Afro-Carribbean Garifuna Music
The Garinagu people, whose language and culture is called Garifuna, descend from shipwrecked Africans whose ancestry can be traced back to the Yoruba, Ibo, and Ashanti tribes of Ghana, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone. After making their way to Central America, they intermarried with Carib and Arawak native peoples, and came to be known by the British as “Black Caribs.” Their music, dance, food and clothing offers a mixture of African, Native, and Spanish influences that is unique to the Caribbean coast of northern Central America.
The Garifuna Collective are a seasoned collective of musicians from across different generations, with a dynamic that comes from playing and traveling the world together, sharing their music and stories with global audiences. Their performances spark the history and soul of Garifuna culture into vivid life.
Proclaimed a “Masterpiece of the Oral & Intangible Heritage of Humanity” by UNESCO in 2001, Garifuna culture went unknown outside the region until 2007, when Andy Palacio & the Garifuna Collective released Wátina. The album, which earned favorable comparisons to Paul Simon’s Graceland, put the culture of Belize on the map, eventually earning the title of Best World Music Album of All Time by Amazon.
Palacio– a prominent Belizean cultural ambassador and outspoken advocate for the preservation of Garifuna culture– died from a stroke at the untimely age of 48, just months before the band’s scheduled world tour. The loss was devastating to Belize but the group persevered and continues to tour and produce new music, taking their place in a long line of ancestors, maintaining and growing the Garifuna cultural identity, in a conversation between generations and traditions.
The Garifuna Collective have performed in over 30 countries on 5 continents and have been part of the most celebrated Garifuna albums of all time, including the critically acclaimed Wátina.