12 Songs, 38 Minutes


Ratings and Reviews

Smooth Landing


Alan Tigay, worldlisteningpost.com
The Garifuna people emerged on the Caribbean island of St. Vincent when African slaves intermarried with Carib and Arawak Indians. Deported to Roatán, off the coast of Honduras, they eventually spread to the Central American mainland. With their hybrid heritage—physical appearance closer to their African roots and language derived from Island Carib—they created a rich musical culture. Aurelio Martinez, born into a family of musicians, began playing professionally in his teens; the 12 tracks of Lándini are steeped in the life of his village. Traditional Garifuna drums, maracas and claves breezily accompany his voice and guitars, while his gentle rhythms and melodies swing between celebratory and pensive. Themes include the struggle to make a living, sibling rivalry, medicinal use of ginger and facing death. The title song “Lándini" (Landing) describes a village meeting place where residents dock their boats). “Nando" (Leonardo), co-written by Aurelio and his mother, chides unfaithful women. In “Sañanaru" (I Can’t Handle Her), the narrator complains about a difficult woman and wonders if he can simply park her like a canoe. “Milaguru" (The Miracle) is based on a ferry disaster that killed all aboard. Joy and sorrow are part of everyone’s life, and Aurelio generously invites all to see how the world looks through they eyes of a people worth knowing.

About Aurelio

A passionate preserver of the threatened Latin Paranda genre, self-taught musician Aurelio Martinez's multi-cultural sound impressively managed to transcend his humble Honduras roots. Born and raised in the tiny coastal hamlet of Plapaya, Aurelio grew up surrounded by music, learning to sing from his vocally gifted mother and his troubadour father, building his own guitar from a fishing rod as a child, and performing in Garifuna ceremonies as a teenager. After playing professionally with various Latin ensembles while at school, he formed his own Garifuna group, Lita Ariran, and became a permanent fixture on the La Cieba music scene. After meeting Stonetree Records producer Ivan Duran, he contributed to a Paranda compilation and in 2004, released his debut album, Garifuna Soul, to world-wide critical acclaim. A year later, he turned his back on the music industry to become the first black representative to the Honduran National Congress. However, inspired by the death of his close friend Andy Palacio, who helped to kickstart his career, he returned in 2011 with a new album entitled Laru Beya. ~ Jon O'Brien



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