Artist Profiles: Julio Zelaya

Julio Zelaya

Julio Zelaya is one of the most important contemporary composers in Central America. He plays original compositions using the unique Honduran garifuna rhythms and exposes them to the musical complexities of other African rooted music such as jazz, Caribbean, Brazilian and world.

Having lived a good part of his life in North America (Canada and the United States), he has been able to assimilate the main elements of American music from pop to jazz and has found his very own musical identity as he puts together all this background with his own Latin, Spanish and African roots.

Some of his compositions have been taken as a international symbol of the Honduras Caribbean on cable tv. and his music sounds in Central America, North America as well as in Europe.

Most of the songs of his CDs have been inspired by real experiences in the Honduran Caribbean ocean (mostly the Bay Islands: Roatan, Utila and Guanaja). The magic of singing mermaids , the dance of the dolphins, a delightful swim inside the coral reefs or a Bay Islands sunset. The work also describes a certain kind of nostalgia of the Garifuna people for their mother land Africa and in some songs you can hear the real jamming Garifunas do when they get together to celebrate the different events of life or death according to their tradition.


Yurumen (Juzel Productions, 2002)
Ecos de Sirenas (Julio Zelaya, 2005)

Author: Angel Romero

Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music music for many years. He founded the websites and Angel produced several TV specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World.

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