Center LEAP Program

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Inez Barlatier has a warm presence on the stage.

On the day CBS4's Marybel Rodriguez met her, Barlatier was rehearsing a South African song in several languages: Swahili, Creole, English and Spanish.

Inez Barlatier
Inez Barlatier rehearsing a South African song. (CBS4)

"I love this song because it's about unity it's about brotherhood sisterhood and it's very simple," Barlatier explained "The only lyric is we are marching in the light of love."

Barlatier, a Miami native of Haitian decent, is the daughter of a master African drummer. She grew up with music all around her.

"My father is a musician. He had a band in the 80s – when I was in diapers – so I was born into music and I loved it ever since," she said. "My first instrument is voice, I also play guitar – since I was 12 – and hand percussion."

Inez Barlatier - Father
Inez Barlatier's father singing in his band. (Courtesy of Inez Barlatier)

She has been performing for audiences as long as she can remember.

"Our first gig was two Saturdays a month at a restaurant called Tap Tap on South Beach, and I would try out my new songs," she explained, "so that's where I got my first debut as you would say."

Her original music reflects growing up in multicultural Miami and her connection to the world.

Inez Barlatier - Young
A young Inez Barlatier. (Courtesy of Inez Barlatier)

Her music has reggae, Latin rhythm, Brazilian rhythm and Haitian rhythm. She has an original song dedicated to her mother. She uses a recording device called a loop to put a series of instrumental sounds together making rich music.

A seasoned artist at 28 years of age, Barlatier is poised for the next step that all budding performers hope for. It's her connection to the Miami Theater Center that is providing support.

"I've been coming to MTC since I was a child, watching shows and getting involved, getting that itch, a craving to see a live show," she said. "Over the years I've visited Miami Theater Center in different facets. I've been a teaching artist. I've been a performer. Now I'm part of the LEAP program."

Inez Barlatier - Guitar
Inez Barlatier playing the guitar. (CBS4)

LEAP stands for Launching Emerging Artist for Presenting. Now in its third year, Barlatier is the recipient of this year's LEAP project. As a LEAP recipient, Barlatier will be provided with promotional materials she can use for future shows and travel with around the world, sharing her unique talent.

"My passion has always been music," Barlatier said, "and music actually chose me."

Miami Theater Center (MTC) is a nonprofit cultural organization located on NE 2nd Avenue in the heart of Miami Shores' downtown district. MTC's mission is to make a profound impact on the community and create transformative live experiences and educational opportunities for young audiences regardless of abilities, cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds. Along with presenting powerful theater productions, MTC is proud to be designated a STEAM+ arts organization and collaborates with hundreds of teachers and schools, reaching thousands of students across Miami-Dade County through innovative school partnerships. For more information on MTC's shows and programs, visit and follow @MTCMiami on Facebook and Instagram.

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