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    Rough Guide to Central America CD | January 2002
New Rough Guide to Central America CD compilation includes seven Stonetree produced tracks representing Belize, Guatemala and Honduras..
The Rough Guide To The Music of Central America explores the music of an often-overlooked region of rich musical heritage. The diversity and infectious dynamism of the music of Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Belize is captured on this collection and reflects the melding of three cultures: African, indigenous and European, with a few unique twists.

The number of musical styles within the countries of Central America is vast, from the marimbas of Guatemala, accordion brukdown of Belize, Nicaraguan trova, punta rock in Honduras and Belize, plus reggae, salsa, cumbia and countless local styles. Some of the region’s most vibrant music is from the Garifuna, an Afro- Indigenous ethnic group that have spread along the Central American coast.

Andy Palacio kicks off the collection with the inspiring‘Nagúara’ and later with ‘Lamiselu’ taken from his landmark album: Keimoun (beat on). Puntarocker Titiman Flores gets hips shaking with his mix of Garifuna drumming and modern electronic instruments on the track ‘Alaporio,’ proving why punta has become the national music of Belize. The merge of traditional and modern also comes from Nicaragua and Philip Montalvan’s ‘Bilwi Luhpia Mairin’, a fusion of reggae with musical elements from Nicaragua’s indigenous tribe, Miskito. Honduras brings us Guillermo Anderson and his unique blend of Spanish singer/songwriter talent and Central American trova with Garifuna percussion and vocal rhythms on the great dance tracks ‘Luna Llena’ and ‘Por Esa Negra’.

Costa Rican performance artist Guadelupe Urbina is here with her award winning formula of poetry and music on the beautiful track ‘Agosto Azul’. Whereas New Revelation come with the popular calypso sound of Costa Rica’s largest centre of black culture, Puerto Limon, while Afro Caribe also represent the Trinidadian influence on Costa Rica with the classic calypso ‘El Negrito’.

Mr Peters and His Boom & Chime lead by accordion maestro Winfred Peters, who is a leading exponent of Belize’s black Creole music, brukdown and still uses traditional instruments such as banjo and donkey jawbone scrapers, is here with the biting satire: ‘Bihine Mi Bak Dehn Taak’ (‘ Behind My Back they talk’). Jursino Cayetano Guatemala’s last living parandero presents a classic paranda, which uses Garifuna drums and the acoustic guitar as well as Latin and Spanish rhythms. Lincoln Lewis from Belize performs an early version of punta rock centred on Garifuna drumming, vocals and, the unique percussion instrument, the turtle shell on the track ‘Wabouga’. Lugua and his Larubeya Drummers, plays the evocative ‘Lugua Hama Lurudu’from his impresive debut album: Bumari.

Panama brings us two tracks from historian and musician Rómulo Castro and his band El Grupo Tuira who credits the political and social turmoil of Panama as ‘fermenting the creativity of the Panamanian people’. The politics of Nicaragua are also firmly part of Carlos Mejia Godoy’s music here with this track accordion led track, ‘El Salvador’.and the rousing ‘unofficial’ anthem of the 1979 revolution against the US backed Nicaraguan government, ‘Nicaragua Nicaragüita’, which concludes our collection.

The Rough Guide To The Music of Central America is a wonderful introduction to the swaying songs and frantic rhythms of this diverse region. Check out the Rough Guide Website for more information.
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