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Dec 2, 2009

Andy Palacio lecture and tribute song in Belize City

Story PictureHe passed away two years ago, but Andy Palacio still lives in the hearts and minds of Belizeans. The artist, who placed Belize on the world music charts, was remembered today on the occasion of his birthday with the release of a tribute video. The video is available for free distribution and was released by the Andy Palacio Foundation. News Five’s Jose Sanchez was at the Bliss Centre for the Performing Arts today for a lecture that marked anniversary of Palacio’s birth.

Jose Sanchez, Reporting
Today would have been the forty-ninth birthday of World Music Icon Andy Palacio. He passed away two years ago and the foundation in his honor celebrated with a lecture at the Institute of Creative Arts. Yasser Musa gave the main address.

Yasser Musa, Lecturer
“The foundation last year in December published the book Andy Palacio and this year we put forward the lecture. In addition to the lecture, we also released the song Wababa, which means my friend and a music video to accompany that song. So I think that every year we should try to do something big his birthday, December second. But the bigger question is why are we doing this and in his name? I believe Andy Palacio represents an important reference point, a point of reference where younger artists, younger thinkers, intellectuals, people who want to engage in the arts, the big picture of the arts can use and orient themselves and learn through his life’s work and not just stop there, but take it further. We know Andy Palacio as the name brand, the star, the music icon; but we really don’t know that this man took a very long and difficult journey of endurance, of growth and in my view, and I pointed this out in the lecture, the greatest accomplishment I see in terms of what Andy Palacio did was how he changed from the stereotype of himself, the punta rock star, and became a different artist within his own lifetime. That is an incredible accomplishment in my estimation.”

The music touches his daughter on a deeper level. The lyrics are a cultural diary that Kammy Palacio Casimiro reads to his grandchild.

Kammy Palacio Casimiro
“Off the Watina Album, the Ami, that’s the song I share with my daughter all the time. It speaks about with who he will bake cassava in times to come and who will do the dugu in times to come. So I try to play that music for her. She understands what the song says so I want her to know that daddy is asking us not to forget this so that we will be able to do it later on. So that’s our song, Ami. He wanted us to remember where we came from so as a people we need to remember where we came from and not to forget our culture and we need to work on not to lose it.”

Gilvano Swasey, Artist
“He has left footprints, he has left drums, he left turtle shells, ih left wah lee CD—actually several. Moving on, he left his children right and the sooner we realize that there is no more time, the better we will be.”

World music Icon, Senegalese born Youssou N’ Dour, teamed up with Aurelio Martinez, who sang Baba on the Watina album, for Andy’s tribute song.

Yasser Musa
“That is a very important milestone I think for Youssou N’ Dour to be singing on this track. Today we hear that the Mayor of Houston Texas has designated this day Andy Palacio day. That is another example of how his legacy continues in real and tangible ways. In New York, we hear of streets being named Andy Palacio, Paul Nabor. So I think that there are many examples that will continue to come forward but the best thing I think I would want to come from this day is that young people see in themselves Andy Palacio.”

Kammy Palacio Casimiro
“Making a song with Youssou N’ Dour was one of my father’s dreams so I believe Aurelio is just fulfilling that for him. So thanks to Aurelio for finding Mr. N’ Dour to make that song.”

Reporting fro News Five, Jose Sanchez.

On Friday, Aurelio Martinez will perform at the Rolex award in London.

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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