30 April 2007

Monday's mp3: Live Garifuna Soul

I usually know a fair amount about artists before I go see them live, so it's rare that I'm taken by surprise. Saturday night's performances by Aurelio Martinez was one of those delightful surprises.Aurelio Martinez

Sure, I have been listening to the music of Martinez and other Garifuna musicians for some time, ever since I discovered their wonderful music, released largely by Stonetree Records. And I knew a little of the background of the Garifuna, with their origins in the mixing of local Caribs with the survivors of two wrecked slave ships sailing from West Africa.

Aurelio MartinezWhat I didn't know was what an amazingly talented performer Martinez is. I didn't know that in addition to his composing, singing, and guitar playing, he plays congas and other drums/percussion. And I didn't know he was an amazing dancer (the way he shook his butt, it's a miracle his wallet didn't fly off into the twelfth row!).

I also didn't know that the Seattle area had a significant Garifuna community. But they turned out in droves, and energized the evening through a running conversation with the band and providing an additional conga player (Ricardo Guilty) and a number of dancers who danced on stage at the band's invitation.Aurelio Martinez

Now I know. And you may have a chance to know all this as well, as Martinez and his band (Rolando Sosa Martinez on bass, Onan "Chi-Chi-man" Castillo Fernandez and Angel "Junior" Aparicio Bernardez Martinez on drums/percussion, and Ramon "Wayo" Eduardo Cedeno on guitar) are currently on tour in the USA.

[mp3] Aurelio Martinez: Túmari Tibarimu
from the album Paranda: Africa in Central America (Stonetree Records, 1998)

Aurelio also has a solo album out, Garifuna Soul, which you can also sample/buy at Calabash

The rest of the tour includes:
May 3 Old Town School of Folk Music, Chicago
May 5 Old Town School of Folk Music, Chicago
May 10 Americas Society, New York
May 11 Residency, 651 ARTS, Brooklyn, NY
May 12 Kumble Theater, 651 ARTS, Brooklyn, NY
May 15-17 International Arts Festival, San Francisco, CA
May 18-19 Living Traditions Festival, Salt Lake City, UT

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