Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Andy Palacio Wins Prestigious BBC Award

In an unprecedented decision by the BBC, the announcement of Andy Palacio as the winner of the Americas category in the 2008 BBC Radio 3 Awards For World Music has been made public months early. The statement below came in a moment ago from Ian Anderson of fRoots magazine and the BBC.

Andy Palacio wins prestigious BBC Award

The tragic death on Saturday 19th January of Andy
Palacio, the much-loved Garifuna musician from
Belize, has made it appropriate to reveal that he
is the winner of the Americas category in the
2008 BBC Radio 3 Awards For World Music.

Although decided by the jury in December, the
official announcement of all the winners is not
due to be made by the BBC until 10th April.
However in these exceptional circumstances, the
news of this should be released now so that a
full measure of his achievements and the regard
in which he was held by the world music community
can be recorded along with the many other
tributes now being made to him. When this is
heard at his State funeral in Belize on Friday,
his people will know that this Garifuna musician,
with his marginalised indigenous culture, had
been chosen as the best artist of all the

BBC Radio 3 presenter Lucy Duran, who is to
broadcast a tribute to Andy Palacio this coming
Saturday, has commented: "The news of Andy
Palacio's untimely death has been an absolute
shock. It seems impossible that Andy has gone. He
was young, healthy, dynamic, at his prime. And
such a loss to so many people around the world,
at the very moment when he was truly set to
become an international star - with the
incredible success of the album Watina - such a
loss to his own people, the Garifuna, for whom he
was such an articulate and charismatic spokesman.
Such a personal loss to Ivan Duran - fellow
Belizean musician and music producer, who worked
tirelessly for so many years with Andy on making
Garifuna music better known, culminating in
Watina, which has an anthemic quality to it and
has been for many in the world music industry the
best album of 2007. This is quite simply
heartbreaking news."

Many of us in the world music community were
moved by Andy Palacio's acceptance speech on
receiving the 2007 Womex Award, in which he
stated: "I see this award not so much as a
personal endorsement but in fact as an
extraordinary and sincere validation of a concept
in which artists such as myself take up the
challenge to make music with a higher purpose
that goes beyond simple entertainment. I accept
this award on behalf of my fellow artists from
all over the world with the hope that it will
serve to reinforce those sentiments that fuel
cultures of resistance and pride in one's own."

We are proud to make this announcement that Andy
Palacio has won the Americas Award in the 2008
BBC Radio 3 Awards for World Music, though can
only wish that it were made in very different

on behalf of:

fRoots magazine, Songlines magazine, Rough Guide To World Music, Womex


charlotte said...

I just wanted to point your readers to a story we here at FRONTLINE/World did about Garifuna music and musicians - including Andy - a few years ago. Marco Werman reported it and there's a short video to watch as well as lots of music, background info and links.

Here's the link to the story homepage:

Perhaps you could do a posting with a photo linking to the video.

All best,

Dr Mr Big said...

I am a GP in Dublin and presenter of a weekly World Music radio show. I was very saddened to hear of Andy's death.

Last June I had the good fortune to see him perform at Africa Oye in Sefton Park, Liverpool. Not only that he kindly granted me an interview during which he spoke of Garifuna culture & history, of his work with Ivan Duran and others, and of his hopes for the continued promotion of Garifuna music. Such a loss to family, friends, the Garifuna people as well as the wider world music community cannot be quantified.

Rest in Peace, Andy: your work has breathed new life into the promotion and dissemination of Garifuna culture. It will live on.

Anthony Cummins
Raidio na Life Dublin Ireland