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Apr 13, 2005

Music Week features regional orchestra

Story PictureActivities for Music Week continued today on the grounds of the House of Culture with the official opening of the Music Industry Association Resource Centre. The ribbon was cut by Minister of Education and Culture, Francis Fonseca, who, along, with MIAB President Ivan Duran, signed a memorandum of understanding with the National Institute of Culture and History in which the two organisations pledge to collaborate in the development of Belize’s music industry.

Meanwhile, preparations are in high gear for the performance phase of the week, which kicks off Thursday night at the Bliss with the internationally renowned Orquesta de la Papaya. This afternoon I took a sneak peek backstage.

Janelle Chanona, Reporting
The Tucker sisters are just a handful of the more than twenty-five amazing artists appearing at this week?s concert of Orquesta de la Papaya.

The event is extra special to the gospel singers, because before they moved to Costa Rica in the mid-80s, Belize City was home.

Arlene Tucker, Performer, Orquesta de la Papaya
?My father was a pastor so that?s why we came over here. So yes, the family has been travelling all over. Yes it has been really exciting. Today we have passed through some places where we were–at least the house that we were living in before, [we went] ?yes, that?s the house.? (Laughs) Yeah, it?s exciting.?

Since Orquesta de la Papaya was formed three years ago, the artists have played to audiences in the United States, Mexico, and throughout Europe. But three weeks ago, the band began their inaugural tour of Central America.

According to the orchestra?s founder, producer, and conductor, Manuel Obregon, the group?s success is steeped in the common bond of Central American culture: her music.

Manuel Obregon, Conductor, La Orchestra de la Papaya
?It?s more than only music, it?s something about maybe history, about the genetic memory as I call that thing that you cannot really explain with words, only when you listen to the band and you can see it?s possible to be together. And we have a lot of common roots to play not only the music, but I think to live with. Central America has been for many centuries, a way of communication between the North and South of America.?

On stage will be Marimba from Nicaragua, the Garifuna drums of Belize and Honduras, and the unique vocals from the Creoles of Costa Rica. Obregon says the eclectic blend of music breaks all barriers.

Manuel Obregon
?In one way everything comes together through this language that is the music, and it?s easier us to communicate playing the music than talking or writing about that. I think the languages are not a barrier, so we are talking with music so it doesn?t matter if it?s English or Quiché or an indigenous language or Spanish. The feeling is the same.?

La Orquesta de La Papaya takes to the stage at the Bliss Centre for the Performing Arts on Thursday and Friday nights.

Included in the line-up of Belizean artists scheduled to perform at the Bliss as part of Music Week are Titiman Flores, Mohobub Flores, Brother David Obi, Paul Nabor, the Garifuna All Star Band, and a host of local reggae artists.

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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