Andy Palacio

Musician, Garifuna Collective
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Andy Palacio is not only the most popular musician in Belize, he is also a serious music and cultural archivist with a deep commitment to preserving his unique Garifuna culture. Long a leading proponent of Garifuna popular music and a tireless advocate for the maintenance of the Garifuna language and traditions, Palacio has recently undertaken a new and ambitious direction with the formation of the Garifuna Collective. Born and raised in the coastal village of Barranco, it was while working with a literacy project on Nicaragua's Atlantic Coast in 1980 and discovering that the Garifuna language and culture was steadily dying in that country, that a strong cultural awareness took hold and his approach to music became more defined. While his academic background and self-scholarship allowed for his on-going documentation of Garifuna culture through lyrics and music, it has been his exuberance as a performer that gained him world-wide recognition. Palacio lives in Belize where he continues his work in promoting Culture and the Arts. In December 2004, he was appointed Cultural Ambassador and Deputy Administrator of the National Institute of Culture and History. In 2007, he and the Garifuna Collective will be embarking on an ambitious worldwide touring schedule in an effort to bring the beauty and power of Garifuna music to a wide audience.