Bluefields Sound System makes a mark

The Caribbean coast of Nicaragua has been getting some great press lately. Here is a story by Marlon Bishop that recently ran on one of MTV’s music blogs:

On the isolated Caribbean coast of Nicaragua, embraced tightly by green jungle in all sides, is a place called Bluefields. To get there, you start with a bumpy six-hour bus ride from the capital to a little town called Rama, and transfer onto on a motorboat for a two-hour journey down the Rio Escondido (translation: the Hidden River). “And then, you somehow arrive at a city of 60,000 people that was founded by a Dutch pirate, essentially in the middle of nowhere,” says American producer Zander Scott, who lives in Bluefields. “There’s a feeling you get here that you don’t get anywhere else.”

By now Zander would know. Five years ago, Zander and a friend, Edwin Reed-Sanchez, stepped off a taxi-boat in town in hopes of making a documentary about the Bluefields’ unique cultural blend: an English-speaking enclave in Latin America where West Indian creoles and indigenous peoples have long thrived in isolation from the rest of Nicaragua. A place where Trinidadian soca gets re-recorded in the indigenous Miskito language, where the English maypole ceremony gets flipped into an Afro-Caribbean dance party, and where American country music and Jamaican dancehall bump jointly in the club. In sum, a place like no other on Earth.

However, what Zander and Edwin found was not exactly what they were looking for. “In the process, it really became apparent that the music and the traditions are not passing on to the next generation,” says Zander. “So we realized we wanted to do something more hands on, to work with the music and reverse that process of cultural erosion.“

Read more at MTV iggy.

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