FREE 2015 Global Beat Festival Concert featuring U.S. Debut of Honduran Guitarist, Eduardo ‘Guayo’ Cedeño (from GARIFUNA SOUL and GARIFUNA COLLECTIVE Band) to Take Place in Lower Manhattan, New York on SATURDAY, May 9th 2015. He Will Be Joined by GARIFUNA Singer Songwriter from Honduras, AURELIO MARTINEZ

 

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New York, New York — Supporters of World Music who live in the New York City area are in for a treat as veteran Honduran Guitarist Eduardo “Guayo” Cedeño and his Coco Bar band will be featured in a FREE Concert as part of the 2015 Global Beat Festival in conjunction with Arts Brookfield in Manhattan on SATURDAY, May 9th 2015.  This concert will serve as his United States debut as a solo music artist.

Eduardo “Guayo” Cedeño is an acclaimed Honduran guitarist from La Ceiba, Honduras.  Considered one of the finest masters of the electric guitar in all of Central America, Mr. Cedeño is known to international audiences through his work on the albums of Andy Palacio and the Garifuna Collective, Aurelio Martinez and the Umalali The Garifuna Women’s Project albums by Music Label, Stone Tree Records.

(from left to right) Honduran Guitarist, Eduardo "Guayo" Cedeño performing with Garifuna Singer Songwriter from Honduras, Aurelio Martinez at Lincoln Center in 2010. Photo by Teofilo Colon Jr. All Rights Reserved.

(from left to right) Honduran Guitarist, Eduardo “Guayo” Cedeño performing with Garifuna Singer Songwriter from Honduras, Aurelio Martinez at Lincoln Center in 2010. Photo by Teofilo Colon Jr. All Rights Reserved.

Guayo Cedeño learned his music craft by watching his father’s (they both share the same name) pioneering Honduran rock band, Los Robbins performing in Honduras and throughout Central America.  Guayo Cedeño’s sound has been described as having a romantic, yet slinky tone, and also Latin Lounge-ish, reminding some of American slide guitarist, musician and composer Ry Cooder as well as Arizona-based, Americana / Tex-Mex / indie rock band Calexico.    1

(from left to right) Garifuna Singer Songwriter from Honduras, Aurelio Martinez and Honduran Guitarist Eduardo "Guayo" Cedeño performing at New York City's Lincoln Center in 2010. Photo by Teofilo Colon Jr. All Rights Reserved.

(from left to right) Garifuna Singer Songwriter from Honduras, Aurelio Martinez and Honduran Guitarist Eduardo “Guayo” Cedeño performing at New York City’s Lincoln Center in 2010. Photo by Teofilo Colon Jr. All Rights Reserved.

Coming from a family of musicians (his brother Carlos Cedeño is an accomplished drummer, his grandmother played the mandolin and his grandfather played the violin), it’s no surprise that Guayo Cedeño became a musician.  In a February 2014 profile in Honduran newspaper La Prensa, he explained that his musical inclination is towards rock, jazz and the blues and those influences can be heard throughout his work and in his upcoming album, Coco Bar (also the name of his band).  2

The Coco Bar album is scheduled to be released in 2015 and will also serve to pay homage to Eduardo Guayo Cedeño’s father’s (they both share the same name) musical legacy.  Again, his father is one of the founders of pioneering 1960s Honduran Rock Band Los Robbins, who later on went on to perform in Honduran musical group, Los Rolands.

Cover to Greatest Hits Collection of Pioneering Honduran Rock Band, LOS ROBBINS.  Eduardo Guayo Cedeño's father was a co-founder of this Honduran Rock Group.  Photo courtesy of munster-records.com

Cover to Greatest Hits Collection of Pioneering Honduran Rock Band, LOS ROBBINS. Eduardo Guayo Cedeño’s father was a co-founder of this Honduran Rock Group. Photo courtesy of munster-records.com

While not a Garifuna, Eduardo Guayo Cedeño, his support of and overall artistic musical work with noted Garifuna musicians is noteworthy. While relations between Garifunas and other ethnicities or races vary from positive to negative, I also find that his career, on the outside looking in, is representative of talented and ambitious musicians of different ethnicities and / or races mutually working together to make art.  It’s inspiring and a necessary step when one is looking to further their musical ambitions.  For those unaware, here’s a brief explanation of the major racial and ethnic groups in Honduras.

