Evangilisto Centeno, better known as Lugua, grew up in a small village on the coast of Honduras and in a household where the daily pulse beat to the rhythm and lyrics of traditional Garifuna music. His father, a well known Parrandero, and his mother, a Punta composer, instilled in their son a love for the distinctive music of the Garifuna, and the ability to feel and play it with deep emotion. As a young boy, Lugua played along with his parents and participated in Jankanu, or Wanaragua celebrations as a drummer and dancer.
He credits his father with giving him such a deep feel for the Paranda music. ‘My old man, he never stop. When he take his rest from work, he pick up the guitar. He’d invite me to play and sing or dance. In our house there was always music. We born with that.” Lugua carried this birthright to new areas, developing his own style playing with friends on traditional drums and old buckets. By age 12 he was recognized as having unusual talent. In 1988 and 1989 he was asked to perform with the Honduras’ Ballet Folclorico Garifuna and traveled to France and Spain.
Starting in a small percussion-based group (the Larubeya Drummers) with Garifuna drums mixed with turtle and conch shells, he came to the attention of popular musician Bredda David, whom he toured with throughout Belize in the early ’90’s. Although Lugua continued to listen to other influences and adapting them to his music, he never strayed far from his childhood roots, especially the Paranda.
In 1998 he recorded his impressive debut album “Bumari” and in 1999 he participated in the legendary Paranda recording sessions with some of the genre’s greatest exponents. As his music develops it remains uncompromisingly traditional, confident and rooted in an experience and vision unique to the Garifuna. In 2001 we joined the Garifuna All Star Band for the critically acclaimed 2001 summer European tour.