Record Review: Umalali – “The Garifuna Women’s Project”

My brain can’t comprehend the language which this music is written in, but I felt it in every part of my soul.  The first song  gave me chills and as soon as the female voice began to sing, its power something beyond comprehension.

This compilation is the product of ten-years of searching and discovering the exceptional culture and music of the Garifuna people.  These peoples live in small towns and villages on the Carribean Coast of Belize, Guatamala, Honduras and Nicaragua, descendents of shipwrecked African slaves and the Carib/Arawak Indians of Carribean.  This collection of voices represents the unity of the Garifuna community, caught in the struggle to retain its unique language, music, and traditions in the face of globalization.

The music is a distinct creation, withAfrican, Latin, Carribean, blues, funk, and rock influences.  This album is a manifestation of what women of the world have been forced to suppress for so long and have always deserved to share.  Each song comes from a profound real life experience, whether it be happiness and joy or  pain and sadness.  This music is very intimate, so despite the distance between here and the place that it hails from, you feel close to the special women singing.

The drumming and deep bass lines have the potential to awaken the soul and move people to not only dance, but towards something better. That language that I can’t understand is free and is wonderful to listen to. – Samra Ann Cassar

“Nibari (My Grandchild)”

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