Rochez Brothers Entertainment Gar�funa Music's Pioneer Producers 

    

By Jose Francisco Avila
 

Rochez Brothers Entertainment, Inc. comprised by brothers German, Dennys, Cesar, Jorge, and Giovanni and currently based in Honduras and the state of Quintana Roo, Mexico - has, since its founding in The Bronx in 1992, produced some of the most innovative, dynamic contemporary Gar�funa music around. These musical entrepreneurs have made their mark on World Beat by fusing traditional arrangements, lyrics in the Gar�funa language that speak to the social and political issues facing their communities today, discreet and judicious use of contemporary recording technology and high-quality musicianship. 

  

Interestingly enough, the company entered the World Beat arena the very same year that a previously unknown musical  group from Honduras called Banda Blanca (which consisted of non-Gar�funa Hondurans) hit the charts with the lively,  danceable "Sopa de Caracol" (Conch Soup). This megahit, which  reached listeners in the four corners of the globe, gave the punta rhythm and Gar�funa music unprecedented international exposure.

 

Among Gar�nagu, however, "Sopa de Caracol" generated enormous controversy, first because the lyrics and melody had been plagiarized without giving its author, Belizean Gar�funa musician Chico Ramos, due credit; second, because the group included a skimpily-clad young lady lewdly dancing a sacred traditional Gar�funa dance, compounded by the fact that the non-Gar�funa band members made culturally disparaging statements about Gar�funa culture to the media; and third, because Gar�funa musicians had been playing in their countries and communities abroad for decades and had not yet managed to strike international gold. Ironically, the success of one-trick-pony Banda Blanca served as a catalyst, spurring Gar�funa in Central America, the U.S. and elsewhere to reclaim and reappropriate their heritage.

 

The R�chez brothers, who are Honduran Gar�funas by birth, answered the calling of their own ancestral music and set out on a circuitous journey to make a lasting mark. As a startup company in the early 90's in The Bronx, they took on Gar�funa Kids, a group of talented young Gar�funa musicians seeking an outlet for their creativity, and turned them into a musical powerhouse. Eventually, the young men grew up, parted with their original producers and moved along, some to form other bands and others to other professions.

 

Starting in 1996, the R�chez Brothers produced recordings with top Gar�funa artists such as Eduardo Ballesteros, Justo Castro and Aurelio Mart�nez, worked on cultural projects with the world-renowned Ballet Folcl�rico Gar�funa de Honduras, and began to define the new paths they would take as music producers.

 

In the year 2000, R�chez Brothers Entertainment moved its operations to Honduras and the state of Quintana Roo, Mexico, which they now call their operational home, and founded their most successful group to date, Black Men Soul. They continue to work to fulfill their founding goals of transmitting Gar�funa rhythms all over the world, and informing audiences of the existence and cultural values of the Gar�funa people. With the recent naming of Black Men Soul as Cultural Ambassadors by the Honduran Congress, the R�chez Brothers hope to have a greater impact than ever before on their own communities and on the global music scene, which anxiously awaits a sustained presence of Gar�funa culture  to enrich its repertory.
 
Source: Rochez Brothers Entertainment, Inc.

 

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Left to right from the top German R�chez,Dennys R�chez and C�sar R�chez