I found out yesterday that Andy Palacio had died. The man who did more than anyone else to bring Garifuna language, culture, and music to the international stage had “a massive and extensive stroke to the brain, a heart attack and respiratory failure” which caused his death on January, 18th 2008. Andy’s music was always too mellow for me, but while his particular take on Garifuna music is not my cup of tea, I greatly respect the man for working so hard to raise awareness of Garifuna language and culture, especially among his own people. When I saw him perform last summer his passion to share his culture, and his largeness of spirit shone through loud and clear, enrapturing the Portland audience. While I can’t be anything but sad that such a wonderful man is no longer walking the earth, hopefully his death will bring much more attention to the Garifuna people and their music, so that his mission in life can be continued in death.