Belize - Belize News - - Great Belize Productions - Belize Breaking News
Home » Art & Culture, People & Places » Lebeha Drummers to Release Sophomore Album: Biama
May 16, 2023

Lebeha Drummers to Release Sophomore Album: Biama

In tonight’s episode of Kolcha Tuesday, News Five looks at the Lebeha Drummers of Hopkins, as they prepare for the release of their second album, Biama, on Friday.  The collective has been busy recording new music at Stone Tree Records and today, Isani Cayetano sat with celebrated drummer Warren Martinez to talk about his childhood in the coastal community, as well as his love for Garifuna music.  Here’s that story.


Isani Cayetano, Reporting

The timbre of the Segundo is the soul of Garifuna music.  Each drumbeat conjures up a spiritual experience that is heightened by call and response that harken back to Africa.  As a child growing up in Hopkins Village, Warren Martinez was fascinated by the distinct sounds of these percussion instruments.


Warren Martinez

Warren Martinez, Lebeha Drummers

“Growing up in Hopkins, I grew up with my grandmother, my cousins, my aunt, my uncle.  It’s just one big family.  So growing up in Hopkins is all Garifuna.  In my neighborhood, all the older people were playing drums every day.  Paranda, Punta, Chumb and then we normally have dance groups that they take to the resorts.  So I was just a little boy growing up and I [was] always listening to these people playing, singing and then every day, every day, it just attracted my soul and, you know what, I’m just gonna try playing drums.”


Warren began experimenting with various patterns on pots and pans inside his grandmother’s kitchen, much to her chagrin. Soon enough, he discovered that he had a knack for rhythm.  In due time, others in the community learned of his unique talent.


Warren Martinez

“What inspired me is when I continued and I said, “Wow, I can roll.”  I said, “Yup!”  So from rolling, from playing, experience, then Jabbar called me because a lot of people knew that I was a good drummer already, but I was still shy.”


Jabbar Lambey, by all accounts, is a virtuoso.  The master drummer quickly took young Warren under his wing and helped him to hone his skill.  Eventually, Warren joined another budding musician, Clayton Williams, popularly known as C-Wills as part of a new Garifuna collective known as the Lebeha Drummers.


Warren Martinez

“The knowledge that I get from drumming, it takes me all over the world.  I don’t have to be in Japan, but my music and my picture is already in Japan.  But my main focus is that I traveled and I teach my music to the world.  It’s not everyone that knows about Garifuna music, so it’s good that whenever we perform Garifuna music, we represent it at a hundred percent as it’s gotta be.”


Together, the trio has recorded and produced its sophomore album, aptly titled Biama; two, in Garifuna.


Warren Martinez

“Biama is the album that we recorded at Stone Tree Records.  It is myself, Jabbar and Clayton, AKA C-Wills, everybody know di man.  So, we have traditional songs.  We have original songs and then we also have instrumental songs. This one, Biama, it gives us a different vibe because the first album that we did with Lebeha, we were still young.  We were still young, the vocals, the lead vocals were squeaking.  We weren’t singing, we were just squeaking, but now we have the professional voice.  We traveled and now we have the professional voice.  We traveled and we know exactly how the vocals, the lead vocalist and backup vocalist, so we know all of that now.  So we put Biama now, to a level of Garifuna music that it’s supposed to be going out, straight out and make it happen for Garifuna music as well.  Just like how Watina went, we want Biama to do the same.”


Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

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.

Advertise Here

Comments are closed