One of the most extraordinary and passionate Central American artists of his generation, Aurelio Martinez is a musical ambassador for the threatened Garifuna culture. Hailing from a small community in Honduras, he is recognised for his preservation and modernization of this musical tradition with his distinctive, powerfully evocative vocals and his talent as a composer, guitarist and percussionist.

The Garifuna culture encompasses the African and Caribbean roots of Aurelio’s ancestors, a group of shipwrecked slaves who intermarried with local natives on the island of St. Vincent, only to be deported to the Central American coast in the late 18th century. The young Aurelio learnt from his songwriter mother and his local troubadour father, making his own guitars from cans and fishing line. Music and songs were the only entertainment in a place with no electricity and little contact with the outside world and it is these songs that shaped him as an artist. 

 

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