Andy Palacio Dead at 47
I am extremely sad to report the untimely death of Andy
Palacio in Belize on Sunday. He was 47. Andy was a
one-of-a-kind artist, a passionate advocate for the
Garifuna culture in Central America, a powerful model
worldwide for using music as a force for positive social
change, as well as a friend of mine and Banning Eyre’s. See
Banning’s tribute as well as an extended interview and
performance photographs on Afropop.org. You may have heard
our full-hour profile of Andy on air or on demand. It is
now available again: Streaming in high resolution and low
resolution. You may have heard Andy’s sublime masterpiece
“Wátina,” which won a spot on our Top Ten honors for 2007.
“Watina” also appeared on dozens of Top Ten lists
throughout the world music community. So when all is said
and done, Andy did achieve his dream of reviving Garifuna
culture and giving it the worldwide respect it deserves.
And because of his vision and hard work, many young
Garifuna artists today are following in his footsteps.
One personal memory that puts a smile on my face is seeing
Andy on stage, leading the 70 something Garifuna singer
Paul Nabor who without fail charmed the audience. From the
side of the stage, Andy would smile as he watched Paul
bring down the house. A special word of thanks to Ivan
Duran of Stonetree Records who worked tirelessly as Andy’s
producer and co-creator of “Wátina,” And thanks to Jacob
Edgar and his team at Cumbancha for their commitment to
making “Watina” a success. It is so heartbreaking to lose
such a great artist in the prime of his life. Much respect.
Thank you, Andy. You will be in our hearts forever.
On air this week is our program “Afropop goes to Kenya,
Tanzania, and Zanzibar.” This is the first of our two part
series on East Africa.
Stay tuned next week for the fascinating Hip Deep program
about the rise of the gospel music industry in Kenya. The
gospel choirs, by the way, have been organized to encourage
Kenyans to overcome the horrible interethnic violence that
followed the recent hotly contested presidential elections
Streaming on demand is our report on the musical life of
Addis Ababa Ethiopia.
Free stuff this week: Scoop up a pair of tickets to see
Hugh Masekela or the International Hip-Hop Showcase, or win
a Fallou Dieng CD!
Sean Barlow and the Afropop.org Team