Emmanuel Jean-Baptiste June 1, 1953
Ti Manno, born Emmanuel Jean-Baptiste, was one of, if not the most, beloved and well-known Haitian singers. He sang about the condition of Haitians, sexism, sexual harassment, power harassment, and discrimination in his avant-garde lyrics.
Before joining “Les Diables du rythme de Saint-Marc”, Ti Manno played in small bands. He moved to Boston in the 1970s and played with Ricot Mazarin in Volo Volo de Boston. He later left that band and joined “Les Astros de New York” after being persuaded by Arsene Appolon.
In 1978, he was the lead singer of one of the biggest and most popular Haitian bands at the time, DP Express. He left DP Express in 1981 and formed his own group, Gemini All Stars, which released five albums.
In late 1983, he became very sick with Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) in New York. To save the superstar, the Haitian community and music producers raised money. Through Operation Men Kontre, over $15,000 for Ti Manno’s hospital care. Ti Manno died on May 13, 1985 at Mount Sinai Morningside (then St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center).
Right after Ti Manno’s death on May 18, 1985, thousands of fans flooded the Eastern Parkway funeral hall in New York City where he was viewed. Artists, family members, media personalities, and fans attended his viewing and funeral at St. Matthew’s church on Eastern Parkway, conducted by his brother, a priest. Calvary Cemetery is where he is buried.