Sunday, January 20, 2008


Dear all:

We are heartbroken to report that Andy Palacio passed away tonight at 9pm Belize time. The cause of death was a massive and extensive stroke to the brain, a heart attack and respiratory failure due to the previous two conditions. After having been waylaid in Mobile, Alabama while en route to emergency care in Chicago, Andy had been brought back to a hospital in Belize last night so that he could die in his homeland.

Words can’t express the sorrow we feel at the loss of such a tremendous person and artist.

A more formal press release is copied below. Please pass this information on to the countless people around the world who have been impacted by Andy’s music and message. Feel free to post this announcement to your email lists or blogs, as we want to make sure that everyone who knows Andy or his music are aware of what has happened.

In the Garifuna culture the death of a loved one is an opportunity to celebrate their memory and rejoice in having been blessed to have had them in your life. We feel so fortunate to have known this incredible individual and we mourn the loss of truly great man.

In an interview conducted last July, Andy was asked how he wanted to be remembered when he died. He replied, "As a proud Garifuna...someone who instills pride in Garifuna and raises their self-esteem. To me, that's the most important thing." This was already the case while he was alive, and we’re certain it will only be more true in the future.


Ivan Duran and Jacob Edgar


Jessan Dunn Otis said...

Your love of your country, your music, your family and your joy will continue to rise up.

Thank you for your living, life and loves.

amorosa said...

There must be a deeper reason, and an eternal good, in this. Maybe, just maybe, from his death will swell the perpetuity of his imperiled people, their history-culture, their music, their spirit. He embodied the Garifuna and all their good.

Marquis said...

So sad to hear the news. It was great to re-connect with Andy and Belize at his show in Boston. It's wonderful that he received recognition for his hard work and raw talent. Marquis

Andrea and Phil said...

We feel so honored to have seen Andy this summer and talked with him about his music and his life. As frequent travelers to Belize over the past years, we have come to love this country and its people. What a loss for Belize and the world. Our sympathies...

Erik (Putumayo-fan) said...

Dear all,

I have to say I am very shocked and full of sadness to hear this news. It was so great to be at his concerts in Amsterdam in june and november. He has achieved a lot for the Garifuna culture. I feel very sorry for the family and friends of mr. Palacio, and I want to wish power to recover from this loss.

Let he may rest in peace.

Erik Spronk

Laura said...

I was sorry to hear of Andy's passing. I was in Belize only last week and enjoyed speaking with Belizeans about Andy and his music. How proud everyone was of his accomplishments!

RIP Andy.

billyb said...


On behalf of Telmary, and speaking I'm sure for many fans and supporters here in Canada, I would like to convey our deepest condolences at the passing of such a great artist as Andy Palacio.

Our thoughts and our prayers to you and to the Palacio family.

Billy Bryans

Tomas Alberto said...

How sad to know that a great human being has departed us, but how wonderful to know that the Lord eternal calling must be ready for Andy. It was a pleasure to have met Andy and proud of the pride he brought our Garifuna culture and peace to the world through his beautiful voice. Rest in Peace Andy Palacio

Renée said...

Andy, we can't thank you enough for the beautiful music that you've brought us. May the Garifuna spirit live on forever.

Ivonne said...

It was an honor being his friend. In particular I will always miss his constant smile. I remember his email detailing to me how devasted he was with his father's passing, I pray that his father was there to meet him.

Rest in peace Negro


Julia Ardón said...

Un abrazo desde Costa Rica.
Nuestra solidaridad y agradecimiento por la música de un artista formidable.

Anonymous said...

We are deeply saddened to hear about Andy's passing. He was a Belizean at the very best, always a true cultural ambassador and world citizen. He made Belize, Belizeans and the Garifuna culture shine in every way. May he rest in peace, for he will be missed!

The Vansen-Saines Family
Chicago, IL

Xanthe Films said...

Andy has inspired many throughout the world including myself who remembered seeing Andy record a live sample with legendary parandero Paul Nabor in my hometown of Punta Gorda. (I grew up and lived two houses away from Nabor's home).

