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You are here: Videos > Entertainment > Un Viernes Para Recordar con Aurelio Martinez

Aurelio Martinez

Un Viernes Para Recordar con Aurelio Martinez

Enjoyable friday with Aurelio Martinez

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About Aurelio Martinez
Aurelio Martinez is a virtuoso of Punta Rock, the marriage of electronic
technology to sacred and ancestral rythms of Centro America’s
Garifuna people. He is the first and to date the only, Central American
performer to have toured Japan, after his first release, Songs of
the Garifuna (JVC: 1994), considered a seminal Punta Rock recording.
At the First Garifuna World Music Awards in June of 1998, held at
Hostos College in the Bronx, New York, he was voted the Best Folkloric
Male Vocalist, and Lita Ariran, the band he founded, Best Folkloric
Group. In April 1997, at the Bicentennial of the Arrival of the
garifunas People in Honduras, Aurelio was chosen to welcome His
Excellency James Mitchell, Prime Minister of Saint Vincent and the
Grenadines ancestral home of the Garinagu on his historic visit
to La Ceiba. At the Lincoln Centeer Out-of-Doors Festival, in August
of that same year, he sang, danced and performed his way into mixed
audience of 5,000 people many of whom had never heard Punta Rock

Aurelio Martinez posseses a powerful but sustain-smooth
lyric tenor, an athletic dance style, and a sharp poetic sensibility
that feeds an endless stream of original competitions. He is a drummer,
conversant with all aspects of traditional Garifuna culture. He
was born in Plaplaya, Department of Gracias a Dios, Honduras, the
easternmost Garifunas community in that country. Because of its
isolation, Plaplaya has had a great advantage over other communities
in preserving traditions in their least adulterated form of since
the Garinagu’s deportation to Honduras by the British in 1797.

Aurelio Martinez musical gifts are inherited from
his father, a renowned singer and guitarist, and his mother, a composer
and vocalist. His career begins at eight as a percussionist and
singer in musical groups, or combos, that play in community events
and on patron saints’ festivals. In the Caribbean ports city
of La Ceiba, he was a percussionist and dancer with the April 12th
Folkloric Dance Troupe: in the southwestern town of Danli, he played
meringue and popular music with a band called Sajilas, in addition
to making private music lesson. He returnd to La Ceiba in the late
80’s to found Colectivartes, a new nueva trova theater troupe,
and study contemporary dance. Colectivartes led him to his first
major international tour through Central America, to Mexico’s
prestigious Festival Cervantino in Guanajuato and eight other cities
in the country. In the early 90’s he became the star of attraction
in “Los Gatos Bravos” one of the top commercial groups
in Honduras at that time, with its pioneering Punta Rock performaces.
“Los Gatos Bravos” became regularly featured performers
at Miami’s Festival de la Calle Ocho, sharing stage with stars
like Celia Cruz, Oscar D’Leon, Gruo Niche, and Orquesta de
la Luz. Aurelio founded the spectacular Lita Ariran as a result
of his work with Colectivartes and Gatos Bravos.

Aurelio Martinez commands enourmous respect among
his peers and community for his spectacular performances and attention
to the contemporary concerns facing Garinagu. He sets the standard
by which practitioners of his movement, whether from Honduras, Guatemala
or Belize, have measured and continue to measure production.

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