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Various Artists - Palo Monte - Back To The Root

Back to the Root is a significant revelation in the history of Afro-Dominican and Afro-Haitian music. The African-rooted drum rhythms constitute the heartbeat of each song, intended to remind listeners where the unique religious and social traditions of Haiti and the Dominican Republic were born. The project is a fusion of the region's traditional rhythms with other genres of music found within the African diaspora.

Osvaldo Sánchez, the founder of Pa'lo Monte, was born into a Dominican-Haitian family with revolutionary ideals about its history, identity, and future as a people. Sánchez and several of his siblings were immersed in the diverse cultural expressions that are representative of the island called Quisqueya. After their formal dance and music training as young children, they set out on their own to enrich and enhance their learning by going back to the root, meeting with elders in the countryside, those who carry the traditions; and learning the music, song and, dance that have been passed down from the African and indigenous ancestors.

Sánchez has been a working artist all his life and has witnessed the popularization of traditional Afro-Cuban and Afro-Brazilian rhythms that accompanies the growth of a people as they become conscious of the richness of their own roots. These observations inspired Sánchez to make educating the Dominican and Haitian people about their own culture, its distinct origins and manifestations, and their connection to history and heritage his life's work. As with all cultures within the African Diaspora, the link between roots and resistance remains a crucial element in the sustenance of peoples, communities, and nations over the past five hundred years.

Pa'lo Monte, founded in 1998, is dedicated to preserving the music and dance of the island, particularly the traditional songs which continue to be central to ceremony and oral tradition. In Back to the Root, Sánchez and Pa'lo Monte offer a mystical integration of traditional music with the bass line characteristics of rap, Afro-beat, and merengue, a combination that roots the modern in the historical. Listeners will be drawn in by the popular aspects of these songs, by the contributions of hip hop legend Chuck D, but the heartbeat that drives this music will also invite a deeper, more critical listening. Sánchez hopes that with time this will yield a more dispersed understanding of the political and spiritual significance of these traditions.

Back to the Root (Volviendo a la raíz) es una revelación significativa en la historia de la música afro-dominicana y afro-haitiana. Los ritmos africanos del tambor constituyen el latido de cada canción, que hacen recordar a los oyentes dónde nacieron las únicas tradiciones religiosas y sociales de Haíti y la República Dominicana. El proyecto es una fusión de ritmos tradicionales de la región con otros géneros que encuentran adentro la diáspora africana.

Osvaldo Sánchez, fundador de Pa'lo Monte, nació a una familia dominico-haitiana con ideales revolucionarios sobre su historia, identidad, y su futuro como un pueblo. Sánchez y varios de sus hermanos se enfrascaron en las expresiones culturales que representan la isla llamada Quisqueya. Después de su entrenamiento formal de danza y música en la niñez salieron por su cuenta para enriquecerse por volver a la raíz. Viajaron a los campos a reuinirse con los viejos de la tradición que cargaban las tradiciones. Aprendieron la música, las canciones y los bailes que los pasaron de mano a mano de los ancestros africanos e indígenas.

Sánchez ha sido un artista toda su vida y ha sido testigo de la popularización de los ritmos tradicionales afro-cubanos y afro-brasileños que acompaña el crecimiento de un pueblo en lo que se conscientizan de la riqueza de sus raíces. Estas observaciones le inspiraron a hacer el trabajo de su vida la educación del pueblo dominicano y haitiano sobre sus propias culturas, sus orígenes y manifestaciones distintas, y su conexión a la historia y a la herencia . Como todas culturas dentro de la diáspora africana, el lazo entre las raíces y la resistencia sigue siendo un elemento central para el sustento de los pueblos, las comunidades, y las naciones en los últimos quinientos años.

Pa'lo Monte, fundado en 1998, está dedicado a preservar la música y baile de la isla, particularmente las canciones tradicionales que siguen siendo centrales a la ceremonia y la tradición oral. En Back to the Root, Sánchez y Pa'lo Monte ofrecen una integración mística de la música tradicional con la línea del bajo que es característico del rap, Afro-beat, y merengue, una combinación que arraiga lo moderno adentro de lo histórico. Los oyentes estarán atraídos a los aspectos populares de las canciones, las contribuciones de la leyenda del hiphop, Chuck D., pero el latido que guía esta música también invitará un escuchar más profundo y más crítico. Sánchez espera que con tiempo, esto rendirá un entendimiento más dispersado del significado de estas tradiciones.

