Andy Palacio’s backing band was known as the Garifuna Collective – and now they’re preparing to embark on their first major world tour without him. The Collective left for Minnesota today where they lead off a 25 stop, 19-city North American tour – to be followed later in the summer by a European Tour. It is in support of their first album – which will be released in Belize a month from now. Produced by Stonetree Records, the album, called “Ayo” picks up where Palacio’s “Watina” left off.
But the tour is different that just a straight Garifuna affair. For a few dates, they will be teaming up on stage with Canadian folk singer Danny Michel – for a compelling musical fusion.
It should make for an interesting journey and we spoke to them today at the PGIA, just before liftoff:….
Lloyd Augustine - Singer, Garifuna Collective "Everything is feeling great because we have prepared ourselves in terms of rehearsing the songs and also we are launching a new album."
Joshua Arana - Drummer, Garifuna Collective "The name of the album is Ayo which is a final goodbye. First we think about people like Ras Chi, we think about Justo and Andy - those people that have gone before us, who started this work with us and now that they're not here it's an extra boost for us because we know now that it's more important that these guys dreams remain alive."
Deseree Diego - Singer, Garifuna Collective "The main thing is to leave a mark and that is what we're doing. We're performing with other artists who we don't even know, I think it's a good experience."
Lloyd Augustine "We are happy to be right in the forefront with Danny Michel and I think that this is imporant for us because we are taking our culture again because Andy Palacio has started this so we are taking it and continuing his work because he has introduced it to the world. We are proud to have Danny Michel as part of us."
Joshua Arana "The power of the spirits of our ancestors, the power of these people that have worked along with us will always be on stage with us. As a matter of fact they are here with us right now. It is for them that we want to continue this particular legacy."
That clip is from the first video from “Ayo” – it’s called Mongulo and will premier in July.
After the Minneapolis tomorrow night, the band plays Chicago on June 21st.
Andy Palacio & The Garifuna Collective's 2007 album Wátina is one of the most praised world music albums ever released, and was selected by amazon.com as the Greatest World Music Album of All Time (beating out Buena Vista Social Club, Bob Marley, Fela Kuti and other worthy contenders). On the cusp of tremendous fame, Andy passed away suddenly a year after Wátina was released, leaving the world to wonder just how big he could have become.
His band has continued where Andy left off, and with Wátina producer Ivan Duran of Stonetree back at the helm, have produced the album Ayó, a soul-stirring collection of songs inspired by their unique Afro-Amerindian cultural heritage. With a lineup that consists of the best musicians in the fertile Garifuna music scene of Belize, Honduras and Guatemala, The Garifuna Collective promises to carry the torch of cultural preservation and promotion passed on by Andy Palacio far into the future. The Garifuna Collective's songs of heartbreak, hope and joy will move your body and your soul.
On "Mongulu" the singer expresses the confidence that in spite of the challenges, her son Móungulu, will grow up. While the parent sacrifices to raise her child for his own sake, there is also the hope that he in turn will look out for the parent as the need arises. The Garifuna Collective's preferred setting is when everyone sings in unison or call and response and anyone can join with handclaps or a percussion instrument. Some of the most memorable songs in Garifuna culture have been created and popularized in this fashion.
LYRICS (ENGLISH) Because, Móungulu, you will grow up, my dear, ayei Where are you, younger brother? I need you Because, Móungulu, you will grow up, my dear, ayei Hope it comes to pass, that you help me Where are you, my younger brother? I need you Because, Móungulu, you will grow up, my dear, ayei
LYRICS (GARIFUNA) Lubá, Móungulu, baweiyada yaba, wanwa, ayéi Halíañaíibu sa, namulen? Megei numutibu Lubá, Móungulu, baweiyada yaba, wanwa, ayéi Ubugua, ubugua íderabana me ei Halíañadibu sa, namulen? Megei numutibu Lubá, Móungulu, baweiyada yaba, wanwa, ayéi
The Garifuna Collective have released their Gudemei video, and it is fantastic! Isn't it time for another Grammy win for the best band in Belize? It was shot at the Soul Project, and Daniel Velazquez captured all the magic that was going on. You can tell they had a great time doing it. It's worth the 4 minutes.