Did you know that UNESCO (world heritage) has proclaimed the language, dance and music of the Garifuna people of Central America a ‘masterpiece of the oral and intangible heritage of humanity?
Garifuna culture was forged when slave ships carrying captured Africans wrecked off the Caribbean island of Saint Vincent in the 1600s. The survivors swam ashore, mixed with the island’s indigenous Arawak population and created a unique and resilient culture that continues to this day to evolve with its own distinctive language, customs and music.
The Garifuna Collective, a multigenerational and progressive ensemble, hail from the country of Belize, and for over 10 years they have pushed the boundaries of their dynamic, centuries-old musical traditions.
So how does this sound?
Gently percolating, sashaying polyrhythms thread their way through a delicate, dreamy lattice of acoustic and electric guitars, creating a warm, translucent backdrop for powerful call-and-response vocals. The music has some familiar Caribbean flavours but the stuttery grooves, characterised by forceful patterns on maracas and scraped turtle shells, are distinct to the Garifuna.
The Garifuna Collective has performed in over 25 countries, has been part of the most celebrated Garifuna albums of all time, including the critically acclaimed Wátina, recipient of the WOMEX and BBC World Music Award and voted by Amazon as the Number One World Music Album of All Time.
Come on feel the warm historical winds blow through this collective’s music. Their Garifuna music will have you dancing about in no time, longing for the tropical coasts of Belize.