THE BLACK CARIBS OF BELIZE : Va (SOUL JAZZ) 2LP
Ancestral travellers of the Afro-Caribbean
The West African ancestry of the Black Caribs is a link to the other Afro-musics of the Caribbean and Latin America – the massive drum groups of the Samba Schools of Brazil, the Voodoo poly-rhythmical drums of Haiti, Afro-Cuban Salsa and the sacred Bata drums of Santeria, as well as the hypnotic rhythm of Nigeria’s Afro-Beat and other African musical forms.
The album features the many different styles of Black Carib (or Garifuna) music. The most famous and popular form is the punta, a dance style that was updated in the 1970s when local artists electrified the sound to create punta rock. The most successful groups – Pen Cayetano with the Original Turtle Shell Band, and more recently Andy Palacio – were the first artists to bring Garifuna music to a wider audience. Another artist, Aurelio Martinez, is currently doing the same thing for the Garifuna community in Honduras.
UNESCO has also recently proclaimed the music of the Black Caribs/Garifuna as one of the masterpieces of the oral and intangible heritage of humanity.