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Jul 3, 2013

Garifuna Collective launches second album, Ayo

Six years ago, the Garifuna Collective and Andy Palacio ruled the world stage with the album Watina, which was hailed as one of the greatest world music albums of all time. And now the group plans to make history again with the launch of its second album entitled Ayo, a tribute to Palacio. That launch took place on Tuesday, while the band is on the second week of an intense seven week tour which will take them all over the US and Canada. By all reports the tour is already a huge success and no less is expected from Ayo. Mike Rudon caught up with the Garifuna Collective after a big show in New York and has the story.

 

Mike Rudon, Reporting

Even though the tour is only in its second week, the Garifuna Collective has already performed in ten sold out venues in Canada and the East Coast of the U.S. On Tuesday they were in New York for one of their biggest shows on the tour.

 

Via Phone: Ivan Duran, Stonetree Records

“The New York show last night was a very special one because it was the official launch of the new CD here in the US. July second was the launch date of Ayo. And we had a full house at the Highline Ballroom, a very nice venue here in Manhattan. The band performed very well as usual. The crowd loved it. We had a very nice showing from the Belizean community as well so everybody was very happy.”

 

It’s an emotional time for the group, as they say goodbye to Andy Palacio and prepare to continue the legacy.

 

Via Phone: Joshua Arana, Lead Drummer/Singer

“This new album launch is an official goodbye, because it is the first album since Andy Palacio passed away. It’s an official goodbye to the body of Andy Palacio because his soul is always here with us and we feel that every time we play.”

 

Via Phone: Ivan Duran

“The reception is very, very similar and definitely people are making the connection. Just this morning we recorded a live show here at WNYC and we played three songs and the host of the show actually had Andy six years ago in the same studio with the Collective and he was just mentioning that this is clearly a continuation of that same work and he was as excited to hear the band now as he was six years ago when Andy was here.”

 

Via Phone: Joshua Arana

“Just the story of Andy Palacio and the journey of the Garinagu people. People are willing to listen and they can make that connection now between what we are doing and what Andy Palacio started six years ago.”

 

And even as Watina made it big back then, the reception to the group on tour and the preliminary reaction to the album are indications that Ayo is on track to shine like its predecessor. The record is being released on the Cumbancha label in the U.S.

 

Via Phone: Jacob Edgar, Cumbancha Records

“I first became aware of Garifuna music and culture when I was pretty young, when I was in college and I was studying in Costa Rica and Central America and I fell in love with the story and the music and was really interested in the culture. Over the years I got to know Ivan Duran from Stonetree and we became friends and ultimately when I started my own record label we decided to work together and see if I could help spread the news about Garifuna music to the world.”

 

Via Phone: Joshua Arana

“We’re expecting a lot, definitely a lot out of it. Otherwise we would not be here. We wouldn’t have started this in the first place. So we definitely have high expectations of ourselves.”

 

Jacob Edgar

Via Phone: Jacob Edgar

“I think it’s a very powerful record. It’s both an opportunity for people to thank and say goodbye to Andy Palacio but also to express their joy and hope for the future. And I think that message and that emotion comes across very well in the record and I think that is what’s going to appeal to people. People are going to hear the soul, they’re going to hear the spirit, they’re going to hear the story of the Garifuna and the story of the culture that is working to survive and to promote itself into the future. And the music is just beautiful and melodic and accessibly and I think it really will do very well.”

 

And to make sure the music and the message reach their audience, the producer and the Garifuna Collective are pulling out all the stops.

 

Andy Palacio

Via Phone: Jacob Edgar

“We’ve launched the album across the United States and Canada now on July second and we’re bringing the group to tour along with Danny Michel for many of the concerts so they’ll be all over the United States. They’ve already played in the Midwest, in Chicago, they’re going to DC, to Los Angeles, to San Francisco, everywhere. And we hope to bring them back for more tours in the future and we also have plans to launch the album in Europe in September and the group already has some dates booked in Europe in that time period so we’ll be bringing them to Europe as well. But Cumbancha distributes music everywhere. We distribute in Australia, in Japan, in South Africa so as we did with Watina, with Andy Palacio’s record, we really hope to get this music far and wide.”

 

The Garifuna Collective has also been performing with acclaimed Canadian singer Danny Michel. Mike Rudon for News Five.

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