It’s already been a few months, apparently. Aurelio Martinez is an Honduran Garifuna musician who brought his people’s sounds to international ears in a big way, starting with his 2004 album Garifuna Soul. For his 2011 album, Laru Beya, he traveled to Senegal to record some tracks with Youssou N’Dour and other artists, which gives the songs I’ve listened to so far (still getting through the album) a broader feel — this is worldly Garifuna. (Interesting in itself because Martinez has said that part of the reason Garifuna culture has survived so long is because of its insularity in the past.)
The music is, in short, fantastic. One of the most stirring songs I’ve heard so far is “Wamada,” Martinez’s intense, soulful requiem for Andy Palicio, the famous Garifuna musician who passed away in 2008. Have a listen.