LOVE AND THANKS

This has been a long and arduous, but ultimately amazing journey. I thank God and the spirits who have been with me all of these years, guiding me as a young man to immerse myself in the African-rooted traditions of my homeland, and to later share them with my brothers and sisters of the diaspora. I give thanks for the beautiful lessons that I have been granted through this process and I look forward to continuing on the path. I am grateful to and humbled by those who have helped Pa'lo Monte to grow and share our culture with our people:

Much love and many thanks to la comadre Gaye for your support, and for making it all happen. I would also like to thank my brother, the legendary Chuck D for your unwavering support, hours spent sharing your experiences, and the resources that you poured into this project. Thanks to you both for believing in the heart of this project. So many people have shared their talents with us, and we appreciate your willingness to offer those gifts:

• The Pa'lo Monte family – Silvestre, Chris, Frank, Omar, Blanca and Lethy – thank you for trusting the vision and lending your artistry to this album.

• Edis 'el Gurú' Sánchez – for musical direction, brotherly advice and for walking this path with me.

• Johnny 'Juice', Jeremy Mage and Triniti Coclough – the dedicated producers who used their distinct talents to make the idea to fuse traditional music with other genres a reality.

• The madrinas and padrinos de Pa'lo Monte – Rosita Romero, Dowoti Desir, Filama Ductan, and Mona Morency– for always being there to support us as artists and as community workers in the social justice movement, and for your spiritual protection and advice.

• The creative team – Janvieve, Frank, Henry, Koby, Noa, Nick, and C-Doc – for giving our production a professional look – we are proud to include your collaborations as a part of this project.

• Rolando Bascumbe, Esq. – for coming to the rescue and for supporting our independence and our vision.

For more than 10 years, Pa'lo Monte has been blessed with a community of supporters that shows us love, and shares our commitment to our collective survival.

AMOR Y GRACIAS

Esta ha sido una jornada larga y arduosa, pero últimamente fantástica. Le doy gracias a Dios y los santos quienes han estado conmigo todos estos años, guiándome desde joven a sumergirme en las tradiciones africanas de mi tierra natal, y a compartir ésas mismas con mis herman@s de la diáspora. Doy gracias por las lecciones hermosas que me ha otorgado a medios de este proceso y espero seguir en este camino. Estoy humildemente agradecido a los que han ayudado a Pa'lo Monte a crecer y compartir nuestra cultura con nuestra gente.

Mucho amor y muchas gracias a la comadre Gaye por su apoyo y por hacerlo posible. Me gustaría también darle las gracias a mi hermano, Chuck D. por su apoyo que no falla. Gracias por compartir horas y horas de trabajo y experiencia, y por los recursos que has ofrecido para este proyecto. Gracias a los dos por creer en el corazón de este proyecto. Tanta gente han brindado sus talentos con nosotros, y apreciamos su deseo de ofrecer estos regales:

• A la familia Pa'lo Monte – Silvestre, Chris, Frank, Omar, Blanca, y Lethy – gracias por confiar en la vision y por prestar su arte a este album.

• A Edis 'el Gurú' Sánchez – por la dirección musical, los consejos de hermano, y por caminar conmigo en este sendero.

• A Johnny 'Juice', Jeremy Mage and Triniti Coclough – - los productores dedicados que usaron sus talentos distintos para hacer la idea de fusionar la música tradicional con otros generous una realidad.

• A las madrinas y los padrinos de Pa'lo Monte – Rosita Romero, Dowoti Desir, Filama Ductan, y Mona Morency – por siempre apoyarnos como artistas y trabajadores comunitarios en el movimiento de justicia social, y por su protección y consejos espirituales.

• Al equipo creativo – Janvieve, Frank, Henry, Koby, Noa, Nick, and C-Doc – por dar esta producción un toque profesional – estamos orgullosos de incluir sus colaboraciones como parte de este proyecto.

• A Rolando Bascumbe – por venir al rescate y por apoyar nuestra independencia y nuestra visión. Por mas de 10 años, Pa'lo Monte ha sido bendecido con una comunidad que nos apoya, nos muestra amor, y que comparte nuestro compromiso a nuestra sobrevivencia colectiva.

CREDITS/CREDITOS

Executive Producer/Productor Ejecutivo: Chuck D.

