The Professionals

According to their seminal LP The Professionals On Tour, the Professionals had earned a reputation for “promptness and reliability.” More significantly, they were the most musically diverse of all the bands in Belize at the time. The inexplicably brilliant “A Part Of Being With You” has one foot in deep soul and the other in sunshine pop. Its finale is several minutes of breathtaking legato with psychedelic leanings that would seem shockingly out of place anywhere else in the Caribbean, Central, or South America. “Guajida” is the traditional Latin funk monster made perhaps most famous by Willie Bobo (although he spelled it “Guajira”). Few fans of funk and hip-hop breaks are unfamiliar with the breakbeat behemoth that is The Professionals’ version of “Theme From The Godfather.” Its combination of hard funk breaks and fuzz guitar has kept “Theme From The Godfather” on producer wantlists for decades. Rounding out their repertoire is a ragamuffin-rough interpretation of The O’Jays’ “Backstabbers.” Led by Jesus Acosta and featuring vocalists Elihue Flowers, Ben McKoy, and Zoila Clarke, the Professionals were the bestselling Belizean band of their day, striking gold with the calypso smash “The Queen Sings,” a single that sold more than 30,000 copies at home and abroad.

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