Garifuna Collective Still Carries the Beat of Belize
Even though the soul music genre has passed, Andy Palacio has been compared to Bob Marley.
His passing caused a hart hit for Garifuna music, with a soulful blend of African percussion and guitar. The music expresses the endangered cultural traditions of the Garinagu people, who began migrating to countries like Belize in the 1700 and 1800s. While is collaborators are still working to keep the music alive, the country of Belize is not as influenced by the genre as they were when Palacio was alive.
Elsewhere in the world, however, Canadian singer-songwriter Danny Michel released an album this past summer with a Collective of the music entitled “Black Birds Are Dancing Over Me”, with seven Collective members on their current tour. Michel first encountered Garifuna while he volunteered at a school in Belize.
In one of the album’s tracks, titled “Galuma”, or “calm” in English, singer Lloyd Augustine collaborates with Michel, pleading that a fishing community won’t sacrifice its identity to make way for a modern world. Another common theme, about being the same person throughout good and bad times, shows up in a song titled “Gudemei”, which means poverty.
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