QUICK HONDURAS RACIAL / ETHNIC HISTORY LESSON

In the early history of Honduras, you have ethnic groups that arose from in essence, three racial groups or categories.  (Most of the following information is taken from the Sarah England book, “Afro Central Americans in New York City: Garifuna Tales of Transnational Movements in Racialized Space” Copyright 2006, Publisher University Press of Florida)

  • Indigenous peoples (Tolupanes, Tawakas, Pech, Miskitu, Chorti, Lencas)
  • Poor whites (Spanish peninsulares–Spainard living in New World–or their American children, known as criollos)
  • Freed Blacks (descendants of African slaves brought as early as 1540 to replace the indigenous peoples in the mines of the interior of Honduras).

These groups formed a bunch of different racial groups out of all the possible mixtures of these ‘pure’ races.

  • Mulatos (Black mixed with White)
  • Zambos (Black Mixed with Indigenous)
  • Mestizos (Indigenous mixed with White)
  • Ladinos (term used to refer to anyone of any race mixture that had acculturated to Spanish culture and language)
  • Indio (Although in English, it translates into ‘Indian’, the term can also be used to not only to refer to members of an indigenous group like ‘miskito’ but also to the majority population of Honduras, ‘mestizos’, often with connotations of lower class or peasant status.  The term can also be used as an insult implying ignorance, low status, and/or propensity to violence.  3

Another group to mention are castas (“castes” in English).  Mixed population of above mentioned racial/ethnic groups that were excluded from wealth and power in Honduras.  Despite that, they served as a ready supply of cheap and mobile labor.

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By the time the Garifuna people arrived in Honduras in 1797; the castas represented 60 percent of the population–mainly in the southern and central regions of Honduras.

In the 1840s, English-speaking Blacks and Whites from the Cayman Islands arrived.  They mostled settled on the Bay Islands off the Honduran coast.  At that time, the British controlled the Bay Islands, like Roatan (which explains how the Garifuna people were sent there after being exiled from St. Vincent Island) and didn’t give Honduras sovereignity until 1860.  These Blacks are also referred to as Negro Ingles/Creoles.

In early 1900s, West indian labor was brought in to Honduras to work at the multinational fruit companies, which were based in Honduras.  After the Depression of the 1930s brought down production of bananas and such, many West Indians went back to countries like Jamaica.  However, a few settled in port towns like Tela, Puerto Cortes, and La Ceiba.

Finally, you also have Palestinian and Lebanese Arabs  who began to arrive in the early 1900s attracted by business opportunities they could exploit in the banana enclave.  They’ve since become the wealthiest capitalists in Honduras, where they dominate the agricultural and industrial sectors in the North Coast.  Usually they aren’t included in lists of ethnic groups in Honduras and are considered racially and culturally distinct from the ladino population.   4

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Eduardo Guayo Cedeño is a music veteran who has had a long accomplished career.  After performing with a few metal bands in Honduras, he got a tip that Honduran singer musician Guillermo Anderson was looking for a guitarist and Guayo, sensing a great opportunity when he saw one, immediately joined with him and was able to learn much about the music business through his association with Mr. Guillermo Anderson.

After that he worked with Garifuna music artists like Aurelio Martinez and eventually was recruited into the Belize-based Stone Tree Record Label family, lending his electric guitar to the seminal Garifuna music albums on that record label.

I see Eduardo Guayo Cedeño credited on songs on the Andy Palacio & The Garifuna Collective Album, “Watina” (“I Called Out” in the Garifuna Language), The “Umalali: The Garifuna Women’s Project” album, Aurelio Martinez  “Laru Beya” (“By The Beach” in the Garifuna Language) and “Landini” (“Landing Place” in the Garifuna Language) albums, and the Garifuna Collective album “Ayo” (“Goodbye” in the Garifuna Language).

(from left to right) Honduran Guitarist Eduardo Guayo Cedeño, Garifuna Precussionist Bodoma and Garifuna Singer Songwriter Aurelio Martinez during their concert at New York City's Carnegie Hall in 2011. Photo by Teofilo Colon Jr. All Rights Reserved.

