Diaspora

Clave… To us the word goes beyond explanations and definitions. It means life, salsa, the food of our leisure time, the motion of intense rhythm, the emotion of 20,000 people simultaneously grooving to the natural sounds of life. It’s being played in beat, on key, on clave… It means to be on top of things, to be playing it right… Clave is history, it’s culture. African drums from far off places like Nigeria, Dahomey and Ghana married the Spanish guitar to bring us clave. The seeds were planted in the Caribbean and now their grandchild is Salsa…

Diáspora is a UK-based Latin band bringing you a one-way ticket to the music of the Americas. The 12-piece lineup (3 vocalists, 3 percussionists, 4 brass, piano and bass) lends itself to an expansive BIG BAND sound without losing the dynamism and spark of a small group, and combines sensuous vocals, sophisticated horn lines and explosive percussion solos… With their vision to unite the rhythms of the Americas, their music is uplifting, inspiring and unifying, celebrating the diversity of cultures that arose out of the African Slave Trade, whilst focusing on the Cuban, Brazilian and globalized SALSA sounds which have become significant musical languages and forms of solidarity and cultural exchange among communities throughout the world.

Diáspora is not your regular salsa band… it’s a LATIN band, in the wider sense; freely mixing salsa with jazz, funk and contemporary popular music styles to create an explosive mix of sounds… it’s a BIG BAND by its very nature; equipped with all of the credentials to make for an exhilarating live outfit – engaging vocalists, a burning hot rhythm section and a big fat brass section… With their critically acclaimed fusion of rhythms, Diáspora is one of the most exciting new projects to emerge on the UK Latin scene today.

“Diáspora… The word has a universal meaning in many languages – it is all about dispersed peoples coming together, and the amazing musical fusions that this has created. Our sound has the spirit of salsa, but the swing of samba, and we combine these rhythms with jazz, funk and infusions of contemporary popular music styles from around the world – it is a real melting pot…” Rory Duffy (saxophonist and producer)

Diáspora provides the ULTIMATE catalyst for an engaging live outfit, delicately poised between its infectious appeal among a wide range of audiences yet technically sophisticated sensibility. The original compositions combine influences as diverse as South American pop, Spanish rumba, nu-Bossa, funk and reggaeton with a lyrical interplay between love, musical intoxication and images from the natural world. The arrangements themselves are pretty simple, containing flexible open platforms that allow the band to really stretch out and explore their musical territory, punctuated with unifying sections that bring the band into triumphant moments of tightness and togetherness. Diáspora has become a real VIBE band; analogous to a single, living breathing organism, yet free and open at the same time, lending itself to bursts of collective spontaneity – clapping in clave, improvised vocal refrains and onstage swaying. The combination of its expansive 11-piece lineup and its diverse influences from Latin American, mainstream popular and world rhythms render Diáspora truly a musical carnival…

History

Formed in Spring 2009, Diáspora are a group of musicians from a multitude of different backgrounds and walks of life brought together to play LATIN MUSIC. Their music celebrates the unity and diversity of rhythms that emerged out of the African Diaspora and their dissemination throughout the Americas… they create, they blend, they transform, they transmit. Most importantly, they have come together with a common objective: to SHARE and to EMBRACE.

Diáspora have performed all over the UK, touring concert venues, events (private / corporate), festivals, weddings and parties. They have had fantastic reviews; from dancers both seasoned salseros and amateur amantes who have come to enjoy their experience, keeping them on their feet all night, aficionados of the music and general punters out for a great time. The buzz that they have created has been fantastic and the quality of the musicians in the band has drawn in considerably large audiences. Every show is like a new beginning, and they always succeed in creating that magical atmosphere. No matter how much the band develops from show to show, their fundamental aims remain the same: to share and to embrace. The band is a crossroads of musicians coming from different backgrounds, constantly returning with new gems and sparks of inspiration – in this sense it is a true Diáspora. Through these journeys they have not only learned about music, but we have learned about life… Salsa is rooted in the African trinity of love, food and religion (emotional, physical and spiritual fulfillment) and this is at the heart of their music.

