This is an incredibly rich collection, with a depth and range that grows with each listen. From the haunting, bluesy exuberance of Paul Nabor’s “Naguya Nei” to the fresh sounds of Aurelio Martinez’s “Africa” and on to the primal urgency of Lugua Centeno’s “Timbloru”, Paranda takes the listener through the tapestry of feeling and soulful striving that lies at the heart of Garifuna culture.
Producers Ivan Duran and Gil Abarbanel brought together these remarkable artists and sparked the revival of Paranda music in the region.
Listed as one of the 100 essential Latin Recordings by Rough Guide books, Paranda is a rare gem.
Paranda is both a Garifuna rhythm and a genre of music. The basic rhythm can be heard in Garifuna traditional drumming styles that date all the way back to St. Vincent and West Africa. Paranda became a genre itself in the 19th century, shortly after the Garifuna arrived in Honduras. It was there where they first encountered Latin music, and incorperated the acoustic guitar and a touch of Latin and Spanish rythms into the music. Paranda reached its promenance in the early part of the 20th century and has changed little since. Its instrumentation is totally acoustic: Large wooden Garifuna drums (called Primero and Segunda), shakers, Scrapers, Turtle Shell percussion, and acoustic guitar.
In the summer of 1995, while recording Andy Palacio’s Keimoun album, Andy played me a tape contaning two songs he had recorded at the Garifuna Temple in Punta Gorda. It was Paul Nabor performing two of his Paranda compositions. Although many of us here in Belize were familiar with Paranda music as played by the local Punta Rock bands, we knew very little of the Parranderos and their music. I was overwhelmed by what I heard on that tape. Nabor’s incredible passion and raw emotion made me appreciate Garifuna music like nothing I have ever heard before.
Eighteen months later, Gil Abarbanel and I started what became known as “The Paranda Project”, which took us through two years of research, travelling and recording in Garifuna villages in Belize, Honduras, and Guatemala. Unfortunately, Paranda is a dying art. Just a handful of composers are still alive and very few young musicians still practice the style. We hope this album will encourage the younger generations to keep Paranda alive and to never forget the legacy of these legendary Parranderos.