their first release since Ayó, their critically-acclaimed 2014 tribute to the legendary singer Andy Palacio. ABAN’s translates as “ONE” in the Garifuna language, and reflects the spirit of unity and self-sufficiency that has kept this Afro-Indigenous people, language and culture alive and fighting in the Caribbean and Central America for over 300 years.
Garifuna culture was forged when slave ships carrying captured Africans wrecked off the coast of St Vincent in the 1600s. The survivors swam ashore, mixed with the island’s indigenous Arawak population and created a unique, resilient culture of free people that resisted European colonial powers for over 100 years.
Members of the Garifuna Collective have been making music together for more than 20 years and this album reflects the deep bond between them. They are a seasoned group of musicians from across different generations, with a dynamic that comes from playing and traveling the world together, sharing their music and stories with global audiences.
Their performances spark the history and soul of Garifuna culture into vivid life, while their recordings dip into the massive well of Garifuna songs to create new compositions – some of the singers in the band know hundreds of songs!
ABAN breaks loose to redefine Garifuna music for the next generation, while maintaining strong roots in traditional concepts and identity. It is deeply rooted in the fertile Garifuna music community, with significant contributions by the younger generation.
ABAN brings different traditional rhythms to the forefront – such as Wanaragua and the semi-sacred Hüngühüngün – and creatively juxtaposes them with new melodies from the deep well of Garifuna song. The results are fresh and adventurous; proof that the Garifuna Collective is still at the vanguard of the long journey to bring the Garifuna’s soulful and vibrant music to the world.
The group has maintained its strength despite incredible adversity and the Garifuna history of struggle.
Their defiant culture persists to this day, in communities in Honduras, Belize, Guatemala and Nicaragua, where their distinctive language, customs and music are preserved and continue to evolve.
The Collective take their place in a long line of ancestors, maintaining and growing the Garifuna cultural identity, in a conversation across generations and traditions.