Bankie Banx has given new meaning to the term “surf music.” Since 1991, the musician known as “the Anguillan Bob Dylan” has gathered international reggae and folk artists to jam on Anguilla’s Rendezvous Bay Beach during Moonsplash, the Eastern Caribbean’s longest-running independent music festival.
The venue — Banx’s endearingly ramshackle Dune Preserve restaurant and lounge — was destroyed in Hurricane Irma, but reopened this past November. “Through hard work, lots of encouragement, and support from our friends abroad, we are up and fully running and better than ever before,” Banx says.
The next Moonsplash is scheduled March 21-24. At other times of the year, cruisers have a good chance of hearing Banx’s raspy baritone and distinctive mix of reggae, folk and jazz played live at the Dune Preserve; he often performs when he’s in town.
How has Anguilla influenced your music and poetry?
While growing up as a teen in the 1960s, the revolutions that were going on around the world were also playing [out] in Anguilla, if you can imagine that. The artists and songwriters that were revolutionizing music were influencing me and my music. Who I am was shaped by Anguilla, and that comes out in my music even today.
What inspired the Moonsplash festival?
Moonsplash began as my outlet and opportunity to bring some of my friends in the music business to Anguilla. We had the summer festival for many years, but we didn’t have another festival that showcased many different styles of music.
What sets Moonsplash apart?
Moonsplash is unique because from year to year it can be very big or just chill. At the end of the day, it’s about giving our audience some quality shows in a laid-back and non-pretentious environment.