Six years ago, Belizean musician Andy Palacio and his band the Garifuna Collective released ‘Wátina’ an album that had critical acclaim across the board and bought the music and culture of Central America’s Afro-Amerindian Garifuna community to an international stage (read more about the culture here). A few years ago, ‘Wátina’ was declared as the greatest world music album of all time by Amazon – no mean feat seeing as though it beat more well-known artists such as the Buena Vista Social Club, Femi Kuti and Manu Chao. Unfortunately for the immensely talented Andy Palacio, the success was short lived as he sadly passed away suddenly at the age of 47 not long after the album was released.
The good news is that the Garifuna Collective are still playing together and earlier this month they released their album ‘Ayo’ (which means ‘Goodbye’ in the Garifuna language) on the great record label Cumbancha. ‘Wátina’ producer Ivan Duran is back on the helm and has created an album of heart-stirring tracks that draw from the Central American, African and in particular Garifunan cultures and musical styles. The Garifuna Collective are a band to treasure musically and culturally, watch the new video for ‘Mongulu’ here – enjoy!