(from left to right) Honduran Guitarist Eduardo Guayo Cedeño, Garifuna Precussionist Bodoma and Garifuna Singer Songwriter Aurelio Martinez during their concert at New York City’s Carnegie Hall in 2011. Photo by Teofilo Colon Jr. All Rights Reserved.

I do not know about the chemistry amongst the musicians Guayo Cedeño worked with, but it appears he is well-liked and appreciated for his considerable talent.  Take a look at this lighthearted moment during a concert by international World Music Star, Garifuna Singer Songwriter Aurelio Martinez at Carnegie Hall in 2011.  Here, each band member takes turns demonstrating their dancing ability to the garoun drummers as well as before the audience.  Pay attention to how the audience reacted to the dancing.


This Global Beat Festival will take place on SATURDAY, May 9th 2015 at 8pm.  It will take place at the Winter Garden at Brookfield Place.

Brookfield Place New York

Winter Garden at Brookfield Place

230 Vesey Street

New York, NY 10281

8pm to 10pm

 

The Global Beat Festival debuted in 2014 and is a FREE Three Day World Music Festival.  It explores music from acclaimed musicians from around the world and has them perform at the unique performance venue of the glass-vaulted Winter Garden.  Each night pairs two groups from different traditions for a three day music experience unlike any other.

Sponsored by Arts Brookfield via international commercial property owner Brookfield Property Partners; Arts Brookfield aims to invigorate public spaces through the presentation of FREE cultural experiences in Brookfield’s premier buildings around the world.  By commissioning, producing, and presenting world-class works of art, Arts Brookfield supports creativity and innovation in the fields of music, dance, theater, film, and visual art.  Americans for the Arts named Brookfield one of the ten Best Businesses Partnering with the Arts in America in 2014.

This particular date initially was slated to feature Honduran Guitarist Guayo Cedeño his Coco Bar band and Brazilian Singer Musician Flavia Coelho from France.   Garifuna Singer Songwriter Aurelio Martinez was scheduled to be a guest of Guayo Cedeño and perform with him for a short stint.  However, an update from Arts Brookfield states that Brazilian Singer Musician Flavia Coelho in NOT able to perform at The 2015 Global Beat Festival due to a visa issue.

in her place, International World Music Star, Garifuna Singer Songwriter, Aurelio Martinez will now step in with his Garifuna Soul band and perform in a special 3 part program!

Guayo Cedeño + Coco Bar will begin the evening, followed by Aurelio Martinez and his Garifuna Soul Band and finally Guayo Cedeño and Aurelio will BOTH take the stage for the final performance of the night and festival.   5

 

The Coco Bar is a psychedilic rock trio from Honduras.  It consists of:

Guayo Cedeño (Lead Guitar)

Emilio Alvarez  (Bass Guitar)

Carlos Cedeño (Drums)

 –

Here is video of Coco Bar at the 2014 Womex Festival.

As per the aim of the Global Beat Festival, this concert will be a Rock and Roll meets Garifuna music mash-up and should be quite an evening.

Here is more video of Guayo Cedeño and the Coco Bar band at the 2014 Womex Festival.

 

 About Aurelio Martinez

(from the ABOUT Section on the Aurelio Martinez Website) 6

Born in the tiny coastal hamlet of Plaplaya on Honduras’ Caribbean coast, Aurelio Martinez, may be one of the last generations to grow up steeped in Garifuna tradition. These traditions encompass the African and Caribbean Indian roots of his ancestors, a group of shipwrecked slaves who intermarried with local natives on the island of St. Vincent, only to be deported to the Central American coast in the late eighteenth century.

Martinez recalls his humble but highly musical beginnings in his remote hometown. “In the village I was born, there is still no electricity,” Martinez told Afropop Worldwide in a 2006 interview. “When I was a child, I had very natural toys. My first toy was a guitar I built for myself from wood taken from a fishing rod. So that’s how I played my first chords.”

He learned these chords from his family, including his father, a well-loved local troubadour who improvised playful paranda songs that embrace Garifuna roots and Latin sounds. He became a drummer almost as soon as he began to walk, thanks to his uncles and grandfather. From his vocally talented mother, he learned to sing and picked up many songs she crafted.

Superstar Garifuna Singer Musician AURELIO MARTINEZ at Lincoln Center in 2010.  Photo by Teofilo Colon Jr.  All Rights Reserved.

