Aurelio Martinez | Garifuna Soul

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World: African World: Caribbean Moods: Mood: Upbeat
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Garifuna Soul

by Aurelio Martinez

Following in the footsteps of the legendary Parranderos from the Caribbean coast of Central America, with an enchanting blend of African and Latin acoustic roots, Aurelio emerges as one of the most exceptional Garifuna artists of his generation.
Genre: World: African
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Santo Negro
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4:31 $0.99
2. Yau
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4:24 $0.99
3. Nuwerun
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3:21 $0.99
4. Tagarigu Nanigi
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4:38 $0.99
5. Dügü
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4:29 $0.99
6. Deme Nowen
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3:37 $0.99
7. Yalifu
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3:59 $0.99
8. Niraü Hagabu
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4:23 $0.99
9. Lumalali Limaniga
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4:18 $0.99
10. Mala Mujer
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3:36 $0.99
11. Tabari Dudu
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3:17 $0.99
12. Tili Bugudura
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6:33 $0.99
Available as MP3, MP3 320, and FLAC files.


Album Notes
Acclaimed for both his preservation and modernization of the Paranda musical tradition, Aurelio's virtuosity is found in his distinctive, penetrating vocals and his talent as a composer. Aurelio was born into a family possessing a long and distinguished musical tradition in the small Garifuna community of Plaplaya in Honduras. Aurelio began playing guitar as soon as he was old enough to hold the instrument. By the age of six he was regularly playing drums at social gatherings. Inspired by his grandmother and his father, Aurelio gathered a vast repertoire, which later enabled him to develop his own style.

Garifuna Soul features the musical talents of Rolando Sosa, Lugua Centeno, Chela Torres, Justo Miranda, Andy Palacio, and others. Garifuna Soul was recorded by Ivan Duran and Gil Abarbanel in a relaxed atmosphere at Sandy Beach Resort in beautiful Hopkins village. The result is a natural sound that captures Aurelio’s spontaneous character and intensity.
This new album, a mix of original and traditional compositions, includes 12 selections, comprising a rich blend of acoustic instruments and soulful vocals. With the stage set for an emotive fusion of traditional and modern, Garifuna Soul has revolutionized, with fresh elegance, the tradition of Paranda music.

Aurelio’s collaboration with Stonetree Records dates back to 1997, when he contributed to the now famous Paranda recording sessions, delivering three masterful performances, including his well-known composition: “Africa” and an inspiring duet with Andy Palacio. Aurelio is an original member of the Garifuna All Star Band and has taken his Paranda music to stages in France, Japan, USA, Mexico and neighboring Central American countries.


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World Music Central

It absolutely sparkles from start to finish. Very highly recommended.
The sound of paranda is dang near irresistible- so beautifully simple, so untouched by commercialization, so instantly appealing to the heart and hips -that it feels fresh every time you hear it. Garifuna Soul is a sweetly rousing selection of songs laced with layered percussion, conversing guitars and gutsy singing occasionally jazzed up by a bit of sax or electric textures. Several notable world music journalists singled out this disc as one of 2004's best, and one spin will tell you why. It absolutely sparkles from start to finish. Very highly recommended.

Afropop Worldwide

Top 10 album and Afropop newcomer of the year award
"Soul" IS the word. The lead track, "Santo Negro," sets the mood with a passionate a capela opener that goes into a percussion heavy mix of Garifuna drums and turtleshells. The sung Garifuna language sounds like nothing you've heard before. And for good reason. Garifuna is a unique creole mix of indigenous and African tongues. Several songs are set in clave rhythm, reflecting the Caribbean coastal Garifunas' intersection with Latin Central America. Half the songs are credited as "traditional." Martinez's international debut delivers a deeply satisfying and consistently superb set of songs that range from melancholy and langor to joyful uplift.

Spin the Globe

This CD is welcome not only for its unique brand of Afro-Caribbean music, but also as an invitation to discover more about the Garifuna, whose ancestors were escaped Nigerian slaves who settled in Central America (Honduras, Belize, and Guatemala). The music (known as Paranda) is distinctly Afro-Caribbean, but completely different from Cuban, Jamaican, or other styles. Prominent are shakers, buzzy Garifuna drums, guitars, and Martinez's smoky voice (along with guest vocalists Andy Palacio, Chella Torres, and Lugua Centeno). The liner notes contain thorough musician credits, but no notes on songs and lyrics; one is left to guess or visit the label's website for English lyrics. The simple phrases or stories are pregnant with meaning and emotion, but specifics are elusive. Rich polyrhythms abound, even in "Dugu" which welcomes the arrival of the ancestors. Vocal harmonies grace "Nirau Hagabu," which sounds more upbeat even as it tells the story of a man who drinks at the bar while his wife does all the work at the farm. This album has already sent me researching the culture, and I'm sure to spend just as much time soaking in its musical riches.

Roots World

Garifuna Soul, Martínez's solo debut album, recently captured the attention of AfroPop Worldwide, which named him newcomer of the year. Backed by some of Belize's best studio musicians, who improvise adeptly on Garifuna percussion, saxophone, electric and bass guitars, Martínez takes the music into the future without compromising the cultural foundations of his inspiration. No hype or derivative artifice here, just contemporary roots music true to its hybrid cultural origins, untainted by the misrepresentations and commercial excess that characterize so much of what's on offer in the global music souk these days.-Michael Stone, Roots World

Songlines Magazine

It really is like nothing you’ve ever heard before.
There’s something very fresh and exciting about Aurelio Martinez’s take on the paranda music of the Garifuna people from Central America’s Caribbean coast. The haunting a capella intro of ‘Santo Negro’, with its simple call-and-response vocal owes a clear debt to Africa, especially the buzzing sound of the garaon (the Garifuna hand drums fitted with two metal strings over the head). Other tracks, meanwhile, highlight the Spanish-American influences on the music. ‘Yau’, with its slinky tenor sax and clave is a bolero that could feature in a Robert Rodriguez flick if it was sung in Spanish. All the traditional paranda elements are here – tortoise-shell percussion, West African drum rhythms and acoustic guitar – but Martinez manages to bring a contemporary twist to the mix.
Martinez, a Honduran Garifuna, is the latest star to emerge from the stable of Stonetree Records, Belize’s leading label. Stonetree was behind the launch of Andy Palacio, the king of punta rock, who brought electrified backing to souped-up versions of traditional punta rhythms. Palacio adds some of his own sparkle on ‘Lumalali Limanga’, a saxed-up dance track that comes on like a Dominican bachata.
But that’s part of the magic of this music, which evokes the Garifuna people’s origins in the 17th century meeting of shipwrecked African slaves and Carib Indians on the island of Saint Vincent. The drums sound straight out of Africa and yet the language is basically Amerindian with a few African French, Spanish and English words thrown in. It really is like nothing you’ve ever heard before.
Russell Maddicks