Pen Cayetano is an original and aesthetically omnivorous artist whose example is sure to inspire creative Garifuna spirits for generations to come. These recordings represent a rare sampling of a culture and musical style that thus far has eluded the homogenizing fusion of so much contemporary "world-beat." That alone makes these titles essential listening for anyone more than casually interested in the vibrant diversity of the music of the African diaspora. - Michael Stone

In Mi Country comprise the 1994 cassette release of the same name and the 1996 cassette release Sweet Africa. This recording thus represents critical addition to the story of Garifuna music in diaspora, one that will help listeners to appreciate how the music has evolved from a regional ethnic tradition to an increasingly transnational blend of stylistic influences. Pen recorded in Germany with African and German musicians. - Michael Stone

 

Most popularly accessible and manifestly dance-oriented is The Cayetanos (2000 - Turtle Shell Music), with Pen (vocals, rhythm guitar, Garifuna drums, turtle shells), wife Ingrid (percussion, backing vocals), and their children Mali (keyboards, vocals), Beni (bass, backing vocals), and Ibo (drums, backing vocals). All but one song are Cayetano originals. - Michael Stone

In her debut album Malí sings about love and the pitfalls of being in love. Her melodious, clear voice reaches out to touch a special place in the heart of the listeners. The ten songs were recorded in Germany and back up by the family band the Cayetanos.

Billie Jean Young

The Original Turtle Shell Band was recorded in a Belize City radio studio between 1980 and 1982, just as Belize gained its independence from Great Britain. Digitally remastered in Germany, the recording retains the raw quality of live low-tech, projecting the raucous vitality of an emergent music. After jamming at Pen's art studio and perfecting their chops at what they called "roadblocks" on the streets of Dangriga, the band took a bus to Belize City and set up in a park to play. A passing technician invited them to the Belize Radio One studios, which sessions fortuitously captured the group in its genesis. - Michael Stone

The Garifuna Punta Anthology is a collection of 17 songs composed by the Garifuna icons Isabel Flores and Lady Lard (Leocardia Bernadez Ruiz Mariano) recorded in 1973. This CD is a reminder of those who forsake the roots. Listen to the greatest Garifuna drummer ever and the Mahalia Jackson of Garifuna songs. I hope that this Cd will serve as an introduction to some of the most vibrant music now been made on our planet and as a reminder of those who would forsake the roots. - Pen Cayetano

Perhaps more accessible to the uninitiated listener is The Best of Punta Rock (Turtle Shell Music), a collection of songs laid down between 1982 and 2001. The recording documents the ongoing collaboration of Pen Cayetano (vocals, flute, acoustic guitar, bass, turtle shells, Garifuna drums, percussion) with fellow Turtle Shell Band founder Mohobub Flores (vocals, acoustic guitar, turtle shells, Garifuna drums, percussion), who pursues his own solo career as well. - Michael Stone

Home Belize is the second recording by the family band. The lyrics are written in English, Garifuna and German language and talking about roots, love and courtship and honoring the ancestors.The encounter between traditional and modern instruments contributes to the high-spirited expressive vitality of Punta Rock.

"Don't forget your kids - Keep your family strong - Children are our future always" - Pen Cayetano