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Apr 8, 2008

Kriol Council promotes traditional music …

Story PictureWhile rice and beans is still a staple Sunday dish in Belize, the musical side of Kriol culture has not fared as well as the cuisine. Aside from Mr. Peters, Leela Vernon and a few other local artists, the traditional tunes of the mahogany camps are as scarce as that precious timber. And that is exactly what the Belize Kriol Council is trying to change through two new initiatives. With the help of U.S. based ethno-musicologist Aaron Appleton, they’ve been holding daily workshops with aspiring Kriol composers who want to share their talent. The whole idea is to produce tangible pieces of work with which Belizeans can identify.

Aaron Appleton, Ethno-musicologist
“Belizean music, especially the Kriol music really appealed to me so I wanted to do whatever I could to preserve that music and just kinda help push along the natural talent that’s already there. Right now I’m just being a facilitator for the workshop here and dividing people into groups and giving them each passages of scriptures to write songs all dealing with the Christmas story in the Bible and then at the end of the week, all the songs we composed, we’ll present them in a concert for the community.”

Myrna Manzanares, President, Belize Kriol Council
“When yoh go da church and sing most ah di tunes da old English type songs and we have things within our culture, little movements, little sounds and all of that and even when you’re reading the scriptures in Kriol you get a little bit more understanding of what is happening and the same thing when you put them into songs. You get da lee “umph” like when yoh read it eena Kriol.”

Aaron Appleton
“The groups have already written about five or six songs and they range from Paranda to the Bruk Down, there’s a Garifuna group composing some music, there’s even some kinda modern songs, almost like reggae, but all based on the Christmas story.”

The concert starts at seven on Saturday night at the Lake Independence Baptist Church on Mahogany Street. Entrance is free. Appleton has participated in recording projects in Uganda, Rwanda, and Guatemala.

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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