Aurelio Martinez, the popular singer and guitarist from Honduras, will perform the traditional Garifuna music of his Central American nation in concert Saturday, Oct. 15 at 10 p.m. at Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall, 154 W. 57th St. in New York City.
The concert is presented by Carnegie Hall in partnership with the World Music Institute. The Garifuna musical tradition is a centuries-old fusion of West African and Central American rhythms and harmonies kept alive by the nation’s African-American society, and Martinez is one of the key figures in its revitalization.
The Garifuna, a culturally vulnerable population, resides mainly along the Caribbean coasts of Belize, Guatemala and Honduras.
The concert on Saturday will feature Martinez showcasing what is described in the press notes as his “bittersweet vocal style, with guitar-accompanied ballads and other traditional song forms.” Martinez will also play percussion and be accompanied by Rolando “Chichiman” Sosa, percussion; Carlos “Pichi” Castillo, bass; Eduardo “Guayo” Cedeno, guitar; Carlos “Bodoma” Norales, Garifuna drum; and Onan “Sambo” Castillo, Garifuna drum.
Martinez’s latest album, “Laru Beya” (Sub Pop Records, 2011), features traditional Garifuna rhythms and his ever-evolving exploration of the Garifuna connection to Africa, including collaboration with the Senegalese Afropop superstar Youssou N’Dour on several songs.
N’Dour selected Martinez as his protege in 2008 as part of the Rolex Mentor and Protege Arts Initiative, which teams up young artists from around the world with great masters in the performing and visual arts for a year of creative collaboration in a mentoring relationship.
This program afforded Martinez the opportunity to travel to Senegal to explore West African music and prepare the groundwork for the album.
Martinez’s debut album, “Garifuna Soul” (Stonetree Records, 2005), received critical acclaim internationally. Beside his own ventures, Martinez is a member of the Garifuna Collective, a multigenerational group of musicians whose work with the late singer Andy Palacio on the Cumbancha/Stonetree release “Watina” is now legendary in world music circles. Martinez also fronted the Andy Palacio Tribute Tour, promising to carry the torch for Garifuna culture after Palacio’s tragic, untimely death in January 2008.
Ticketholders are invited to an informal pre-concert experience in the Zankel Hall lounge prior to Martinez’s performance. The first 200 patrons to attend will receive a complimentary drink courtesy of Carnegie Hall, while meeting like-minded Garifuna music aficionados. What a wonderful live social networking opportunity!
Tickets are priced at $34 and $40 and are available at the Carnegie Hall box office, by calling (212) 247-7800 or by visiting carnegiehall.org. For more information on discount ticket programs, including those for students, Carnegie Hall Notables members and Bank of America customers, visit carnegiehall.org/discounts.
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