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Jun 20, 2013

Garifuna Collective goes on tour

The Garifuna Collective left Belize on Wednesday to kickoff a major tour of the United States and Canada which will span seven and a half weeks and touchdown in twenty-five cities. The group came to international fame along with renowned musician Andy Palacio six years ago with the release of Watina, and though Palacio died soon after, the Garifuna Collective has kept the music alive. The group is set to release Ayo, an new album, on July second. The music producer for Stone Tree Records, Ivan Duran dropped by our studio to talk about the Garifuna Collective, the album and the tour.

 

Ivan Duran, Stonetree Records

“The Garifuna Collective dah wah musical band which has been together for some years now and they are the band that backed up Andy Palacio on the world-famous Garifuna Watina Tour and Album. And it is basically a group of musicians working together with oen same goal which is representing Belize and represent Garifuna culture and music in a very unique way which is not entirely traditional, but at the same time it is deeply rooted in tradition.”

 

Mike Rudon, Reporting

And that tradition is alive and strong. The Garifuna Collective’s new album which will be released on the Stonetree/Cumbancha label while the group is on tour is entitled Ayo, and is a tribute to Andy Palacio.

 

Ivan Duran

“They left today on a seven and a half week tour. It is the first time that the collective are going out on their own as a band, as a group. Imagine Bob Marley and the Wailers; this is the Wailers Tour, but Marley is not there. Now the collective is going out on their own and even though we have famous faces in the band like Lloyd Augustine and Moho Bob Flores—who have been one of the pioneers in music in Belize—they are not there as individuals. They are there as part of the Garifuna Collective which makes it even more special as a project as opposed to just one artist, or one lead singer that a whole group of musicians is backing.”

 

Ivan Duran

Mike Rudon

“And I understand that this tour, this album, is a tribute to Andy Palacio.”

 

Ivan Duran

“Yah so all this is in connection with the release of the new album, AYO. It is a tribute album to Andy and the title track, Ayo, which means goodbye in Garifuna; it is a tribute song to him in particular. And the whole album is dedicated to him and his work and we are hoping that we will pick up where he left and take the music even further. This is the biggest tour ever by any Belizean group. It is a twenty-five city tour and it is quite historic when you think about it. No Belizean artist has ever embarked on such a long tour that spans twenty-five cities across North America.”

 

“Everybody’s extremely excited. They are going to be playing some of the major festivals this summer. For example: Reggae by the River, which is one of America’s largest reggae festivals. They are playing the Winnipeg Folk Festival, which is a huge festival up in Canada; they have over a hundred thousand visitors every weekend. And then they are doing theatre-like shows like Leave It Auditorium in L.A., the Cedar Center in Minneapolis. For example in Chicago they are going to be doing a PBS special for television at the Old Town School of Music. So it is a very interesting tour which will be a combination of summer festivals, which are usually huge outdoor events, combining with some cultural centers and auditoriums let’s say like the Bliss, for example; seven hundred seater-venues. And clubs as well where people will be able to get in contact with them more upfront and personal.”

 

Twenty-five cities in seven and a half weeks – that’s intense, and expensive. Duran says that as important as the message and the movement should be to the entire country, funding has been a challenge.

 

Ivan Duran

“It’s a very challenging proposition to embark on these kinds of tours. It is very expensive, it is very unpredictable sometimes if you are not able to get all the bookings that you need. So it is challenging and as you know there is very little support…traditionally it has been very little support for culture in Belize and music and it hurts sometimes when you see something like this: a group of people willing to do this and not get all the support that they need. We are hoping that by the end of the tour we will get all the support we need. We do have quite a big deficit; nonetheless, we decided to go ahead with the tour. This is significant not only for the collective or their new album; this is for everybody. This is important for the countries, for other artists. If this fail, if the Garifuna Collective fails on this enterprise, everybody fails.”

 

Watina was hailed as the Greatest World Music Album Of All Time, and from what we heard this morning, Ayo is poised to follow in that proud tradition. Mike Rudon for News Five.

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2 Responses for “Garifuna Collective goes on tour”

  1. history minded says:

    Very happy to hear.

  2. Belizean Pride says:

    i saw them on the replay of the morning show and I’m mestizo but love to hear garifuna music it just reaches your soul when you hear that music.
    Kudos to them safe trip tour and best wishes to the group, big up Belize.

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