Reviews

“Everything went really well on Saturday and Tom and Sorrelle had a great day. I am very pleased to recommend Diáspora. The 12-piece band put on a great performance at my client’s wedding and were a pleasure to work with. The bride and groom were looking for a fun, carnival feel for their drinks reception and Diáspora delivered. They even led a musical parade from the church to the reception venue which really set the tone. I hope I’ll have the opportunity to hire them again soon.” Tania Nursiah, Wedding Planner, Orange Blossom Events, August 2016

“Diáspora left audiences cheering and pleading for more after selling out The Jazz Café on their first ever gig at the club. The band of 12 musicians has a great natural fusion, bringing you the best in Afro-Cuban, Brazilian and Latin jazz idioms, switching effortlessly between salsa, samba and everything in between, from popular classics to rip-roaring originals. Satisfying anyone from the seasoned aficionado to those looking for something a little bit different, here is a band to ignite and inspire listeners and dancers wherever they appear.” Liam Sutcliffe, The Jazz Café

“Wow – what a band!
We were lucky enough to have booked Diáspora for a private party and they really set the tone. The band were helpful in the run up to the event, assisted us with set up and even on the day helped with set up, where to best place the band, then once they began they created a loud and fun atmosphere to really kick off the dancing for the evening and soon everyone was up and dancing! The band were so great and that’s also why I told them to stay for drinks afterwards too. I highly recommend them for a loud, fun- filled night!!” Lindsey, London, June 2016

“Diaspora played a wonderful set for us at our Mexican-themed wedding at Egypt Mill, Stroud, Gloucestershire. We started off with Bésame Mucho as our first dance, where we were allowed to decide on a tempo and style, Diáspora’s rhythm section providing a perfect tempo for our hastily prepared dance steps. We were able to hand pick the songs from Diáspora’s wide repertoire, and they even put in a couple of songs that they arranged for us from scratch. Santana’s “Maria Maria” proved to be a real hit on the dance floor, and not just because my wife’s name is Maria. They played three sets of five songs each, plus a first dance, and a greatly appreciated salsa class at the start of the second set, led by the charismatic Alejandro. There was a full dance floor throughout the evening, even in between sets where band producer Rory DJ’d some uptempo Latin hits that kept the party pumping. They created an atmosphere that felt, festive, fun and Latino, yet personal, intimate and friendly at the same time, perfect for our small to medium sized wedding of guests from all over the UK, Europe and beyond. The guests all had a fantastic time, with conga lines, salsa and even Scottish highland dancing all featuring. The band members are all quite young, but it is obvious that they already have a wealth of experience as professional musicians – impressive and knowledgeable performers without losing the passion and touch that they had as music college graduates. Rory himself provided some virtuosic solos on sax and flute, Rea provided some powerful vocal lines, and Dave, Will and the rest provided an exciting yet solid platform on which the front line could express themselves. Diáspora really made our wedding, which went on well after 11pm, and we would recommend them to anyone.” Seb & Maria, Stroud, Gloucestershire, April 2016

“Hi Jo and Rory. Thank you for putting on a great show last Saturday. The band looked terrific in red and white, were professional and you all threw yourselves into the party spirit. The dance floor was full all of the time and you all played / sang very well together. We also enjoyed the salsa lesson, and it worked really well having the demo on the stage so everyone could see. We’ve had good feedback from our guests, and several picked up your cards. On the whole, a great evening, thank you!” Caroline, London, November 2015

“We booked Diáspora for our wedding, having listened to some of their tracks online and read the numerous great reviews, and were not disappointed. The band were very professional, managed to set up in a very tricky venue and did a fantastic, energetic set. All of our guests commented on how great the music was and it was a pleasure to employ professionals who knew how to deliver.” Nick & Lucy, London (Bishopsgate), October 2015

“What can I say? The band were incredible! We loved them and we have not stopped talking about them since. So talented and they added the ‘cherry on the top’ of a wonderful birthday celebration! Could you please pass on my sincere thanks to Rory for being so lovely to deal with and to the rest of the band who were so gracious and clearly love what they do! Many Many thanks.” Mandy Private Event, Staines, Surrey

“Thanks for your hard work to make our reception such a success – Tim & I loved every second and the band went down a storm… Diáspora pulled out all the stops to make our wedding reception the fun & energetic party we wanted. They appealed to our broad spectrum of guests with funky recognisable tunes including a Latin twist. From initial enquiry until the pack away the band were a pleasure to work with – all questions dealt with quickly and with a real desire that we should get exactly the wedding reception we wanted. I would not hesitate in recommending Diáspora – I had full confidence that they would be the perfect band, and in fact our expectations were exceeded. Thanks for making the day perfect – we fully intend to see you perform again:-)” Jo & Tim, Salisbury, Wiltshire, October 2013

“A big thank you to Diáspora for playing at our world music festival, bringing Latin sounds to Richmond Riverside and encouraging the crowd to move their feet! The band delivered a lively set and were prompt and reliable during the process.” Katie, Richmond Riverside On The Edge World Music Festival, August 2013

