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    Frombakabush | Ten Years of Stonetree Records
Ten Years of Stonetree
Ten memorable songs that define the first decade of recordings from one of Central America's most unique and dynamic labels. A perfect blend of traditional and modern sounds that will take you on an inspiring journey with compelling performances by Garifuna and Creole artists from Belize, Honduras, and Guatemala.
STR027 : $14.00 USD      
   Songs    click a song to hear a sample
1. Baba',   2. Nabi,   3. Naguyanei,   4. Solomon Gi Ah,   5. Nuwerun,   6. Lirun Dan,   7. Yunduha Weyu,   8. Behine Mi Back,   9. Buenas Noches Numadagu,   10. Que Sera Sera,   
   The Story
Ten years, Ten tracks

ONE: A touching song from the Garifuna All Star Band’s new album, written and performed by Adrian Martinez, a gifted young Garifuna composer from Dangriga Town in Southern Belize. The Garifuna migration to Belize began in 1802 after being forcefully deported by the British from their Island of St. Vincent. To this day they have preserved much of their rich culture of mixed African and Amerindian roots.

Baba (Father, God or Ancestor) is a spiritual song, set to a Garifuna semi-sacred Hüngü-Hüngü rhythm, and played by three large “Segunda” drums as used in the Garifuna temple. The song encourages people to explore their spirituality.

TWO: Andy Palacio is not only Belize’s most internationally renowned artist, he is also a serious cultural activist with a deep commitment to preserving and promoting his Garifuna heritage.

Nabi, from his album Keimoun, was recorded in 1995 in Belize and Havana. An album still considered by many as one of the most significant recordings to come out of Belize, it was also the first to attract international attention and acclaim.

Nabi (the author’s nickname) was written by the legendary Paranda composer Paul Nabor after a long period of illness. The song reflects on his healing brought about by his faith in the powers of his ancestors.

THREE: From the landmark Paranda album, Paul Nabor composed this song while his sister lay on her death-bed. She had asked to be remembered in song at her funeral. The song has since become an anthem among the Garifuna people and is clearly one of the few contemporary Garifuna songs to achieve “classic” status in the community.

Paul Nabor is the greatest living Paranda artist in Belize. He is considered a musical legend among the Garifuna and is the “Buyei” (spiritual leader) in his community, Punta Gorda town Belize. At age 76 he still maintains a full schedule between work at his temple and live performances.

FOUR: The “King of Brukdown”, Mr. Wilfred Peters is a Belizean national icon and one of the country’s best-loved musicians. For those unfamiliar with Brukdown, Mr. Peters and his Boom & Chime Band are the ideal introduction to this genuine Belizean style, born in the logging camps of 17th century British Honduras, and still fueling parties today.

Brukdown became the music of the people, whether urban or rural. “We had no radios or cassettes then, only what we could play… and with some white rum and wata, people would dance through the night.” Mr. Peters explains.

With rhythms and call-and-response patterns firmly rooted in Africa, its lyrical themes colored with the Belizean Creole language and experience, the beauty of this style also lies in its simplicity. Solomon Gi Ah, one of Peters’ most popular tunes, has a total of nine words. Peters claims it’s the true story of his friend, Solomon, who went home with his wife immediately after his wedding ceremony and Ru Ku Tu Kun Tu Kun...

FIVE: Aurelio Martinez follows in the footsteps of the legendary Parranderos from the Caribbean coast of Central America, with an enchanting blend of African and Latin acoustic roots. Born into a family possessing a long and distinguished musical tradition in the small Garifuna community of Plaplaya in Honduras, Aurelio is acclaimed for both his preservation and modernization of the Paranda musical tradition.

Paranda is a Garifuna style that dates back to the 19th century when the Garifuna first encountered Latin sounds and incorporated the acoustic guitar into their music.

Nuwerun is taken from his award winning 2004 release Garifuna Soul which showed the world that the once dying art of Paranda music is alive and in very good hands.

