The Year's Best World Music Banning Eyre, senior editor of, shines the spotlight on Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean with his picks for the year's best albums. Among his selections: Watina, an effort by singer Andy Palacio to preserve the culture of the Garifuna people of Central America.


The Year's Best World Music

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Beyond its catchy toe-tapping rhythm is a serious effort by the singer Andy Palacio to preserve the language and culture of some people from the nation of Belize. They're called the Garifuna people.

BANNING EYRE: It's really a breakthrough album. It's an album that takes years of work that has been going into trying to create a modern sound from Garifuna culture.


ANDY PALACIO: (Singing in foreign language)

EYRE: The Garifuna are - go back to the literally the 1700s when African slaves escaped from a ship-wrecked and swam to the island of Saint Vincent. And these artist Andy Palacio has managed to take the language, the rhythms, the melodies and the whole just sort of feeling of Garifuna experience and turned it into something incredibly soulful.


PALACIO: (Singing in foreign language)

EYRE: And he sings this very impassionate protest against that phenomena and it's just a gorgeous song.


PALACIO: (Singing in foreign language)

EYRE: If you'd like to explore his top 10, the world music picks and more than two dozen other takes on the best CDs of this year, go to our new music Web site,

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