Belize’s Unique Music Scene Offers Something for Everyone

Belize’s Unique Music has captured the world due to its diversity

You do the Tango in Argentina and the Samba in Brazil. Andean music is part of Chile’s national heritage while the Mambo’s home turf is Cuba. Even though Belize is fast becoming the Caribbean’s premier vacation destination, not everyone knows that there’s a rich musical heritage within this small, English-speaking nation.

Deep West African roots

Inspired by West African settlers who migrated to this area of Central America, Punta music is the signature style of the Garifuna people who are direct descendants of West African and Caribbean peoples. Listen to it once and you’ll never mis-identify this style because the compositions meld drums and African chants with dance moves that are contagious!

There’s a traditional version of Punta and an offshoot called “junkanoo” that’s performance art: dancers perform satirical moves dressed as colonial slave masters to make fun of them while moving to the beat of those enticing drums.

Not the only indigenous music of Belize

While Punta is popular, there are other musical influences that are a direct result of migration: traditional Mestizo and Maya music also have deep roots throughout Belize. Perhaps the most well-known of these is Cumbia, which reminds many music aficionados of either the Merengue beat or salsa music.

In terms of highly stylized music, nothing compares to the Kriol brukdown, a distinct genre that uses banjo, drums and (no kidding) a donkey’s jawbone to perform this unique music. Similar to Trinidad’s calypso music style, brukdown was a springboard for an updated version known as “boom and chime” which usually calls for the addition of bass and electric guitars plus congas to give this music type a distinct sound.

Belize performers known to bring the house down

These are just a sampling of highly-celebrated stars of the Belize music scene:
-Andy Palacio, a legend who passed away at an extremely early age.
-Titiman Flores, a wildly popular Punta rocker.
-Lord Rhaburn, a master of calypso, soca, raggae and bruknown tunes.
-Aurelio Martinez, considered the most passionate Garifuna performer of his generation.
-Paul Nabor, regularly referred to as the greatest living Parada artist.
-Umalali, a gathering of women with a unique, harmonious sound.
– The Garifuna Collective.
-Three Kings of Belize (Paul Nabor, Florencio Mess, and Wilfred Peters).
-Super G.

You simply must hear Belize music in person

There is no shortage of festivals on the nation’s calendar every year, but if your trip to Belize doesn’t happen to coincide with one of them, that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of places to hear ethnic music.

How will you know where to go and when? Put Barefoot Rentals and Services on your speed dial and turn to our team for everything from tickets to transport in addition to lodgings and logistics. Guides know where and when visitors to Belize can get their fill of whatever type of music they want to hear during their stay. In fact, if you tell your guide you want to hear every genre, you will be accommodated!

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