A musical legend from Cayo passes on

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Jose Maria Magana

Jose Maria Magana, a musical legend, who entertained the whole country of Belize and travelled abroad to entertain Belizeans with his popular one-man-band called Magana’s Band, has passed away. Magana worked with the local talent from the Cayo District and contributed much to their shine in the musical scene.
Magana worked with musical performers such as Desmond Berry, Jose Victor Moreno Sr., and Iliana Moreno.
“He hired me at age 18 to perform in his band straight out of high school; with his piano he showed me what my voice could do,” writes Iliana Moreno, who is now in charge of the National Institute of Culture and History, San Ignacio Branch.
Moreno continued, “Thank you, Joe, for showing me the road to music…I began working with him and he said, I got the right song for you from Ricardo Montaner. I said I can’t sing that and he said yes you can, rehearsed, one take and that was it. He said I told you! I could sing the song! Thank You Joe for showing me the road to music!”
Magana was kind and passionate about his music. He also ventured into playing spiritual music.
In his later years, Jose Magana would travel to Belmopan, set up shop there, and share his much-loved songs.
In possession of a vast musical talent and digital library, JMagana shared much of his knowledge with the current generation. We appreciate him greatly for doing so.