Recently, while on his tour he forwarded me an e-mail in order to encourage me to enter a film festival that we saw as a way to promote our Garifuna heritage.

Andy also supported my aspirations to become a Garifuna filmmaker from Belize. He was also a part of the creative team that became the driving force for the upcoming film, Agada, which is a Garifuna project.

Co-incidentally, I was to feature a special on Andy and his recent accomplishments on my new web show which I was forced to reshoot at this point.

As mentioned in the obituary by his producer, I will always remember Andy for his tireless efforts to promote Garifuna music and culture throughout the world.

May He rest in peace with our ancestors.


Edwin Colon
Xanthe Films LLC
Chicago, IL

Anonymous said...

Andy has really been an inspiration to everyone who has met him , whether personally or through his music. May God give his family and friends the strength to go on. May his legacy to the Garifuna culture live on with others continuing the work that he started.

mm1 said...

respect for his music and for what he did for preserve traditions of Garifuna.

thank you.


Indy said...

Andy is a close relative of mine. I travelled from Maryland last June to see him perform in Long Island, and we talked often while he was in the United States. He spent New Year's day with our family, and although I wasn't there in person, I know that it was great time. We are deeply saddened by this loss, but our prayers and love are especially with his mother, siblings, and children.

Juan de Marcos said...

Lo siento muchisimo. Si alguna vez van a hacer an Album Tribute o cualquier otro tipo de homenaje cuenten conmigo.

Juan de Marcos

Mark Gorney said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mark Gorney said...

What a terrible loss. An incredible musician, Belizean music and Garifuna cultural ambassador to the world, and a wonderful human being. He will be sorely missed by both Belizeans and fans of his music the world over. He has done so much for Garifuna culture and his music, due in part to Cumbancha's efforts, will live forever.

Pamela Brown and Emmanuel Nado said...

Rest in peace, Andy. We will miss you and all the beauty you created in the short time you were on this planet.
Pamela Brown and Emmanuel Nado
Africa Mix
KALW 91.7 FM San Francisco

Anonymous said...

Our hearts are heavy, and we’re still trying to wrap our heads around the news.

Andy, ayó, Da aü.

You’ve been a presence in our home,
Blowing a breeze over us,
Giving us strength,
Opening our eyes,
Making us wiser,
Lárigi weyu.

Kaba fun asana ayanuha Garifuna ámuñegü.
Kaba funa san arumah o ámuñegü.

Our deepest condolences to Andy’s family and friends.
We shall always celebrate and honor his remarkable life and work.

The Held-Mares Family
Keyport, NJ USA

Oral Fuentes said...

I am indeed very sad to hear the news of Andy passing. I've known Andy for years... as a fellow Belizean I feel the pain. Belize has indeed lost a Hero. Our prayers are with the family. Peace, always--
Oral Fuentes

anthony c. said...

It's not supposed to be this artist who has such iconic and paradigmatic significance within his culture, on the brink of making an even bigger difference...I was just in Belize 2 weeks ago, and compared to even my first visit a year before, I could feel a gradually growing awareness of the depth of Garifuna culture. I saw Andy and his group in Montreal last summer, and I'm so happy I got the chance. Nothing less than a tragedy.

zippy said...

Dear Jacob:

We have been shattered by these tragic news here at Karonte. Please send our condolences to Andy's family and friends and to all the Garifuna people.

We'll translate the press release into Spanish at once.

Check the obituary published today by Carlos Galilea in El Pais.

Andy Palacio, 'artista para la paz'

And the press release by Reuters Spain

Muere el músico beliceño Andy Palacio

Alejo Alberdi

sambula2 said...

He is with our ancestors. What a void he leaves in the Garinagu community. Rest in Peace Andy

nisani said...

Your country and people will miss you, Andy Palacio.
Rest in peace.

Nisani said...

Ayahuwatiwa Buwagu

How dark the clouds, how bleak the day
As Belize sheds tears,
Weighed down with a crippling
Sorrow, the loss of our hero.

