GARIFUNA Singer Musician from BOSTON, Carlos ‘Pichi’ Castillo Celebrates the Release of New Solo Album with Album Release Party in the BRONX on SATURDAY, May 9th 2015

 

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Bronx, New York — Young Garifuna Singer Musician, Carlos “Pichi” Castillo, a resident of Boston, has released his newest Garifuna music album, “Lirou Mua” (“Son Of The Land” in the Garifuna Language).  He is celebrating the release of this new album with a concert with fellow Garifuna singer musicians in the Bronx on SATURDAY, May 9th 2015.

Cover for new Carlos "Pichi" Castillo Album, "Lirou Mua" ("Son of The Land" in the Garifuna Language).

Cover for new Carlos “Pichi” Castillo Album, “Lirou Mua” (“Son of The Land” in the Garifuna Language).

The album has 10 songs that feature the sounds of Garifuna Music Genres,  Punta Rock and Paranda.  The song listing is as follows.

  • Intro
  • Historia Garifuna (“Garifuna History” in the Spanish Language)
  • Lieni Papa 2
  • Buwarabare
  • Lonchita
  • Wabuguña
  • Identidad
  • Ingrata
  • Sufuri (“Suffering / To Suffer” in the Garifuna Language)
  • Punta Tradicional

At 27 years of age, this young, Garifuna Singer Musician is already a veteran of the Garifuna music scene and with this new collection of Garifuna music, is ready to share his artistry with the world.

Born and raised in the Garifuna town of Corozal, Honduras; Carlos ‘Pichi’ Castillo had an inclination towards music ever since he was a child.  Pichi has been entranced by music ever since he was given a childhood gift of a guitar by his mother.  As time passed he has given in to music’s rhythm and sounds.

Carlos "Pichi" Castillo performing as part of The Garifuna Soul band with Aurelio Martinez at Lincoln Center in 2010.  Photo by Teofilo Cololn Jr.  All Rights Reserved.

Carlos “Pichi” Castillo performing as part of The Garifuna Soul band with Aurelio Martinez at Lincoln Center in 2010. Photo by Teofilo Cololn Jr. All Rights Reserved.

As he grew, Pichi played with other instruments made from discarded objects like cans and sticks.  While he did not know what was in his future, Pichi intuitively knew with passion and obedience that it would be music.

At the age of 12, he got his first opportunity to more intensely learn about music upon meeting and performing with Garifuna singer musician Jimmy Suazo.  At the time, Jimmy Suazo was a Superstar and Pichi found it difficult being in his presence.  After his first public musical appearance, he did well and from there, things happened very quickly for Pichi.  For example, The Rochez Brothers, who through their management of pioneering Garifuna Boy Band, The Garifuna Kids, helped garner international attention towards Punta Rock and Garifuna Music overall; took notice of Carlos Pichi Castillo.  Meeting the Rochez Brothers helped Pichi dream even bigger.

Carlos "Pichi" Castillo performing as part of Garifuna percussionist Bodoma's band at the 2013 New Jersey Folk Festival.  Photo by Teofilo Colon Jr.  All Rights Reserved.

Carlos “Pichi” Castillo performing as part of Garifuna percussionist Bodoma’s band at the 2013 New Jersey Folk Festival. Photo by Teofilo Colon Jr. All Rights Reserved.

The Rochez Brothers had found a diamond.  They were interested in this Garifuna music prodigy from whose hands oozed music.  They agreed on terms and in 1999, he moved to La Lima, Cortes Department, Honduras to begin his musical adventure with Honduran Garifuna music group, Black Men Soul.  1

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While his parents heavily debated whether Pichi should have left home at the age of 12, they gave in and allowed Pichi to further pursue his musical aspirations and love of music and instruments.  While the bass guitar, piano, regular drums, conga drums or electric guitar are fine, to Pichi the soul of Garifuna music is the Garoun, or the Garifuna drum.

Carlos "Pichi" Castillo performing as part of Garifuna percussionist Bodoma's band at the 2013 New Jersey Folk Festival.  Photo by Teofilo Colon Jr.  All Rights Reserved.

Carlos “Pichi” Castillo performing as part of Garifuna percussionist Bodoma’s band at the 2013 New Jersey Folk Festival. Photo by Teofilo Colon Jr. All Rights Reserved.

In La Lima, Honduras for 9 years, Pichi participated in concerts in Mexico, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Belize.  Over that period of time, this Garifuna music prodigy continued to share Garifuna culture through Garifuna music to audiences all over.  In 2008, he decided on a change of scenery and became Music Director for Garifuna music group “Los Bravos del Caribe” (“the Brave Ones of the Caribbean” in Spanish Language), founded by Garifuna Music Legend, Aurelio Martinez.  This new stage offered a new world of challenges to the personal and artistic growth to Pichi.

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In 2009, Pichi joined the Aurelio Martinez’s Garifuna Soul band, it was while performing with this band that Pichi was able to travel to Europe and perform before international audiences.  In 2010, Pichi released his first album, titled “Mis Ancestros” (“My Ancestors” in the Spanish Language).

Another song from that album which is a Paranda song called “Lilleni Papa”, which has become an anthem for single mothers.  With this song, Pichi reached a new dimension with his music, as he defended single mothers and showed them as heroes.  With this song, he also showed a political as well as social awareness unique to the genre.  Below is the song.

Here is Carlos Pichi Castillo performing that song LIVE in his hometown of Corozal, Honduras in 2012.

Carlos “Pichi” Castillo has also performed with the La Nueva Imagen Band in Boston, where he currently lives.  Below is the music video for a Punta Rock song by Carlos “Pichi” Castillo called “Sufuri” (“To Suffer” in the Garifuna Language).  In the music video for the song, there’s a brief vignette which opens the music video where you get a glimpse of Pichi’s creative process as well as the Boston Area.  You also see footage of Garinagu in Honduras.

This Album Release Party for Carlos Pichi Castillo’s new album “Lirou Mua”, will take place on SATURDAY May 9th 2015.  This party will also serve as a Mother’s Day Dance.  Fellow Garifuna Musical Colleagues performing at this show include:

Babylou

Bodoma Garifuna (Garifuna Percussionist)

Music will be by Proyecto Ariel and Hmp Sound. Doors will open at 10pm and Admission will be $25 at the Door.  The First 25 women will be let in FREE.  It will take place at popular Bronx performance venue, Social Gathering Palace Corporation (a.k.a. “Best Party Place”).

Social Gathering Palace Corporation (a.k.a. “Best Party Place”).

3405 Third Avenue (between E. 166th and E. 167th Street)

Bronx, NY 10456

 

For more information, or to buy tickets, please call Ginger (347) 963-1824 or Glenda (339) 204-3927.

Garifuna Mother's Day Dance and Carlos "Pichi" Castillo Album Release Party in the Bronx on SATURDAY, May 9th 2015.

Garifuna Mother’s Day Dance and Carlos “Pichi” Castillo Album Release Party in the Bronx on SATURDAY, May 9th 2015.

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.  2

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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.

 

Garifuna Singer Musician, Carlos "Pichi" Castillo.  Photo by Teofilo Colon Jr.  All Rights Reserved.

Garifuna Singer Musician, Carlos “Pichi” Castillo. Photo by Teofilo Colon Jr. All Rights Reserved.

Notes:

  1. http://www.laprensa.hn/vivir/680930-97/es-tiempo-de-hacer-buena-m%C3%BAsica
  2. Nancie L Gonzalez, “Sojourners of The Caribbean: Ethnogenesis and Ethnohistory of the Garifuna” pgs 21-23

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