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#550201 05/17/21 12:30 PM
Joined: Oct 1999
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Marty Offline OP
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The 2021 Belize Music Week runs from Monday the 24th through Saturday the 29th. There will be virtual concerts and webinars throughout the week. Los Hijos Del West will perform on Thursday the 27th, and the World Culture Band will perform on Friday the 28th. The Gillharry 7 kick it all off Monday at lunch.

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Marty #550359 05/25/21 04:31 AM
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Marty Offline OP
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Launch of Music Week 2021!! Belize's Music Week 2021 Opening Ceremony

Marty #550399 05/27/21 04:30 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
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Marty Offline OP
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Mid-Pandemic Music Week

When Belizeans think of music week we tend to think of the Shyne Barrow fronted music festival that, for the last few years, took place on the main stage at the Marion Jones Stadium.

But Barrow has since stepped down from the role and that's left a void in much-needed music industry leadership. It's a void that the people at N.I.C.H. have had to scramble to fill, case in point Music week, the once flagship event of the music ambassador's office has since returned to the planning purview of the Institute of Creative Arts, and this year the week-long concert focuses on five Belizean artists performing 5 virtual lunchtime concerts. Cherisse Halsall has more.

It's Music week but with limited gatherings and social distancing still very much on the books, there was no hope of a live show. Still organizer at N.I.C.H. Kim Vasquez pushed on, and this afternoon she told us about this latest attempt at pandemic time performances.

Kim Vasquez, N.I.C.H.
"What we had to do was to take a different route or a different track where we're using this time where we can't have live performances, to re-group and to imagine how the future of the Music industry will look in Belize. How do we move forward and what will music performances look like going forward?"

And if this year's lineup is any indication the selection won't be very varied and will continue, as it has in years past, to focus on the cultural rather than the nuanced. But Vasquez says that her team considered musicians across all genres.

Kim Vasquez, N.I.C.H.
"Now you've selected five artists for a series of lunchtime concerts. Tell me about those five artists and why their music is what is needed to represent Belize this time around. We try to have representation, first of all, we put out a call, and music week came together very quickly this year right, as I said there was a question of what we can do, as you know we are in a time when finances are very tight so you know we decided to go for it. So we put out a call and we had some artists respond to us and we looked at the responses and we looked at those that had new music first of all that we wanted to promote because all of these artists that are doing the lunch hour series are being paid, it's not a gig, instead they are promoting their new music, and we try to have our presentation from across the country as much as possible for those that applied for it, and those that did not get selected for the lunch hour series we tried to get them into the opening ceremony and as well into the closing as well."

And if it seems music week is just filler, something to entertain the masses while providing justification for tax dollars used by this section of N.I.C.H. you might like to sign in to some of the artist webinars being conducted throughout the week.

Kim Vasquez, N.I.C.H.

"We had a very good webinar for example last night, one of the webinars for example we had was artists vs DJs, and the question was can we get along, but really what they were discussing was airplay right and how can they get their music on the radio and how can they work better with the DJ's and so we were discussing that last night via zoom and on Facebook live and we also have another webinar scheduled for Friday about the business end of things, because as much as we have love and passion we know that the landscape of the music business in Belize and globally will change, and has changed. So we may get back live performances but how, how will that look. Will we continue to have live streams, of course. But then how will we make the revenue from that, so these are a lot of topics and there's no right answer but what is important is that we come together and plan and prepare."

Vasquez says efforts are being made to be as inclusive as possible, leaving no artist behind, with the hope that the industry can move forward and make a rebound as one united entity.

You can catch N.I.C.H.'s 12:30 lunch hour concerts every day this week. Look for them by searching Belize Music Week on Facebook or you can see them share don our Facebook page.

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