Watiwa buwagu, ayahuwatiwa buwagu, Andy Palacio,
Because we know that you are irreplaceable.
Though others will try their very best,
They will never surpass you.

Through it all, through fame and glory,
You never forgot your people or your country.
Your will to reach out to all mankind…to build not only
Cultural awareness, but appreciation for our fellow artists,
Always shone through.

You are gone, but your spirit will live on,
Always alive in our hearts,
In our souls, in the undying drums
Of our forefathers,
Long after we bid you good-bye.
Wayahuba barigi.
Good-bye, Andy Palacio

Nelita M. Sambula Doherty
Chairlady, N.G.C O.W. Branch

Lara López said...

El pasado mes de octubre, la última vez que le vi, recogía, emocionado el Womex Award, junto a su gran amigo Iván Durán, exultante y feliz. Andy Palacio agradeció el premio con un discurso eficaz, elaborado, contundente, contagioso: era un ser humano apasionado por su cultura y su gente, la comunidad garífuna del mundo, Patrimonio Oral e Inmaterial de la Humanidad. Le hemos perdido demasiado pronto, pero nos quedan sus canciones, con las que honraremos su memoria y que nos acompañarán siempre. Gracias, Andy, por haber sembrado en nuestros corazones la aventura garífuna.

zippy said...

The translation of the press release into Spanish:

Andy Palacio, embajador cultural de los Garífuna, muere a los 47 años

Immigrant said...

This is indeed terribly sad news... All day yesterday and since I first learned about Andy's condition, I played his music very loud at home and in my car while praying and keeping my fingers crossed that he'd make it. I was visualizing him and all of us who knew him and have worked with him, all of us in the tight World Music community rooting for him and sending him positive energies and I was sure we were going to win and that he would wake up with a smile on his face...

Well, perhaps he is indeed smiling at all of us now and from wherever he is given the fact that it is supposed to be "a better place" but a lot of folks down here are weeping at the loss of such a good human being and a phenomenal musical crusader who planted the right seeds in the right places, ensuring that his work and the cultural pride of the great Garifuna people are here to stay and will continue to thrive for ever.

Thank you Andy for gracing our lives with who you were and with your music. You are and will be sorely missed and I express my deepest sympathies to Andy's family, friends, music buddies and compatriots as well as to Ivan and Jacob who contributed so much to his life and to the great cause of the Garifuna people and culture.

In the meantime, I shall continue to play Andy Palacio's music all over Canada often and for many many years to come...


Dan Behrman
Ex-manager of Boukman Eksperysn (Haiti)
Ex-program manager/Montreal International Jazz Festival Now producer & host on Radio-Canada and CBC-Radio

Anonymous said...

Thank you Andy for your being and for the way your exquisite music opened up the world of the Garifuna people to me. I am grateful to have seen you all this summer in Boston and honored that your music is now a part of my life. My deepest condolences to your family and the Garifuna people. May your love of Andy keep him in your hearts and close to you forever. Melody

roberto said...

our deepest sympathy to andy palacio's family and to the garifuna people.Indeed it's a big loss to our country.He will always be remembered by Belize and by us.May he rest in peace.
From:Succotz Festival Drum Corp.

MARK STROH said...

It's strange, but the major reason why I went to the Salmon Arm Blues & Roots Festival was to see Andy and the Garifuna Collective. I feel blessed to have seen him playing with the group and in a less formal jam session with memebers of Kobo Town. Ever since I listened to Watina, I knew there was something special about this album. It ranked at the top of my World Music list for 2007, and is likely to stay in my top five for years to come. It is true roots soul music, combining the best the African diaspora has to offer.

Dr Mr Big said...

My Wednesday evening show this week on Raidio na Life (Dublin, Ireland WWW.RNL106.COM ) was given over completely to Andy Palacio and Garifuna culture. It told the story of Garifuna culture and how it came to be and of how Andy became involved in his ambassadorial role with NICH etc. Rest in peace, Andy.