(VIDEO) GARIFUNA Music Star AURELIO MARTINEZ’s Concert at LINCOLN CENTER in NEW YORK CITY To Be Broadcast Worldwide LIVE on the Internet on THURSDAY October 15th 2015 at 7:30pm EST

 

Manhattan, New York — In an unprecedented partnership between the BEING GARIFUNA website and New York City Performing Arts Institution, Lincoln Center; International World Music Star, Garifuna Singer Songwriter AURELIO MARTINEZ’s Concert at the David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center in Manhattan will be broadcast worldwide LIVE on the internet as it unfolds on THURSDAY, October 15th 2015 at 7:30pm EST.  You can watch the concert below as it takes place.

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

Currently in the midst of celebrating 30 years in the music business–including a sold-out tribute concert in the Bronx in March; Aurelio Martinez recently performed at a FREE concert at the Brooklyn Museum on SATURDAY, October 3rd 2015.    This upcoming concert at the David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center, represents Aurelio’s current swing while in New York City and the United States as he tours constantly domestically and internationally.  Mr. Aurelio Martinez is also promoting the release of TWO new Garifuna Music albums released in 2014.


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.


This concert is also part of the new FREE and inclusive programming at the David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center.  Their partnership with the BEING GARIFUNA website is an earnest attempt to connect with websites and organizations to help reach a wider audience.  I certainly am appreciative of Lincoln Center reaching out to me.  I hope that it’s a sign of respect of the work this BEING GARIFUNA website has done as it has tried to expand awareness of the Garifuna ethnic group.

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.

This concert will take place on THURSDAY, October 15th 2015 at the David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center at 7:30pm EST.

David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center

61 W. 62nd Street

New York, NY 10023

(212) 875-5350

Train: 1 train to 66th Street / Lincoln Center Subway Stop

A, B, C, D, 1  trains to 59th Street / Columbus Circle Subway Stop

 

As mentioned in the headline, this concert will be broadcast LIVE on the internet.   Enabling those who will not be able to attend to see the concert on the internet.  The concert will ONLY be available during the concert itself and for 24 hours afterwards.  Then, it is gone forever.

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.


Those who’d like to attend the concert and perhaps get an opportunity to be on television are advised to get there early.  This concert is FREE and OPEN to the public.  Seating is provided on a first-come, first-served basis.   So get there early, if you can!!!  You can watch the concert below as it unfolds on THURSDAY, October 15th 2015 at 7:30pm EST.

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About the David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center

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Curated by Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Inc., these performances feature national and international touring artists as well as local performers hailing from all across the New York metropolitan area. Incredible talents from Lincoln Center’s own resident organizations including The Juilliard School, Jazz at Lincoln Center, and the Chamber Music Society, among others also appear. A diverse cross-section of musical genres including hip-hop, pop, Latin, rock, soul, country, spoken word, jazz, world music, as well as classical and new music is offered. Select performances also feature live music for social dancing including swing dance, salsa, and tango.

About AURELIO MARTINEZ
(from the ABOUT Section on the Aurelio Martinez Website) 1

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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.

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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.


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.”

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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.

Garifuna Music Star AURELIO MARTINEZ in 2011.  Photo by Teofilo Colon Jr.  All Rights Reserved.

Garifuna Music Star AURELIO MARTINEZ in 2011. Photo by Teofilo Colon Jr. All Rights Reserved.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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.

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"Songs Of The Garifuna," LITA ARIRAN.  Released and Distributed in 1994 by Japanese Electronics Company, JVC.

“Songs Of The Garifuna,” LITA ARIRAN. Released and Distributed in 1994 by Japanese Electronics Company, JVC.

His musical career took a global turn thanks to his Belizean friend and fellow Garifuna 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.

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Garifuna Singer Songwriters, Andy Palacio and Aurelio Martinez.  Photo from Facebook.

Garifuna Singer Songwriters, Andy Palacio and Aurelio Martinez. Photo from Facebook.

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.

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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.


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.

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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.

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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.”

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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.


Laru Beya (album released in 2011) 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.

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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.

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.

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Rolex Mentor and Protege Arts Initiative Participants (2008-2009), AfroPop Music Star Youssou N'Dour and Garifuna Singer Songwriter Aurelio Martinez.

Rolex Mentor and Protege Arts Initiative Participants (2008-2009), AfroPop Music Star Youssou N’Dour and Garifuna Singer Songwriter Aurelio Martinez.

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.”

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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.


“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)

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ABOUT The Garifuna People

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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.

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.


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.

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.


 

International World Music Star, Garifuna Singer Songwriter AURELIO MARTINEZ performing at Carnegie Hall in 2011.  Photo by Teofilo Colon Jr.  All Rights Reserved.  (646) 961-3674.

International World Music Star, Garifuna Singer Songwriter AURELIO MARTINEZ performing at Carnegie Hall in 2011. Photo by Teofilo Colon Jr. All Rights Reserved. (646) 961-3674.

Notes:

  1. https://aureliomusic.bandpage.com/
  2. Nancie L Gonzalez, “Sojourners of The Caribbean: Ethnogenesis and Ethnohistory of the Garifuna” pgs 21-23

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