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#368457 - 02/23/10 02:52 PM Garifuna Collective Returns from Winter Olympics
Marty Online   happy

Garifuna Collective Returns from Performance at Winter Olympics

The Garifuna Collective and Umalali Singers flew into Belize today after a two week North American tour. They crisscrossed the west coast of the United States with stops in Seattle, Washington, San Diego in California, and the jetted across to the east coast for shows in Boston and New Hampshire. But the highlight of the tour was a performance at the Cultural Olympiad as part of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, Canada. We met the band at the airport this morning and got their reaction to the tour – where – strange as it sounds - for the first time they got to play to audiences who were sitting down. Desiree Diego told us how the Women’s Collective got them to stand up.

Desiree Diego, Umalali Singers
“You have to make that change when you are on stage because you have to make them feel that you’re connected with them so you have to try and get them to come out of their seats, which they did, because when you invite them up, there are even students that we perform for and when we ask them to come up on stage and they come and they dance along with us. They even sing along with us.”

Joshua Arana, Garifuna Collective
“Music speaks one language, it only speaks music. That is a universal language, you either like it or you don’t, and the thing about it is that for some reason people tend to appreciate something that is different and what we bring to the table is different from what they are used to so it has been exceptional.”

Sam Harris, Garifuna Collective
“I could see people get the effect of what the music is trying to portray and sometimes you look at it and you see the reaction of people. One of the things I base on is the writers, the people who write, the people who give the results the next day, the ones who write for the magazines. Those are the ones who I really try to bank the whole thing on and the write-ups were all right, they were good.”

Keith Swift,
“What was the reception like?”

Joshua Arana,
“It was great, it was exceptional. As a matter of fact, it was far better than even the promoters thought it would turn out to be.”

Keith Swift,
“What was the highlight of this tour?”

Joshua Arana,
“This one was Vancouver of course. We played for the Olympics and we had a sold out crowd; even before we got there we had a sold out crowd and the music was received very well so it was great.”

Desiree Diego,
“The highlight for me was the women on stage, for us taking upfront and being on stage like we usually do but at first we were at backstage and now we are taking the lead.”

Al Ovando, Road Manager
“Many highlights, new places for the bands, every time we go somewhere else it is a new thing, every place is like totally different from the next so everywhere had some unique element and really really good for the band and a nice experience for me too.”

Keith Swift,
“What was the highlight for you?”

Sam Harris,
“There was a couple but I think the Vancouver came out really good and I think New Hampshire was really good too. The rest was fair but I think those two were the best highlights.”

The Garifuna Collective has performed in over 20 countries on 3 continents. They will perform in Europe this July.

Channel 7

#368458 - 02/23/10 02:53 PM Re: Garifuna Collective Returns from Winter Olympics [Re: Marty]
Marty Online   happy


February 22, 2010

The Garifuna Collective and the Umalali Singers returned to Belize this morning after a two week North American tour. The tour included a performance at the Cultural Olympiad which is a part of the official festivities for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, Canada. Umalali vocalists Desiree Diego, Sofia Blanco and Marcella Torres performed in soft seat theatres instead of open air festivals. Love News spoke to Producer Ivan Duran and Desiree Diego.

Ivan Duran; Producer, Stone Tree Records

“They visited and they performed in several performing arts centres in California, Seattle, New Hampshire and the last show was at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver. We played there for a sold out show on Saturday night and so we are very happy to be back in Belize; back to weather. The group has been doing a lot during the summer so this is the first time that they have actually toured abroad during winter time so we are very happy to be back home and by all accounts it was a very successful tour.” 

Desiree Diego; Vocalist

“The experience was good. The people turned out and we were well appreciated and we performed in several cities and towns. This one was much better for me because I am more comfortable doing what I am doing; getting along with the people. I am not scared anymore so I am doing good.”

The women were backed up by musicians Joshua Arana, Denmark Flores, Sam Harris, Wilton Lewis and Al Ovando. Duran says they will be going right back into the studio to work on a tribute to the late great Andy Palacio.

Ivan Duran

“They are going back to the studio. They are working on the album. There is no title as yet but it is a tribute album to Andy Palacio and this is the same band that has toured with Andy all over the world for a number of years. This project has been in the making for the last couple of years, we have been in the studios several times working on these new songs; several of them are dedicated specifically to Andy. We are taking the music forward showing the world that there is still more going on and that the band is still very tight and very focused and still performing and recording. This project will come out later in the year.”

The collective is scheduled to tour Mexico in April and will also perform in several European countries in July of this year.


#368679 - 02/25/10 04:03 PM Re: Garifuna Collective Returns from Winter Olympics [Re: Marty]
Marty Online   happy

The Garifuna Collective and the Umalali Singers returned to Belize today after a two-week North American tour that included a performance at the Cultural Olympiad, part of the official festivities for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, Canada. The tour also included shows in Seattle, Washington, San Diego and Chico, California, as well as New Hampshire.

Fronting the Collective once again were vocalists Desiree Diego, Sofia Blanco, Marcella Torres. The women were accompanied on stage by musicians Joshua Arana, Denmark Flores, Sam Harris, Wilton Lewis and Al Ovando.

This was the Collective's first return to North America since their extremely successful summer tour in 2009. However, unlike the open-air festivals that welcomed the Collective last summer, this tour saw the Collective performing in "soft seat" theatre environments. Playing before a seated audience may have been a different experience for the Collective, but nonetheless by the end of the shows concert goers were on their feet, dancing to the music.

According to Collective engineer/musician, Al Ovando, who served as the road manager on this tour, "We have come a long way and every tour brings a new experience. Just as audiences learn about our music and culture, we also learn from each performance and we get better every time".

Producer, Ivan Duran, of Stonetree Records continues, "This group is very original in the way they present Garifuna music to the world. Nobody sounds like them. They continue to define contemporary roots music and they keep reaching new audiences every year."

Some of the members have been playing together for over 10 years, having toured the world with late Belizean music icon Andy Palacio. The band's repertoire is comprised of Garifuna songs from the highly acclaimed Watina and Umalali albums, as well as several new arrangements of traditional songs.

The Garifuna Collective continues to be Belize's most recognized international music ambassadors. To date they have performed in over 20 countries on 3 continents. They are working on a new album at the Stonetree studios in Benque Viejo and are scheduled to tour Mexico in April. They will also perform in several European countries this July. – Press Release

Ambergris Today

#368983 - 02/27/10 05:45 PM Re: Garifuna Collective Returns from Winter Olympics [Re: Marty]
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