Beginning August 27th, Umalali returns to the US with the all-star Garifuna Collective for a series of west coast performances at key outdoor venues and select clubs. The all-female Afro-Indigenous song collective will perform music from their debut album The Garifuna Women's Project which was released to critical acclaim on the Cumbancha label earlier this year.
UK music magazine Songlines exclaimed that Umalali's music is, "a beautiful mix of African rhythms, choal singing and hypnotic, melancholic melodies that will leave you gasping for air, with a mood that will haunt you long after every listen." Charlie Gillett of the Observer Music Monthly wrote, "Surely, this is how Amy Winehouse wishes she could sound." Banning Eyre of Afropop Worldwide declared Umalali, "superbly well-imagined roots pop."
Descendents of shipwrecked African slaves who intermarried with the Carib and Arawak Indians of the Caribbean, the Garifuna people live primarily in small towns and villages on the Caribbean coasts of Belize, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. The music and songs Umalali brings to the stage expand on the story of this fascinating community, which is struggling to retain its unique language, music and traditions in the face of globalization.
Umalali recently completed the Andy Palaico Tribute Tour which honored the memory of the legendary Garifuna music icon. Andy Palacio, one of the most critically acclaimed world music artists of the past year, passed away unexpectedly on January 19th, 2008. Palacio had only recently achieved his lifelong goal of directing the global spotlight onto the remarkable music of the unique Afro-Amerindian Garifuna people of Central America, thanks to the success of his 2007 album Wátina. Recorded with members of Umalali and The Garifuna Collective, Wátina was widely applauded by the international media as one of the best world music albums of the year, if not of all time.
UMALALI with The Garifuna Collective
August/September 2008 Tour Dates
8/27 San Diego, CA World Beat
8/29 Los Angeles, CA Grand Performances
8/30 San Luis Obispo, CA Grace Church
9/01 Oakland, CA Yoshi's Oakland
9/03 Seattle, WA Jazz Alley
article submitted by:Simeon Chapin, Cumbancha