12 Songs, 47 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Singer, guitarist, and percussionist Aurelio Martinez — a.k.a. Aurelio — is a member of the Garifuna people of Central America, an ethnic group who are descended from Caribbean Indians and West Africans. Garifuna communities dot the eastern coast of Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua, and Garifuna music draws from traditional forms, Latin elements, reggae, and other styles. 2011’s Laru Beya includes a number of guest artists from Africa. Influences have traveled back and forth between Africa and the Americas for centuries, and this album presents another example of that rich cultural exchange. The opener, “Lubara Wanwa,” features Senegalese superstar Youssou N’Dour lending English-language vocals to a reggae groove decked out with nice guitar layering. The title track, which has a ska-like perkiness, spotlights Orchestra Baobab vocalists Rudy Gomes and Balla Sidibé. The high-energy “Yurumei” is a slice of punta that finds Martinez singing of the history of his people, while on “Ineweyu,” which moves to a paranda rhythm, Senegalese singer Njaaya brings added flavor to the mix.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Singer, guitarist, and percussionist Aurelio Martinez — a.k.a. Aurelio — is a member of the Garifuna people of Central America, an ethnic group who are descended from Caribbean Indians and West Africans. Garifuna communities dot the eastern coast of Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua, and Garifuna music draws from traditional forms, Latin elements, reggae, and other styles. 2011’s Laru Beya includes a number of guest artists from Africa. Influences have traveled back and forth between Africa and the Americas for centuries, and this album presents another example of that rich cultural exchange. The opener, “Lubara Wanwa,” features Senegalese superstar Youssou N’Dour lending English-language vocals to a reggae groove decked out with nice guitar layering. The title track, which has a ska-like perkiness, spotlights Orchestra Baobab vocalists Rudy Gomes and Balla Sidibé. The high-energy “Yurumei” is a slice of punta that finds Martinez singing of the history of his people, while on “Ineweyu,” which moves to a paranda rhythm, Senegalese singer Njaaya brings added flavor to the mix.

TITLE TIME
3:47
3:23
3:57
4:05
3:52
3:48
3:37
4:58
3:55
4:14
4:27
3:38

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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