Thursday, 1 December 2016

Cultural Roots in Central America

Despite listening to so much music from around the world for this challenge, it's come to my attention that I've completely neglected Central and South America!

Therefore this week, I'll be looking at two new-to-me acts from Honduras!

Aurelio Martinez
This singer-songwriter is a well-known Garifuna musician, guitarist and percussionist who picked up drumming, singing and Garifuna rhythms through his family members, becoming - by the age of 14 - a well-respected musician. Active for over 30 years, he's been involved in a number of musical groups and projects.
Being that Garifuna is unique to the Central America, being part of the culture of Garifuna people, Aurelio's music instantly transports you to sunny Central American shores, with fast beats and very prominent percussion.
I'd never listened to Garifuna music (or even heard of it) before now, and though it isn't the kind of thing I'd listen to frequently, I still liked it. Aurelio's music is very lively and upbeat, and listening to it made this chilly winter's day feel a little warmer!
Aurelio Martinez Official Website

Guillermo Anderson
After graduating from University of California in 1986, Guillermo Anderson's first album, released the same year, was for children. He returned to his native Honduras the next year, and formed an artist movement called La Ceiba COLECTIVARTES. Based in the port of La Ceiba, Guillermo made around twenty musical releases during his career, which was cut short by his death earlier this year.
Some of Guillermo's music has more of a Latin sound, whilst other tracks mix in Afro-Carribean percussion and make use of Garifuna rhythms alongside more widely-known musical styles such as salsa.
His music is really melodic and full of life, whether it's an upbeat song or something slower. Once again it isn't the kind of music I would listen to frequently, but I enjoyed listening!
Guillermo Anderson Official Website

Well, this week's listening turned out to be a bit of a lesson in culture, as well as a discovery of new-to-me music!
Previously I'd never heard of the Garifuna people, who are "mixed-race descendants of West African, Central African, Island Carib and Arawak people." (thanks, Wikipedia). They have a deep-rooted history, and in 2001 their language, dance and music was proclaimed by UNESCO as a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity. Check out the Wikipedia article to learn more, or - even better - check out, an entire website dedicated to the history, culture, and modern-day society of Garifuna.

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