Belize showcases Caribbean Music!
Once again, Belize reminds us that she’s much more than just a pretty face
With the passing of Belize’s Paranda master Paul Nabor last week, and this week’s state funeral held in his honour, we are once again reminded of the importance music has always played in Belize, and how this multicultural melting pot has produced – and continues to produce – some of the world’s most interesting, listenable, and important sounds.
So we were interested to hear that the 6th Edition of the Traveling Caribbean Film Showcase in Belize was launched November 4 at the Leo Bradley Library in Belize City, this year focussing on the music from thirteen Caribbean countries. With a variety of films, documentaries and animation, including a much-heralded biographical documentary of Calypso Rose, it promises to be as entertaining as it is interesting.
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again – Belize is much more than just a pretty face. Sure, the country is (justly) known for its stunning beauty and abundance of warm smiles, but travellers are often happily surprised by how much more is going on these days.
The art scene is very much alive – check out the Belize Arts Gallery homepage at http://belizeanarts.com for a quick tour of just a few of the movers and shakers on the arts scene. With Garifuna, Maya, Mestizo and so many other cultures represented artistically, it’s no wonder Belize offers such a rich, heady brew for the arts aficionado.
Even the nascent film industry is growing, and the Belize International Film Festival (www.belizefilmfestival.com) is becoming a cultural force not only in Belize and the region, but the world as well. This year’s festival had over 40 entries from film makers as far afield as Europe, Asia, the USA and Canada as well as throughout the Caribbean. And with the first Kriol language feature, “Kurse a di Xtabai”out, and more feature length films being planned, the future of the Belize film industry looks bright indeed.
And, as we’ve said countless times before, Belize’s music scene is, for our money, one of the richest sonic mines in the world. Start digging, and be prepared to be amazed. Stonetree records at www.stonetreerecords.com is an excellent starting point, and even for the experienced listener it provides a great, comprehensive catalogue of everything from Brukdown to Punta Rock to Paranda to traditional Maya and beyond. Amazing seems too tame a word…
And we won’t even get into the increasingly sophisticated food scene…well, we will, at a later date. Suffice to say that wonders are being worked with so many fresh ingredients from the pristine Caribbean waters and fertile earth, turning Belize into an epicure’s paradise. It’s much more than rice and beans these days (although, as far as we’re concerned, roots food doesn’t get much better than Belizean rice and beans with stew chicken or, OMG, gibnut).
The 6th Edition of the Traveling Caribbean Film Showcase in Belize continues on through November 14th at both the Leo Bradley Library and the Bliss Center from 4pm to 7pm each night, and it promises to be huge this year.
We’ll post a recap later on, and until then, do yourself a favour and check out Belize arts, film and music, and be prepared to be surprised and delighted.
Beauty and talent. Who would have thought such a little country could pack in so much of both?