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Chatuye - Heartbeat In The Music

CAT. #: 383

Price: $15.00

CD 383

Sidney Mejia - lead vocals; Francis Edwin Paulino ("Poppy Pea") - turtle shells, timbales, congas, woodblocks, bongos, vocals; Justin Flores - segunda, tercera, miscellaneous percussion and background vocals; Owen Castillo - segunda, tercera; Robert García - various percussion, background vocals, harmonica; Carlos Domingo Alvarez - primera; Peter Lewis - segunda, tercera; Eustace Serrano - primera; Allan Joseph - cuica, varied percussion and background vocals; Ira Joshua Lino - various percussion, lead & harmony vocals.

Garifuna rhythm band from Belize with vocals & percussion: turtle shells, timbales, congas, woodblocks, bongos, and more. Chatuye is one of the premier ensembles of Belizian Garifuna music from the Caribbean coast of Central America. Now living in Los Angeles, Chatuye performs and write new songs utilizing their pure, joyful, rhythmic, syncopated musical heritage which they want to preserve and pass on to future generations.

1. Irarra Hayanh Gurigiya (That's How People Are)
2. Heartbeat In The Music
3. Gumagarugu
4. Wagiribuduba (We'll Come Back)
5. Dusumaba (Take It Easy)
6. Poppy Pea
7. Geebei Tubanh Ounli (You've Got Too Many Houses)
8. Play, Darling, Play
9. Sidiheiguagudala (He's Frightened By His Debts)
10. I Know What I Know
11. Play, Darling, Play (2)


“Formed in Los Angeles in 1981 by musicians transplanted from Belize, Chatuye plays the African-Caribbean music of the Garifuna people, the Black Carib Indians of St. Vincent who eventually found their way to Honduras and finally to Belize. Situated on the Central American coast, Belize borders the Caribbean Sea, Guatemala and Mexico, giving it a unique cultural blend. The music maintains a strong African base, with clear Caribbean influences. Played on drums, maracas and claves, with call-and-response singing, it recalls the Afro-Cuban tradition the dizzying welter of African polyrhythms smoothed out by the clave and regular bar structures. Garifuna drums have an unusual feature: a wire snare attached across the drum head, which gives the buzzing sound often found in African instruments.

Vocals are both in English and the Garifuna language, a hybrid of the Arawakan and Carib Indian languages with borrowed Spanish, French and English words. Chatuye is a rhythm band that often plays and sings for dancers at social occasions. These spirited performances are probably best appreciated by your feet, but the recording serves as an introduction to an interesting, little-known African-Caribbean style.”

(Mark Sullivan — Option)

“`Heartbeat in the Music' is devoted to the traditional style of just vocals and percussion. From such minimalist materials, the band fashions an astonishingly melodic and intricate music. For example, on `Play, Darling, Play,' the beat is carried by three large tuba (or hollow log) drums. The tercera drum provides the booming bass notes that establish the foundation rhythm; the primera drum supplies the melodic lead pattern, and the segunda drum shadows the primera with a counter-rhythm. These three main patterns are amplified by turtle shells, claves, timbales, bongos, congas, maracas, and tambourines. During all this drumming, singer Sidney Mejia cries out the lilting sing-song praises of a woman who `gimme good loving tonight,' and the bandmates echo each phrase. Because each drum has its own timbre and because the vocals are woven inextricably into the drumming, the music has a richness you'd never expect from just percussion and voice.”

(Geoffrey Himes — The Washington Post)