Produced by/Productor: Osvaldo D. Sánchez

Mastered by/Masterizado por: Rodney Mills Masterhouse Marietta, Georgia

Performers/Artistas: Osvaldo D. Sánchez – Director/Conductor, Lead vocal/Vocalista principal: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7; Palo mayor: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7; Alcagüete: 3, 5; Palo menor: 3 ; Tambora: 4, 6, 7; Sarandunga drum: 6; Güira: 3, 5; Fututo: 7; Catalié: 7; Pandero: 1, 2, 3, 4, 7; Palitos de Bambulá: 5

Edis 'el Gurú' Sánchez – Director/Conductor: 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7; Alcagüete: 1, 2, 4,7; Sarandunga drum: 6; Tambora: 1, 4, 6; Güira: 1, 2, 4, 6, 7; Fututo: 7; Tambú: 7; Pandero: 1, 2, 4, 7; Minor percusion: 7

Silvestre Wallace – Palo menor: 1, 2, 4, and 7; sarandunga drum: 6; pandero: 1, 2, 4, 7; Background vocals/Coro: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

Chris García – Background vocals/Coro: 1, 3, 4, 6, 7; Tambourine/Pandero: 4

Frank Taveras – Background vocals/Coro: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7; Tambourine/Pandero: 2

Omar Freilla – Background vocals/Coro: 3, 4, and 6

Lethy Liriano – Background vocals/Coro: 2 and 5

Blanca Vásquez – Background vocals/coro: 3, 4, and 6

Paul Austerlitz – Tenor saxophone/Saxofón tenor and Bass clarinet/Clarinete bajo: 2 and 5

Pam Fleming – Trumpet/trompeta: 2 and 5

Jeremy Mage – Keyboards/órgano: 2 and 5; guitar: 5

David Masucci – Flute/flauta: 2 and Alto saxophone/Saxofón alto: 5

Emmanuel Ofori – Bass guitar/Guitarra bajo: 2 and 5

Andrews Santana – Keyboards/órgano: 4 and 6

Mazi Wallace – Trombone/Trombón: 2 and 5

Special Guest/Artista invitado especial: Chuck D on Enigma

Voice Coach/Entrenador de voces: John Paul González

Album art/Arte del álbum: Janvieve Williams Comrie

Cover photo/Foto de la portada: Henry Adebonojo

Jewelry in photos courtesy of/Joyas naturals en la foto cortesía de: Steven Taveras/QuillaCaona

For concert and performance information: info@palomonte.org

SONG LIST

1. Enigma (featuring Chuck D) (Palo rhythm)

Music and lyrics – Osvaldo D. Sánchez *Arrangement – Osvaldo D. Sánchez *Rap lyrics – Chuck D. Recorded and Mixed by Johnny "Juice" Rosado @ the Terrordome - Strong Island, NY Programming by Johnny "Juice" Rosado

2. Verdades Son (Palo rhythm)

Music and lyrics – Osvaldo D. Sánchez *Arrangement – Osvaldo D. Sánchez Recorded and Mixed by Johnny "Juice" Rosado @ the Terrordome - Strong Island, NY Produced by and additional recording by Jeremy Mage @ Dark Room Studios, New York, NY

3. But I Love Nueva York (Palo rhythm)

Music and lyrics – Osvaldo D. Sánchez * Instrumental composition – Osvaldo D. Sánchez and Johnny 'Juice' Rosado *Arrangment - Osvaldo D. Sánchez and Johnny 'Juice' Rosado * Mixed by Andrea TRINITI Coclough

4. Plátano 100% (Palo rhythm)

Composition of percussion and lyrics – Osvaldo D. Sánchez * Instrumental composition – Osvaldo D. Sánchez and Andrews Santana * Arrangement – Osvaldo D. Sánchez and Andrews Santana

5. Siglo XXI (Bambulá rhythm)

Music and lyrics – Osvaldo D. Sánchez *Arrangement – Osvaldo D. Sánchez Recorded and mixed by Jeremy Mage @ Dark Room Studios, New York, NY

6. Llámame/Claro que sí (Sarandunga 'capitana' rhythm)

Composition of percussion and lyrics – Osvaldo D. Sánchez * Instrumental composition – Osvaldo D. Sánchez and Andrews Santana* Arrangement – Osvaldo D. Sánchez and Andrews Santana

