Another successful “Soundfest” was held in the old Belize capital on September 16, 2016, marking the fifteenth annual event, just in time to celebrate Belize’s 35th Independence anniversary.
Soundfest 2016 was also complemented by the publishing of the first edition of the magazine, Belizean Musicians Past and Present. This magazine showcases bands of the past and their history.
It was created from the mind of the individual who is now accepted to be Belize’s real music ambassador, Tony Wright, also known as the lovable Tony Wright, along with his partner in radio, JC Arzu, both of whom have almost single-handedly carried the torch of promoting and conserving Belize’s musicians and their music via a program, “Belize Musicians Past and Present,” hosted on KREM Radio, which started back in 1995.
Tony saw the need to preserve Belize’s traditional music from the influence of foreign culture and respond to the dire urgency of restoring Belize musicians to their rightful places in our young nation. Although it has been a hard battle, we are now seeing more young Belizeans embracing our traditional culture in music.
A musician himself, Tony has lived through the great bands of the past who still live through their music. These great bands include The Lord Rhaburn Combo, The Harmonettes, Los Echoes, Wilfred Peters and his Boom and Chime and many other groups. The struggle is a hard one, but Tony Wright will win this one.
The Government of Belize just held another award ceremony and, sad to say, many of Belize’s real heroes are being pushed aside.
Congratulations and thank you, Tony Wright, the real, dear Belize Ambassador for Music, for keeping the torch lit. The people of Belize have endorsed you. What more can we ask for!
(PS) A few days before Soundfest 2016, I had a dream of the event. Since some of that dream has come to pass, I have decided to publish the dream in two or three parts in the Amandala starting next week).