Tomorrow, Friday, a memorial mass will be held in several communities to celebrate the 56th birthday of musical icon and Cultural Ambassador Andy Palacio. Leading the charge is the Andy Palacio Tribute Committee. Love News spoke with member of the Committee, Cynthia Cayetano.
“We know that it’s very important to honor the memory and kept the work that Andy had started. We don’t want people to forget because he has done a lot not only for the Garinagu but for Belize in general, he placed Belize on the map and more importantly he wanted us to continue the work. He wants us to continue what our forefathers did for us as he always talked about. We are continuing and we know that we have the next generation who will continue the work. His greatest accomplishment was in terms of the Album Watina which was his last album and what he did was to bring Paranda music and by extension Belize music to the entire world. It was interesting when you watched the concerts in Paris, some of those people don’t speak English and they don’t understand Garifuna but they understood the music, they enjoyed the music so that in itself and a lot of people have been coming to Belize to know what he was talking about.”
Cayetano shared where the masses will be taking place tomorrow.
“We have the one that we are really focusing on here in Belize City at the St.Martin’s DePorres church at 6:30pm which will be lead by the Belize City Garifuna choir, we also have in Punta Gorda at St.Peter Clavier Church at 7pm but in Dangriga at the Gulisee Primary School in the afternoon. Seine Bight at St.Alfonso School at 8:30am, Baranco which is the land of Andy’s birth at St.Joseph Church at 9am, Belmopan at our Lady of Guadalupe Church at 6:30am and Hopkins at Holy Family Church at 3pm. We’re inviting people to come out and let us pay respects and gratitude and let’s continue his legacy.”
Andy Palacio was born in Barranco Village and had a long history of teaching and public service. He served as Deputy Administrator of the National Institute of Culture and History (NICH). In 1991 he received the Best New Artist Award at the Caribbean Music Awards. In 2007 he was awarded with the prestigious WOMEX Award, and the BBC3 Awards for World Music award in the Americas Category in 2008. Palacio was also named as UNESCO’s Artist for Peace.