Upcoming 'Afro-Caribbean Mixtape' 'speaks to the moment politically' as it embraces the African diaspora.
“I titled this album Afro-Caribbean Mixtape as a way of acknowledging the strong will of African peoples,” the singular trumpeter and musical mixologist Nicholas Payton writes of his peregrinating new release. “To explore how these songs and rhythms came from Africa, got funneled through the Caribbean in places like Haiti, Cuba, and Puerto Rico, and traveled to the northernmost part of the Caribbean — New Orleans.”
In an introduction to the album, due Feb. 10 on Paytone/Ropeadope Records, Payton, a celebrated son of New Orleans, makes reference to his Central American side.
“My family has a curious history in how we got to America in that I’m a descendant of the Garifuna tribe — also known as the Black Carib,” Payton writes. “The story, as told to me by my great aunts one day at the kitchen table, is that the Africans had formed a mutiny aboard a ship headed for the New World. It caused them to be shipwrecked on the Caribbean island of St. Vincent. Their captors were overtaken, and they escaped enslavement. That’s right, they were never 'slaves.' As a result, their African traditions remained intact. In 1792, they went to Honduras, which is where my maternal great-grandfather, Francisco Herrera was from.”