Tuesday, September 24, 2019

The Garifuna Collective's 'Irresistible Groove'

The Garifuna community on the Caribbean coast of Central America speaks an endangered language and sings and dances what UNESCO calls "a masterpiece of the oral and intangible heritage of humanity." The Garifuna Collective, a group of musicians from Belize, galvanizes audiences around the world with lyrical call-and-response melodies and driving, overlapping rhythms derived from West African percussion and indigenous Arawak and Carib singing.Their 2007 album Watina became an instant classic, and did more than anything else to bring this culture and language to a global audience. It was a culmination of years of labor founder Andy Palacio to preserve Garifuna culture through music, working with Stonetree Records producer Ivan Duran to form an intergenerational group of traditional musicians who became the Garifuna Collective. Duran says: "Now, it feels like the whole village is singing. That’s beautiful, because it’s a true reflection of what music means in the Garifuna community and how songs are made. It’s always a collective effort.”