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Jan 19, 2017

Andy Palacio, 9 Years Later, Through Families

Andy Palacio

Today marks nine years since musical icon Andy Palacio passed away.  Known across the world, Palacio put Belize on the map and left a rich legacy of the Garifuna culture and music. Palacio released three albums, seven E.P cassettes and a several music videos.  At forty-seven years old, Andy was at the height of his career when he suddenly became ill and died of a massive stroke. Palacio received a number of awards and accolades right in the years leading up to his death, including the prestigious WOMEX Award from the World Music Expo, named Artist for Peace by UNESCO, bestowed with the Order of Meritorious Service by the Belize Government and named Belize’s cultural ambassador in 2004.For us here at Channel 5, he was no stranger. He composed the News Five theme music and hosted a variety programme entitled the Andy Palacio Show. Today on our morning programme O.Y.E., Kamau and Tara Palacio fondly remember the musical genius who was their father. Andrea Polanco sums up the reflections:


Andy Palacio
“We had to get it right and it was a matter of timing to fall—to have all the pieces fall together at the right time and this seems like just the perfect opportunity to release this to the world.”

“Making this album was a real pleasure because it gave me the opportunity to work with a number of Garifuna artists that I’ve always had the desire to collaborate with across generations. Nabor, Adrian, Reckless, Lloyd, Justo, Lugua, Aurelio.”


Andrea Polanco, Reporting

Andy Palacio – a legend in his own right –nine years since his passing and his legacy continues to unfold. The musical ambassador and global entertainer is synonymous with Belizean music -particularly Garifuna music -even after his death. And on the ninth anniversary of his passing, Palacio’s daughter Tara Palacio shares what artists today can learn from her father’s legacy.


Tara Palacio

Tara Palacio, Daughter

“With him, I would say that he tries to keep it to the roots and he always tries to implement his language within the cultural music. So, to me, musicians now should try to be more active with the culture itself and not just the words of the song to have everybody dancing.”


Andy Palacio
“Many people will agree that throughout most of my career I’ve been making music for the body and now it’s time to transcend and perhaps make something for the mind. One of my favorites is Amunegu, which is a serious song of reflection on the future survival of Garifuna culture. I am asking a number of questions and making the point that we cannot just leave these things to chance, that elements of the culture need to be taught in order for them to continue, lest we lose them altogether in times to come.”


Andy Palacio shared culture and experiences with the rest of the world with his music. And in his home he was both serious and humorous –– as his son and daughter fondly remember.


Kamau Palacio

Kamau Palacio, Son

“He is like into education and stuff. So sometimes he would call us late at night and say are you watching this certain show on TV? Put it on because it is talking about something educational, yeah.”


Tara Palacio

“One time he came home and he said put your finger in this. It was like a basket thing with a string at the end and whenI put my finger in it, I couldn’t pull my finger out. So, he was always trying to prank us and get us laughing.”


Today, Palacio’s repertoire of work continue to entertain people around the world – but around this time every year, his children say that those same songs and videos are what comfort them the most when they remember him.


Andy Palacio

“It is like a long process, so just think about it and stuff so. I would just usually listen to the music of him or watch a video of him. I also made a video on YouTube so I would go back and watch it.”


Reporting for News Five, I’m Andrea Polanco.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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