Garifuna Collective All Ages Early Warnings (Music) Member Picks Recommended Soundboard Image

When: Fri., June 21, 8 p.m. 2013

In spring 2007, when Belizean singer and songwriter Andy Palacio released his last and best album, Watina (Cumbancha), the Garifuna Collective was just his adroit backing group. The musical culture of the Garifuna (a mixed race of Africans and Arawak Indians) is in danger of dying out, and that record brought together its past and present—but then Palacio died from a stroke and heart attack in early 2008, and his people lost their most poetic and profound living artistic spokesman. I’m happy to see that the Garifuna Collective has picked up Palacio’s torch, and that it delivers the goods on the forthcoming Ayo (Cumbancha); no one member can match its former leader’s charisma and soul, but together they do his legacy justice. Gently percolating, sashaying polyrhythms thread their way through a delicate, dreamy lattice of acoustic and electric guitars, creating a warm, translucent backdrop for one of three different lead vocalists. The music has some familiar Caribbean flavors—sometimes Cuban, sometimes reggae—but the stuttery grooves, characterized by forceful patterns on maracas and scraped turtle shells, are distinct to the Garifuna, who live in parts of Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Belize. —Peter Margasak

Price: $22, $20 members

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