Superstar Garifuna Singer Musician AURELIO MARTINEZ at Lincoln Center in 2010. Photo by Teofilo Colon Jr. All Rights Reserved.

A prodigy of percussion, Martinez began performing at Garifuna ceremonies when just a boy, even at the most sacred events where children were usually not allowed. By the time he left Plaplaya to attend school at 14, he was a respected musician with a firm grounding in Garifuna rhythms, rituals, and songs.

While attending secondary school at the provincial capital of La Cieba, Martinez dove into diverse and innovative musical projects that took him outside the traditional sphere of performance. He played professionally with popular Latin ensembles, wrote music for theater and pop groups, and refined his musical skills with private teachers.

He soon founded a Garifuna ensemble, Lita Ariran, one of the first Garifuna groups to appear on an internationally distributed recording. Martinez’s virtuosic musicianship and passionate performances made him a mainstay of the La Cieba music scene, where he was best loved for his take on punta rock, the high-energy, Garifuna roots-infused pop genre that took Central America by storm in the 1990s.

Garifuna Singer Songwriter, Aurelio Martinez during an impromptu set at The BIKO Center in Brooklyn in 2011.  Photo by Teofilo Colon Jr.  All Rights Reserved.

Garifuna Singer Songwriter, Aurelio Martinez during an impromptu set at The BIKO Center in Brooklyn in 2011. Photo by Teofilo Colon Jr. All Rights Reserved.

His musical career took a global turn thanks to his Belizean friend and fellow musician Andy Palacio, who organized a major Garifuna festival and invited Martinez. The two artists struck up a decades-long friendship thanks in part to their shared hopes for the future of Garifuna music and culture.

Through Palacio Martinez met Ivan Duran, the tireless producer behind Belize’s Stonetree Records, and participated in a compilation of paranda, the Latin-inspired genre his father had favored, a style that was slowly dying out among the Garifuna. The comparatively youthful Martinez, youngest of the three generations on the recording, proved that the music was still alive and kicking.

With Duran, Martinez began thinking about the evolution of the music he had grown up with, and his first solo album Garifuna Soul (2004) explored his roots in both paranda and traditional rhythms. Martinez’s richly resonant voice and soulful acoustic songs caught the attention of the global music press and put Martinez on the map as a tradition-bearer with an innate musicality and subtle innovative streak.

Aurelio Martinez's Garifuna Soul album.  (2004. StoneTree Records)

Aurelio Martinez’s Garifuna Soul album. (2004. StoneTree Records)

When not performing and recording, Martinez took on a new role in 2005: as a representative to the Honduran National Congress, the first of African descent in the country’s history. Devoting himself to a different approach to supporting and promoting Garifuna culture, Martinez set aside his music making for years as a legislator and politician.

However, it was Palacio, himself involved in politics in Belize, and Duran who brought Martinez back to his first calling, music. In 2008, Palacio passed away unexectdely at the young age of 48, leaving the Garifuna community stunned and bereft. ”Aurelio was still a congressman, but he left the congress session to go to Belize for the funeral,” Duran recalls. “He hadn’t been playing guitar for months because of his intense political commitments. But after Andy’s passing, he gave a few concerts and he knew he needed to start recording right away.”

Laru Beya was not only a way of honoring Palacio as a person; it was a means for continuing his mission of uplifting and expanding what it meant to be a Garifuna artist. Together with Duran, several veteran Garifuna musicians, and the occasional local ensemble dropping into the studio, Martinez began laying down the tracks for this recording in a cabana on the beach.

Taking up Palacio’s mantle as bard and advocate for his people, however, did not mean Martinez stopped his exploration of new approaches to Garifuna sounds, in particular their musical links with West Africa. Thanks to a mentorship with Afropop legend Youssou N’Dour (as part of the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative), Martinez found himself in Senegal, learning from the stunning singer, rethinking his arrangements, and meeting everyone from big names in Dakar (Orchestra Baobob, who recorded with Martinez) to unknown talents hanging out in the back alleys of the city’s poor medina.

Laru Beya by Aurelio Martinez.  Released in 2011 by Stonetree Records / Sub Pop Records.

Laru Beya by Aurelio Martinez. Released in 2011 by Stonetree Records / Sub Pop Records.

