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Joined: Oct 1999
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Marty Offline OP
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But, oddly, this new musical ambassador is playing no role at all in Music Week – sponsored by the Music Industry Association of Belize. But, we’d venture to say that MIAB doesn’t really need him with the star studded series of concerts they’ve got lined up for this weekend. We’ll tell you about that shortly, but first to today’s activities. MIAB held a conference to discuss new trends in the global music industry. The discussion was led by Paul Friedlander, a professor from the University of California. He told us how the rise of the internet and the death of the major record labels is good for Belizean artists.

Paul Friedlander,
“For the last 50 years what we people listen to was dictated in this case by four multinational corporations, what artists they hired, and so the whole main stream culture was driven by the tastes of board rooms in four cities. The change has allowed somebody in Belize to put their music online and for me to listen to it in California and for me to love it and enjoy it and buy it on I-Tunes.”

Jules Vasquez,
“Or alternately there is the down side that you can just rip it, steal it off the internet which most of the people who access music online research shows that is what they are doing.”

Paul Friedlander,
“Absolutely, right about 20% of the people in the US are file sharers but remember there has always been free music. When radio came around in the 1950s, the record companies jumped and screamed you are giving it away for free and what they found out was that that was the best marketing they could ever have otherswise how would people listen to their artists. I can tell you an example, about six weeks ago I was listening to Belizean music and I noticed in the newspaper that Umalai and the Garifuna Collective from Dangriga were going to be performing in my town. Yes I could listen to their music for free but when I went down and listened to them and I knew they were going to get the money I bought their CD. That is the music business.

You have a wonderful small industry that is growing and people are coming together that we could have accomplished musicians from Belize making a living making music so the upside is you now have a way to distribute your music. You now have a way to think about people in other countries like Mexico or Honduras Costa Rica, Nicaragua hearing for the first time Belizean music.”

Interestingly, Friedlander says that despite the rise of CD’s and MP3 players, audio cassettes continue to be the number one means of listening to music across the world. He foresees that eventually cell phones will replace those tried and true cassettes. But there won’t be any cassettes rolling over the next three days at the Bliss Center as MIAB rolls out a trio of star studded concerts.

Ivan Duran,
“Three concerts are left. The first one being tonight at the Bliss with Carlos Perrote and Friends. On Saturday we are joined by a good friend of Belize Manuelo Burgon the famous Costa Rica pianist. The grand finale of Music Week will be at Sunday and it will the Brukdong Concert and yesterday was Mr. Peter’s birthday and he turned 79 and we are doing this concert in honour to him as a great Belizean icon and artist.”

The admission for the Friday and Saturday concerts is free for the first 100 people who arrive the rest will pay ten dollars.

Channel 7

Joined: Oct 1999
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Marty Offline OP
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Music Week is back after a two year hiatus. A number of workshops and concerts were organized by the Music Industry Association of Belize in collaboration with the National Institute of Culture and History through ICA. Music week 2010 began on Monday and will end on Sunday with an open concert at the House of Culture. Love News spoke with President of the Music Industry Association of Belize, Ivan Duran.

Ivan Duran; President, Music Industry Association of Belize

"Today, we were at the House of Culture for a very interesting presentation by Doctor Paul Friedlander. He is the director of the Music Industry Program at the University of California and he is basically giving his presentation on new trends in the global music industry. Everybody knows a lot of things have changed in the recent years in the music industry and he is exploring all the new and exciting possibilities for artists from around the world and how that applies to Belizean artists; how they can maximize on what this new structure has to offer to them to promote their music on a local and international level. Yesterday we had a very interesting song writing workshop here at the House of Culture at 6pm. Several song writers such as Mr. Drew Gonsalves from Trinidad, Mr. Peters from Belize, Tania Carter and others were present. They were talking about writing a song; the audience were very involved and participating and asking questions as to how this artist actually makes a song and give advice and ideas as how to go about making better songs."

Activities continue tomorrow with a piano workshop which will be facilitated by Manuel Obregon, a famous pianist form Costa Rica and later in the evening Carlos Perrote will be headlining a Cugazz concert at the Bliss Centre for the Performing Arts.

Ivan Duran

"Tonight at the Bliss at 8:00 pm there is Carlos Perrote and friends, the concert. Tomorrow is the piano concert with Manuel Obregon at the Bliss and on Sunday the grand finale of music week will be at the Bliss at 7pm and it will be a very special concert honouring the great Wildred Peters. He is a great Belizean icon and the King of Brukdung. There are a number of international guests that have come here to honour him and to honour his music. This will include Drew Gonsalves from Trinidad and Canada; it will include Mr. Manuel Obregon from Costa Rica and two special calypsonians from Central America that are travelling with Manuel Obregon. One from Blue Fields Nicaragua and one from Panama and they will all be singing Calypso music from the region and of course Brukdung music from Belize. They will be accompanied by the famous Boom and Chime Band and other musicians as well."

While the workshops are free there is a cover charge or ten dollars for the concerts.

Ivan Duran

"It is a $10 charge per ticket for all three concerts but there is a very interesting promotion; the first hundred persons that show up at the Bliss will go in for free. I am encouraging everybody to reach early and take a good seat because these three shows will really be spectacular. I am sure a lot of Belizeans remember the first edition of Music Week which was with the Orchestra De La Papaya with over twenty musicians from Central America including many Belizeans any Mr. Manuel Obregon. If they remember that they should come to the Bliss this weekend because it will be something very similar and I am encouraging everybody to attend. I am extremely happy that music week is back; I think it is a very important week where we can reflect about the situation with music in Belize and how our musicians are fearing off in this day and age. It is extremely important for the public to understand that music is an essential part of the Belizean life and the Belizean culture and it is a big part of what makes Belize special place."

Duran says music week is also a platform to discuss ways to make the music industry in Belize more viable and to attract younger musicians into the industry.


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