Afri-Garifuna Jazz Ensemble Seek Help To Share Innovative Music Project With The World

Members of The Afri-Garifuna Jazz Ensemble in Harlem in November 2011.  Photo by Teofilo Colon Jr.  All Rights Reserved.

Members of The Afri-Garifuna Jazz Ensemble in Harlem in November 2011. Photo by Teofilo Colon Jr. All Rights Reserved.

Copyright 2014 by Teofilo Colon Jr.  (a.k.a. “Tio Teo” or “Teofilo Campeon”) All Rights Reserved.  Telephone: (646) 961-3674.

Twitter:  @beinggarifuna

Brooklyn, New York — The Afri-Garifuna Jazz Ensemble recently began to use  the fundraising website gofundme.com in order to rally help so that this unique  music group can share their new and innovative music project with the world.

Formed in 2010/2011, The Afri-Garifuna Jazz Ensemble was formed by Jazz Vocalist Lucy Blanco and Singer Musician James Lovell, two accomplished singer-musicians of Garifuna Descent.  Lucy Blanco’s parents are Garinagu from Honduras and James Lovell’s parents are Garinagu from Belize.  This music group fuses Garifuna rhythms with the genre of Jazz to form a unique sound like no other.

According to Lucy Blanco, “the work we have been doing is rooted in preserving our Garifuna culture, language and music and also expressing through music how much we have progressed since Garinagu have been migrating to the United States since the 1930s.”  Miss Lucy Blanco also admits another motivation.  She adds,

“I think that even in the year 2014, when you mention the word Garifuna, there’s still an…ignorance as to what that word means.  The story of the Garifuna people is still not commonly known.  We have so much more to tell the world and we have the opportunity to do that with music.” — Lucy Blanco

The Afri-Garifuna Jazz Ensemble in Harlem in November 2011.  Photo by Teofilo Colon Jr.  All Rights Reserved.

The Afri-Garifuna Jazz Ensemble in Harlem in November 2011. Photo by Teofilo Colon Jr. All Rights Reserved.

The Afri-Garifuna Jazz Ensemble is looking to raise $5,500 by March 31st 2014 so that they can accomplish two goals.  The first goal is to help fund the recording of a mini-album of music, their first.  Expenses include paying musicians, booking studio time, recording music, mixing and mastering the music.   There are also expenses for mechanical licensing fees (fees paid to publishing companies like BMI and ASCAP so that musicians and singers have permission to record or re-record copyrighted music and songs), as well as the duplication of CDs.

The second goal would be to help pay for the room, board and travel for The Afri-Garifuna Jazz Ensemble so that they can fly to Los Angeles and perform before audiences at the Freda Sideroff’s Third Annual Garifuna International Film Festival during Memorial Day Weekend.

With their day jobs as well as proceeds from a number of gigs over the years, The Afri-Garifuna Jazz Ensemble has accumulated a small amount of money to finance their first music project.  Sadly, they are a long way from their goal and hope that fans and other people interested in their innovative brand of Garifuna rhythms and jazz can help them see their project to fruition.  In the past, Miss Lucy Blanco has mentioned her pride in her group’s attempt to marry Garifuna rhythms to Jazz, a genre of music that is a music art form indigenous to the United States of America.

The Afri-Garifuna Jazz Ensemble has arranged a select assortment of perks and prizes as gifts to those who donate to their innovative music project.  Needless to say, a CD of the project is one of those perks.  To see other perks, please go to the Afri-Garifuna Jazz Ensemble profile on the gofundme.com website for more details.

The Afri-Garifuna Jazz Ensemble — Current Lineup

Lucy Blanco – Lead Vocals

James Lovell – Vocals, Garifuna Drums

Dre Barnes – Piano

Gary Fritz – Percussion

Cenk Tenzil – Bass

Eva Vossmerbauemer – Violin

The Afri-Garifuna Jazz Ensemble has attracted media attention by outlets like The New York Daily News and are steadily developing an audience.  Lucy Blanco explains that they “present the music in a way that gives our ancestors honor and grace.”  Some people have taken note.  Time will tell if more people are exposed to the unique sound of The Afri-Garifuna Jazz Ensemble.  Below is a short video profile on The Afri-Garifuna Jazz Ensemble.

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