The result is a lush journey marked with thoughtful reflections of the Garifuna past, the sometimes difficult present, and the promising glimmers of the future for artists like Martinez. “This album is about far more than just keeping tradition alive; it’s about urging people to action when they listen. We’re dealing with an emergency, and we don’t know if Garifuna music will survive,” muses Duran. “But this album will show people in Central America and around the world that Garifuna music is alive and well, and that artists are moving it forward.”

“We’re not going to let this culture die,” Martinez affirms. “I know I must continue the culture of my grandparents, of my ancestors, and find new ways to express it. Few people know about it, but I adore it, and it’s something I must share with the world.”

(Words: Tristra Newyear with help from Dmitri Vietze and Ivan Duran)

In 2015, Aurelio Martinez is in the midst of celebrating 30 years in the music business.  He is commemorating this milestone with a series of shows and concerts.  Namely, the All-Star Tribute Concert which took place in the Bronx in March.

ABOUT The Garifuna People

The Garifuna people are people of African descent (in other words, Black people) whose ancestry can be traced to Africans mixing with Carib Indians and Arawak Indians on the Eastern Caribbean island of St. Vincent. From this fusion of race and ethnicities in St. Vincent Island, a distinct culture and language arose.  They are noted for being one of the few (only?) peoples of African descent (again, in other words, Black people) in the Americas to have maintained aspects of their ancestral culture and full use of their ancestral language for everyday use over the course of hundreds of years.

After being defeated in war with the British on St. Vincent in 1796; 1004 men, 1779 women and 1,555 children for a total of 4,338 people (mostly Black Caribs, as the Garifuna people were then known) were captured and taken to Baliceaux, a small island, a rock, basically, off the coast of St. Vincent.  This took place from July 1796 through February/March 1797.  About 2,000 Garifunas died of a mysterious and very infectious fever while living on Baliceaux awaiting their fate.  7

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In early March 1797, the remaining Garifunas were loaded onto the HMS Experiment and other ships.  Once they were rounded up, the convoy were taken to a Bequia, which is another island off the coast of St. Vincent. They proceeded to go to Grenada to get water, then Jamaica for refueling, then finally Roatan, Honduras, arriving on April 12th 1797.

Finding much of Roatan unliveable, the Garifuna people petitioned officials representing Spain and it’s government (which controlled much of Central America at the time) to be allowed to move to the Honduran mainland.  Upon being allowed to move to the Honduran mainland, namely the port town of Trujillo, Honduras in May 1797; the Garifunas settled many towns and villages along the Caribbean coast of Honduras.  They also migrated to the neighboring countries of Guatemala, Belize (then known as British Honduras) and Nicaragua over the years.  Finally, Garifuna People have also migrated to the United States of America where generations have settled in cities like New York City, Chicago and Los Angeles.  Despite their mainly Spanish surnames, their culture and history are distinct from other Afro-American and Latino ethnic groups and it’s important to keep that in mind.

If you find the BEING GARIFUNA Website helpful and useful, please DONATE.  Every dollar donated helps keep this website in operation.  Donations are accepted via the PAYPAL website so your potential donations are SAFE and SECURE.

 

Honduran Guitarist, Guayo Cedeño.  Photo courtesy of Eduardo "Guayo" Cedeño.

Honduran Guitarist, Guayo Cedeño. Photo courtesy of Eduardo “Guayo” Cedeño.

Notes:

  1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calexico_%28band%29
  2. http://www.laprensa.hn/honduras/relatosurbanos/445851-98/guayo-cedeno-revivira-los-ritmos-que-toco-su-padre
  3. Mark Anderson, “Black and Indigenous: Garifuna Activism and Consumer Culture in Honduras”. Copyright 2009. Publisher: University of Minnesota Press.
  4. Sarah England, “Afro Central Americans in New York City: Garifuna Tales of Transnational Movements in Racialized Space” pg 14-17. Copyright 2006, Publisher University Press of Florida
  5. http://artsbrookfield.com/event/global-beat-festival/
  6. https://aureliomusic.bandpage.com/
  7. Nancie L Gonzalez, “Sojourners of The Caribbean: Ethnogenesis and Ethnohistory of the Garifuna” pgs 21-23

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