SIX: Evangelisto Centeno, better known as Lugua, grew up in Triunfo de la Crúz on the coast of Honduras. As a young boy, Lugua played along with his parents and participated in Jankunu or Wanaragua celebrations as a drummer and dancer. He credits his father with giving him such a deep feeling for Paranda music. “Mi old man, he neva stop. When he take his rest from work, he pick up the guitar. He invite me to play and sing or dance. In our house there was always music. We born with that.” he explains.

Lirun Dan (sad times) is an old Garifuna Bolero song originally recorded in 1997 for his album, Bumari, a potent debut featuring the Larubeya Drummers.

In 2005, on the occasion of this release, Producer Ivan Duran, revisited the song and remixed it, adding several new tracks giving a new dimension to Lugua’s inspiring original performance.

SEVEN: Sofia Blanco is one of Guatemala’s best-kept secrets. Her unique voice was discovered while researching and recording the Umalali album, (Stonetree’s Garifuna Women’s Project) which has documented and recorded over fifty women and hundreds of songs in Belize, Honduras and Guatemala since 1997.

Sofia Blanco lives in Livingston (Labuga), Guatemala’s only Garifuna community, and although she has probably never considered a singing career, music surrounds her everyday life.

Yündüha weyu (The sun is gone…) was written by Sofia after having a miscarriage. Spending time in the hospital and having her sister at her side, “three days and three nights of pain,” she thanks her family in song for having taken care of her while in the hospital.

EIGHT: From the album that reinvigorated Mr. Peters’ Boom & Chime career in 1997, Weh Mi Lova Deh reminded Belizeans that after more than 60 years entertaining audiences, Peters continued to define Belizean Creole culture through his distinctive Brukdown style of music.

In 2005, the Stonetree alchemists bring you a new taste of 21st century Brukdown. Specially remixed for this compilation, this reloaded version features The Grandmaster, with Mr. Peters’ driving accordion and captivating, double entendre Creole lyrics.

NINE: The tall, skinny, soft spoken Jursino Cayetano taught himself the guitar at the age of 27, and has been playing ever since. Cayetano’s mellow yet bluesy voice captured producers Ivan Duran and Gil Abarbanel’s attention while traveling to Garifuna communities in the region to record songs for Stonetree’s Paranda album.

Recorded in a small hotel room in Livingston Guatemala, this previously unreleased song by Jursino is performed in his unique style of Paranda that mixes drums with improvised percussion instruments and guitars to add a Latin flavor.

TEN: One of the Caribbean’s finest dub poets, Belize’s Leroy Young, The Grandmaster tells it like it is, straight and to the point. He deals with issues such as corruption, police brutality, poverty, love and politics, accompanied by an eclectic mix of instruments and local beats.

From his acclaimed debut album: Just Like That…Que Será-Será” (Whatever will be - will be) is set to an almost comedic mambo beat, introducing you into the world of the inimitable Grandmaster. The Belize Times recently wrote, “Calling Grandmaster a mere poet is just the tip of the iceberg; if the Grandmaster didn’t exist, someone would have to invent him.”

[1] Adrian Martinez: Baba | [2] Andy Palacio: Nabi | [3] Paul Nabor: Naguya Nei | [4] Mr. Peters and his Boom & Chime Band: Solomon Gi Ah | [5] Aurelio Martinez: Nuwerun | [6] Lugua Centeno & The Larubeya Drummers: Lirun Dan | [7] Sofia Blanco: Yündüha weyu | [8] Mr. Peters and his Boom & Chime Band, featuring The Grandmaster: Behine Mi Back | [9] Jursino Cayetano: Buenas Noches Numadagu | [10] Leroy Young, The Grandmaster: Que Será-Será |
- Compiled & Produced by Ivan Duran - Engineered by Gil Abarbanel, Alain Martinez, Ivan Duran, and Al Ovando - Remixing & Mastering Al Ovando, at the Stonetree Studio, Benque Viejo del Carmen - Graphic Design Tim O'Malley | YQ - Photography Katia Paradis, Joan Duran, Santiago Cal, Ivan Duran, Abril Esquivel, and Tim O’Malley - Video by Daniel Velazquez

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