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Jun 20, 2008

Umalali Tour/Album receive rave reviews in Europe

Story PictureIn March, Stonetree Records released its latest compilation entitled “Umalali: The Garifuna Women’s Project” and less than a month later the women and the Garifuna Collective hit the road for a tribute tour in honour of Andy Palacio and to promote the album to music lovers everywhere. According to producer Ivan Duran, they were successful with both tasks as the tour and the album have received rave reviews.

Ivan Duran, Producer
“We were very happy with what happened in the tour and most recently, for the honour to be on the number one spot on the World Music Charts in European again. If you recall last year Andy Palacio’s Watina was the first album in Central America to reach the number spot on the World Music Charts in Europe. To have this honour twice in less than a year is quite encouraging. A lot of people, after Andy’s passing, asked themselves what would happen with Garifuna music, what would happen with Belizean music in general in the world and to have this attention continuing is very encouraging for future artists. So it’s a great honour really.”

“People are finding out that there is a lot more than just one artist and it’s actually a whole movement, a whole musical movement in Belize to project Garifuna music to the world and they are discovering that. That again, is part of the plan of the Garifuna Collective; to spur new talent, to launch new artists out there and that’s what we’ll continue to do.”

“We’ve just finished the first video clip of the Umalali CD. It’s a video clip for track one, Nibadi, it’s a very beautiful opening track for the album that is performed by Sofia Blanco. This is s clip that was shot in Belize during the Garifuna celebrations in November where Andy Palacio and a group of fifteen journalists from around the world toured Belize and especially all the different Garifuna communities in the south and that’s where the shots came from. It also includes a moment of Andy and Sofia Blanco performing at Why-Not Island in Dangriga.”

“Andy left a very big hole in all of us and also it’s, it’s harder to be on the same stage that Andy was supposed to be in and signing his songs to a crowd that will sing along with you. It’s very emotional. Lloyd Augustine, who is now singing the songs off of Watina on the tour, he’s seeing while on tour why Andy was loved around the world, how people sing his songs and how people appreciated what he was doing. It’s very difficult, but at the same time same experience is inspiring for them to continue because they realise that they love the music and they will want more.”

“The Garifuna Collective will continue the Andy Palacio tribute tour and they’re off to Europe in about a month’s time and again, they will be playing several of the cities where they played last year and also some new countries like Portugal. It’s the first time the group goes to Portugal, they will be in Spain and France, Belgium and Germany and after that they come back to Belize and one of the things we want to do is play more in Belize so to a series of concerts out district. Usually, the band has nay played in Belize City or Dangriga but we really want to do a concert in the cayes.”

The European World Music Charts are not based on sales, but rather on airplay. Andy Palacio’s Watina was the first Central American album to reach number one on the W.M.C.E. and was later voted as the number one album of 2007. As for Umalali album sales, Duran says that the publicity the album has been getting has not been reflected as much in the sales. He is however hopeful that will change as the promotions continue.

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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