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Andy Palacio and The Garifuna Collective

Andy Palacio - Vocals & Acoustic Guitar Al Ovando - Vocals & 12 string Guitar
Joshua Arana - Garifuna Lead Drum, Carlos Perrote - Garifuna Bass Drum, Congas & Assorted Percussion, Geovani Chi - Maracas & Turtle Shell Percussion
Tyron Hernandez - Electro-Acoustic Bass, Ramon Cedeno - Lead Electric Guitar
Rolando Sosa - Vocals, Tenor Sax & Percussion

“Magnificent vocal harmonies, Palacio is blessed with the kind of deep, soulful voice that the ancestors select to convey their wisdom” The Boston Globe

“A little bit Cuban, a little bit Brazilian, with a reggae lilt, a Cape Verdean melodic lushness and a whole range of African echoes that you can't quite put your finger on."
The Daily Telegraph

Away from established centres of Afro Latin culture like Cuba and Brazil, a potent revival is taking place, and it’s led by one of Central America’s most interesting artists. Andy Palacio is more than Belize’s leading musician; he’s also its cultural ambassador and a tireless advocate for this Caribbean country’s language, music, and tradition.

Palacio rode a wave of popular success with Punta Rock, the up tempo dancefloor style that swept through Central America in the 80’s, but now he’s returned to his acoustic routes. With the Garifuna Collective, he casts a bright light not just on the culture of Belize, and its neighbouring countries of Honduras and Guatemala but also this stellar grouping which brings the leading artists of the Garifuna footprint together in Europe for the first time.

They’ve made the journey to bring you music that is as multi-faceted as the enigmatic stretch of Central America they hail from. The roots of the Garifuna can be traced back to the late 1600’s, when two slave ships en route from West Africa ran aground off the coast of St Vincent. Those that survived intertwined with the island’s indigenous Carib people, creating a fiercely independent community that resisted European colonization, and later were forcibly exiled to the Caribbean coast of Central America. That African influence can still be felt in the seductive grooves at the heart of the Garifuna sound.

Under Palacio’s soulful influence, this intergenerational lineup are creating a stir in music circles last seen with BVSC, and their debut release Watina (Cumbancha) has elicited the warmest of responses from doyens of world music like broadcaster Charlie Gillett. The comparison with the legends of Havana seems apt, and Cuba’s influence, along with Haiti and Jamaica, can be felt throughout. When these subtle shadings blend with the hymns, laments and work songs of the Griffin, it’s an uplifting experience you’ll remember.

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