Wills Glasspiegel for NPR
Aurelio Garifuna Soul Wills Glasspiegel for NPR
Composer and guitarist Aurelio Martinez is one of the leading singers of Garifuna music from Central America. Martinez was added to globalFEST at the last minute after a Cuban group had visa trouble; he also played without his own band and had to put together a pickup group quickly. Despite all this, Martinez was a delight. He has been studying under the the legendary African singer and bandleader Youssou N'Dour — an important connection in his life since the Garifuna community descends from escaped African slaves. The culturally endangered Garifuna song forms such as paranda ballads find new life as the Honduran musician complements them with his melancholy yet hopeful singing.