7. Nos chequeamos ahorita (Palo and gagá rhythms)

Music, lyrics – traditional * Modern lyrics and arrangement – Osvaldo D. Sánchez Recorded by Johnny "Juice" Rosado @ the Terrordome - Strong Island, NY Mixed by Andrea TRINITI Coclough Pa'lo Monte is a cultural group that teaches and performs the traditional rhythms and melodies of the Dominican Republic and Haiti. Through the teaching of music, dance and specific political and spiritual traditions, we are keeping alive a whole legacy that has been passed down to us from generation to generation. Our mission is to preserve and popularize the African and Indigenous cultural traditions of the Dominican and Haitian people and strengthen the level of respect for the values and traditions of our ancestors.

HISTORY

Pa'lo Monte celebrates its 12th anniversary teaching and playing Afro-Dominican cultural music, reminding the Dominican community of the legacies of resistance, joy and survival handed down to them, and inspiring others to recover their own cultural heritage. As a young man, Pa'lo Monte's founder, Osvaldo D. Sánchez spent much of his time with his brothers, visiting the elders in the countryside, learning the percussive techniques of the African-based music of the Dominican Republic and Haiti, as well as the stories of their arrival on the island. These experiences and the importance of preserving these traditions stayed with him for many years, and in 1998, he formed Pa'lo Monte.

ROOTS

The group's name speaks to its origins and its purpose. Osvaldo chose the name Pa'lo Monte as a dedication to the elders he learned from, referring to their way of speaking (instead of saying 'voy para los montes' – 'I'm going to the mountains', they would say 'voy pa'lo monte'). This particular way of speaking is part of the legacy of the Africans who were brought to the island by the Spanish and has been integrated into speech patterns to create a distinct Dominican Spanish language. At the same time, the name refers to the Africans and Indigenous people who lived in the mountains, creating communities of resistance, ensuring the survival of their traditions. The name 'Pa'lo Monte' is also a nod to the spiritual-religious traditions of the Dominican and Haitian people who practice Vodoun and Dominican Santería and believe that the mountains are a site of magic and mystery, a place where ritual and healing occur.

THE WORK

Twelve years later, Pa'lo Monte has developed as one of the premiere Afro-Dominican and Haitian traditional groups in New York City, showcasing a model for collaboration between artist and social justice communities, highlighting the importance of these cultural workers in the liberation of their people. Over the last ten years, Pa'lo Monte has responded to the communities' cries for support in organizing around issues of importance, such as justice for immigrants, an end to violence against women, the movement for peace, and the call for unity between Dominicans and Haitians. The political-mystical messages of Pa'lo Monte's songs have often proven to be a force that moves people to action, both literally and figuratively, providing spiritual uplift for troubled times and motivation to join the struggle for a better world.

TRANSFORMATION

Over the past ten years, Pa'lo Monte has transformed from a musical ensemble into an Institution for the teaching and preservation of African and Indigenous cultural traditions from the Dominican Republic and Haiti. It has provided lectures and skill-building workshops in diverse venues from elementary schools to the United Nations. Pa'lo Monte's signature event is the Afro-Caribbean Festival in Honor of Liborio Mateo, which celebrates the life and teachings of one of the cimarrones, or leaders of African and Indigenous resistance in the Dominican Republic. (Liborio Mateo was a spiritual and political leader, who in the early 1900s, defied the Dominican and American governments, as well as the Catholic Church, in developing a community based upon principles of cooperative living and the recognition of traditional values and practices.) The event, which has been celebrated annually since 2003, has been tremendously successful in bringing together the Dominican musical community of New York City. In addition, it has provided an innovative means of educating the communities about Liborio and the legacy of struggle that they have inherited, as well as reframing modern struggles within this context.

THE FUTURE

The survival of the Dominican and Haitian communities into the 21st century and beyond is dependent on the continued expansion of their traditions as well as their integration into the cultural repertoire of the Americas. Osvaldo Sánchez expects that Pa'lo Monte will lead this movement with its music and energy, so that these communities will not only survive, but thrive. Read more: http://www.myspace.com/palomontenyc#ixzz132n6Tbjh

Tracklist

  • 1  Enigma (featuring Chuck D)
  • 2  Verdades Son
  • 3  But I Love Nueva York
  • 4  Plátano 100%
  • 5  Siglo XXI
  • 6  Llámame/Claro que sí
  • 7  Nos Chequeamos Ahorita