Grooving with the Garifuna Collective

Posted July 30th, 2013 at 4:40 pm (UTC-4)
1 comment

The promo copy of the new CD Ayo. Produced by Ivan Duran. Produced by Stonetree Records 2013 in partnership with Cumbancha.

My sound technicians at Studio 4 weren’t thrilled that I was obliging them to squeeze 7 musicians into the space that accommodates a maximum of 4. “We won’t be able to get everybody in the shot” they kept saying, shaking their heads. But this band from Belize, Central America  insisted they needed everybody to sound complete.  On July 8th a van-full of 7 musicians known as The Garifuna Collective rolled up and unloaded into our tiny VOA studio.

 

 

I’m getting a quick lesson in here on the primero drum while Carl and Ted (the sound guys) are scrambling to set up sound and lighting.

 

 

 

The Garifuna Collective are on tour in the US promoting their second CD Ayo, a dedication to the original leader of the group and icon of Belizean music, Andy Palacio. He died on January 19, 2008. The group’s music is unique to the world for its beautiful blend of West African and Arawak Indian traditions that is also infused with additional Spanish and English influences. The link to Andy Palacio (above) provides a nice background to The Garifuna Collective.

My featured interview from July 8th gets us right up to speed on The Garifuna Collective since it regrouped following Andy’s death. The first half of the interview is a mini concert, including band members’ self introductions and explanations of the 3 songs, “Weyu Larigi Weyu,” “Mangulu” and “Ayo.” Listen out for the turtle shell percussion, segundo (bass,) and primero (tenor) drums.

The segundo (left) and primero drums.

Turtle Shell percussion

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The second half of the interview is a conversation between Desiree Dego (vocals, shaker,) Lloyd Agustine (guitar, vocals,) Joshua Arana (Garifuna segundo drum,vocals) and myself. They talk about their music, of course, their hopes for this tour and beyond, and close out with thoughts on their West Africa connection.

 

Heather Maxwell
Heather Maxwell produces and hosts the award winning radio program "Music Time in Africa" and is the African Music Editor for the Voice of America. Heather is an ethnomusicologist with a Ph.D. from Indiana University specializing in African Music. She is also an accomplished jazz and Afrojazz/Afrosoul vocalist and has been working, researching, and performing in Africa and the U.S. since 1987.

One Response to “Grooving with the Garifuna Collective”

  1. rap beats says:

    Real conversation hip hop is the greatest audio on earth. I enjoy that stuff. It’s just too real.

About

About

Heather Maxwell produces and hosts the award-winning radio program “Music Time in Africa” and is the African Music Editor for the Voice of America. Heather is an ethnomusicologist with Doctorate and Master’s degrees from Indiana University specializing in African Music. She is also an accomplished jazz and Afrojazz/Afrosoul vocalist and has been working, researching, and performing in Africa and the U.S. since 1987.

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