The other night I was driving home late after a gig and on the radio they were playing un anuncio sobre la llegada del Grupo Kazzabe y los Silver Star to the Bay Area. The fast Punta tracks took me by surprise and I almost drove off the road!
Punta music is something that I find people sometimes love or hate. Andy Palacio, the Garifuna cultural ambassador that passed away earlier this year was a former Punta star and I read in a write up about his concert that I attended last summer, that he had moved from "poppy" and "less refined" Punta to Garifuna folk. Which is cool, but it seemed like they were implying that Punta, a more globalized-hybrid form of music, was in some way inferior. (Article spotted via W&W.)
That said there are nuff Hondureños y Belizanos, en la Bahia y California, and as Andy said, Garifuna all over the states. I asked one of my students, that had tagged "H Town" on the side of the center where I work (making sure for our collective safety,) if it was a gang related tag. He laughed and said, "no man, Honduras." I then (with a sometimes too eager desire for a chance at cultural solidarity) replied, "oh, so you listen to Punta?" He looked at me funny and said with his best deep South U.S. Drawl, "whatchu you know bout Punta?"
Free Shyne! (A Belizean, Garifuna!)
Perhaps this is an instance of the type of Globalization Andy Palacio, Grupo Wama, and Kwame Anthony Appiah are talking about. Individual people make decisions in their lives that effect the cultural richness and diversity of the world. We want to be modern but at the same time acknowledge our historical cultural richness. This is a struggle I can strongly relate to.
Here are a couple Punta tracks to bang out at whatever place you like to play music.
No Olvidemos lo Nusetro-by Grupo Wama (zshare)
Nasagura-by the Punta Rebels (zshare)
Buy Punta Music:
Los Silver Star
Buy Andy Palacio Music