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Jul 24, 2013

Brukdong and Violin music at the Bliss

The Institute of Creative Arts is hosting tonight a one-of-a-kind show at the Bliss Institute. It is a summer bram featuring well-known violinist, William Harvey from Cultures in Harmony. Harvey has conducted over twenty projects in over a dozen countries to promote cultural understanding through music and tonight he will be fusing music from his violin with local brukdong lyrics.  News Five’s Jose Sanchez reports.


Jose Sanchez, Reporting

Tonight, the Bliss will be filled with the sounds of a visiting musician who has mastered his craft.


Jackie Castillo, Creative Industry Officer, ICA

Jackie Castillo

“It’s the culmination of a visit by William Harvey from Cultures in Harmony. He will be putting on a show for us called the Summer Bram. It’s called the Summer Bram because we are going to be doing violin and brukdong. We encourage people to come out. This show is really one of the first shows that we want to have to showcase how we can preserve the brukdong culture by fusing brukdong with other types of music.”


William Harvey never put down the violin after the first time he had an opportunity to touch the instrument.


William Harvey, Founder, Cultures in Harmony

“I’ve loved the violin ever since I started when I was three. And now I’m thirty and it’s my profession. Music is a universal language and that is also what I believe as the founder and director of Cultures in Harmony, an N.G.O. that promotes cultural understanding through music. And that’s what I am doing in Belize—hoping to promote greater understanding, cultural exchange between the U.S. and Belize and also preserving the traditional music and culture here such as brukdong music.”


Jose Sanchez

“And for people like our audience that may not know your music, how does that exchange occur. What is it that you actually do?”


William Harvey

William Harvey

“Well tonight at seven p.m. at the Bliss Center, I will be performing alongside brukdong musicians, with steel pan musicians. I think my training as a western classical musician gives me the ability to easily adapt into a lot of different genres of traditional music around the world. So whether I am in Cameroon, working with drummers in Papua New Guinea or sitar players and rappers in Pakistan; it is easy as a violinist to move in between and among a lot of musical settings.  I really enjoy the music especially the lyrics for like Freetown Gial and Baron Bliss Grave; those are really fun songs. And I learned how to improvise from the musicians and how to make a solo. It’s been very instructive for me and hopefully the audience will enjoy the result of that.”


The performance will bring back memories of Mister Peters.


Jose Sanchez

“Do you think there is a place for traditional music on the world stage; like the brukdong music for example?”


William Harvey

“Absolutely. Much world music is performed around the world and it is increasingly popular. People are by now familiar with popular music and they want to know what is out there. And I think brukdong should play even more of a role in defining Belize to the world and as Belize markets it wonderful Caribbean setting and being in the sun and doing all these tourist activities. The music should be part of that image and part of why people want to come to Belize.”


Jackie Castillo

“Tonight, we have several musicians from Belize. We have Emmett Young that plays the drums, we have William Harvey that is going to be playing his violin, we have Alex Evans and Cindy playing steel pan, we have Chris Bradshaw on sax, we have James Sanker on guitar, we have Harrison “Dawgy” King who is going to be doing wonderful brukdong music—some of his originals and some of Mister Peters’ cover. So it is going to be a dynamic experience.”


Reporting for News Five, Jose Sanchez.

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