FREE Concert by GARIFUNA INTERNATIONAL BAND at Central Park on SUNDAY August 30th 2015

 

As Part of The Harlem Meer Performance Festival, and presented by The Central Park Conservancy; Veteran Garifuna Group, Garifuna International Band will be performing at a FREE Concert at Central Park in Manhattan on SUNDAY, August 30th 2015, as they wrap up the summer.  This concert is FREE and Open to the Public at Large.

Copyright 2015 by Teofilo Colon Jr.  (a.k.a. “Tio Teo”).  All Rights Reserved.  Telephone: (646) 961-3674.

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Led by Garifuna Dancer/Singer/Composer Felix Gamboa Valentin; The Garifuna International Band (also known as International Garifuna Band) encapsulates the music, dance, and culture of the Garifuna people of Central America.

Garifuna International Band at the Virgin of Suyapa Festival in the Bronx in February of 2012.  Photo by Teofilo Colon Jr.  All Rights Reserved.  (646) 961-3674.

Garifuna International Band at the Virgin of Suyapa Festival in the Bronx in February of 2012. Photo by Teofilo Colon Jr. All Rights Reserved. (646) 961-3674.

In the Fall of 2002, The International Garifuna Band released their debut album, “Arufudei Wanichigu” (“Showing Our Culture” in the Garifuna Language).  To date, it is their only music album.  Those interested in buying the music CD can visit the CD Baby or Amazon websites.

Arufudei Wanichigu Album Cover by International Garifuna Band group.

Arufudei Wanichigu Album Cover by International Garifuna Band group.

Promotional VIDEO by veteran filmmaker Sam Pollard for Garifuna International Band performing “Thomassa” and “Nubuidune” (“My Beauty” in the Garifuna Language) from the 2002 album “Arufudei Wanichigu” (“Showing Our Culture” in the Garifuna Language).

The Central Park Conservancy sponsors the Harlem Meer Performance Festival, which is a summer long outdoor concert series which takes place at the Charles A. Dana Discovery Center in Central Park on Sunday afternoons throughout the summer.  This festival features established and emerging local artists in Jazz, Latin, World, and Gospel Music and Dance.

Registration is NOT required to attend this concert.  Simply show up!

This Concert will take place on SUNDAY, August 30th 2015 from 2pm to 4pm at:

Charles A. Dana Discovery Center
Central Park
Inside Central Park at 110th Street between Lenox Ave and Fifth Ave
New York, NY

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About FELIX GAMBOA

Felix Gamboa Valentin was born in a small Garifuna village in Honduras called Santa Rosa de Aguan.  He always loved to sing and dance!  Everyone in the village admired and recognized his beautiful and outstanding voice.  So at age of 13, Felix began singing with a local community music band.

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In 1985, Felix migrated to the United States of America, and shortly thereafter, he joined the Wanichigu Dance Company  (“Wanichigu” is “Our Culture” in the Garifuna Language).  The company’s Artistic Directors, Sade Martinez and Justa Gil, broadened his experience with dance techniques and stage performance.  Quickly advancing, Felix became the lead dancer and vocalist for Wanichigu. The Company became known for its flawless, high energy, choreography and performance.
Felix Gamboa Valentin of The Garifuna International Band at the Virgin of Suyapa Festival in the Bronx in February of 2012.  Photo by Teofilo Colon Jr.  All Rights Reserved.  (646) 961-3674.

Felix Gamboa Valentin of The Garifuna International Band at the Virgin of Suyapa Festival in the Bronx in February of 2012. Photo by Teofilo Colon Jr. All Rights Reserved. (646) 961-3674.

Since the dissolution of Wanichigu Dance Company, there was a gap in the Garifuna Cultural Arts Scene.   In 1999, Garifuna International Band invited Felix to perform with them and by 2001, he became the band’s lead singer.  Later on, Felix co-founded The Chief Joseph Chatoyer Garifuna Folkloric Ballet of New York in January of 2009.  As the Director of the dance company, his mission is to preserve and maintain the Garifuna culture in New York City and throughout the world.

If you find the BEING GARIFUNA Website helpful and useful, please DONATE.  Every dollar donated helps keep this website in operation.


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.   1

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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.

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