Friday, November 09, 2007

Andy Palacio: UNESCO Artist

Thanks to CAC editor, Cheryl Noralez, for the following news item from the Garifuna Heritage Foundation:

Belizean musician Andy Palacio designated UNESCO Artist for Peace

The Director-General of UNESCO, Koïchiro Matsuura, has designated the celebrated Belizean musician and singer Andy Palacio a UNESCO Artist for Peace.

OCTOBER 1, 2007 - UNESCO Artists for Peace are internationally-renowned personalities who use their influence, charisma and prestige to help promote UNESCO's message and programs. UNESCO works with these distinguished personalities in order to heighten public awareness regarding key development issues and to inform the public what our Organization's action is in these fields. Andy Palacio's designation makes him the 40th UNESCO Artist for Peace alongside prestigious international figures such as Manu Dibango, Celine Dion and Gilberto Gil.

Born in 1960 in the coastal village of Barranco, in Belize, Andy Palacio started to gain popularity in Belize and abroad in the late 1980s. He has since become his country's most popular musician and one of the most prominent defenders of the regional Garifuna culture and traditions.

With his band The Garifuna Collective, Andy Palacio has created a unique musical style known as Punta rock, an upbeat, popular dance form based on Garifuna rhythms. Palacio also sings in the Garifuna language, which blends many linguistic influences and which UNESCO declared in 2001 a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.

Andy Palacio is Cultural Ambassador for his country and holds the position of Deputy Administrator of the National Institute of Culture and History.

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