“Diáspora is one of the great choices we made for our wedding. First of all, thank you to Diáspora for your understanding of our needs. Our situation. We didn’t know how to book a band. We love salsa and Cuban music but not too serious. We didn’t know much about salsa dancing. Most of our guests were not familiar with Latin music. But we wanted to have Latin music because the wedding was in summer and it would make a difference and our guests would be interested. So we had a problem to solve and Diáspora fixed it. It was a calm and easy booking process. Diáspora knew exactly what we needed and took great patience to wait for us, to understand what we needed. At our wedding party, Diáspora played salsa music as background music in early time of the reception. Our guests enjoyed their conversation, moving their bodies to the music. Surprisingly, many guests knew some of the music! Easy to enjoy Latin music, Diáspora played some songs with something simple and easy rhythm to our guests that some kids started to dance ; ) Get people grooving: after the dinner, Diáspora gave us a 5-minute salsa dance lesson. It was really successful!!! Many of our guests enjoyed so much to follow the rhythm, laughing at each other. After the lesson, guests were just enjoying dancing, forgetting about “how to dance” which is fantastic! Our wedding party was very successful and the most important element was definitely Diáspora! Everybody was talking about the band after the party!!!” Clare and Joe, July 20th, 2013

“I would just like to thank you all for making James and Chikako’s special day even more so with the wonderful music and atmosphere you provided… Everyone has contacted us to say how great it was. If we ever need more music we will be in touch.” Sheila, Suffolk, July 2013

“Fantastic!! Great music. Wonderful musicians and vocalists. And the band provided a wonderful atmosphere interacting with the crowd at just the right moments in a charming and fun way. It seemed the band were all friends, they exuded warmth. Always professional, well-organised and keen to make sure all the arrangements were smooth and enjoyable. They sincerely wanted us to have a great night and we surely did. And it wasn’t a straightforward gig. There was no stage. The eleven band members were playing in half of my living room (London terrace house). It was a very special evening… the liaison was professional, agreeable and prompt and the arrangements proceeded smoothly. Couldn’t be happier with this engagement.” Katherine, London

“It was a brilliant night.” Russ & Jenn, wedding, Pershore, Worcestershire

“Just want to THANK YOU for a great performance, everyone commented on how great you were and we will certainly keep you in mind for any future events… I just wanted to convey my THANKS for the fantastic entertainment provided by Diáspora at the Air France KLM Delta Air Lines Manchester Airport Trade Event on Thursday 26 January 2012. They were EXCELLENT and very well received by our 100+ guests and certainly helped in making our evening very successful.” Air France / KLM Airways

“Just wanted to say thanks again for playing yesterday – we had a brilliant time, and lots of our guests have been telling us how great they thought you guys were. Thank you!” Andy & Clare, wedding, Cheshire

“Diáspora was exactly what was needed to bring the Prestwich Concert Series to a rip-roaring and stunning close.  Energetic, vivid, bright, bubbling with sun that was only too absent from the Manchester air, the standard of playing can only be classed as faultless, delivered with a professionalism that would I am sure leave a lot of similar bands standing. We were warned and it came true: people really were dancing in the aisles.” Prestwich Festival

“Diáspora’s performance at our wedding reception was fantastic. We got married in Christ Church, our old Oxford college, a beautiful setting which nevertheless has very strict requirements regarding sound, volume and logistics. Diáspora achieved what seemed impossible at first – to meet to all the college’s requirements AND provide a magical performance for our guests. Many of our guests had “Latin” origins – either from Spain or South America – and they were all equally impressed by the authenticity of Diáspora music which kept us dancing till the early hours. Diáspora is a very energetic, friendly and professional band that can produce the perfect music for any occasion. We recommend them strongly!” Ravinder & Eleanor, wedding, Oxford

“We were delighted with Diáspora. Everybody had a fantastic time dancing, and we received many comments about how excellent the band were. We would definitely recommend them.” Gavin, wedding, Lancashire

“We would like to thank you and Diáspora for an excellent set on Saturday. We thoroughly enjoyed the music and have had a lot of favourable comments from our guests about the music! Please pass on our thanks to Rory and the rest of the band for their part in making it such a special night!” Graham, wedding, York

“Diáspora were great! Fantastic entertainment from a great group of musicians. All the guests really enjoyed them!” Christie’s Coffee House, Upper Mill, Oldham

“From the minute this band takes to the stage to the minute they leave, Diáspora is certain to compel you to dance to these fantastic beats. Diáspora is your one-way ticket to the sizzling, scorching sounds of Latin America and the Caribbean. If you are looking to create an event where the dance floor simply must be full then this is the band for you!” Freak Music

“The band really engaged with audience, which created a great vibe. Mixing classic songs with current music gave the band a wide appeal and had everyone up dancing all night. Great fun and would definitely book them for future events.” KRO Catering and Events

“We’ve worked with and had the pleasure of enjoying the music of Diáspora on many occasions – a band of experienced and talented musicians. Whether the 5-piece or big 11-piece group, they never fail to bring a great performance of varied and popular Latin and Salsa numbers to the show.  From our point of view as dancers, we all enjoy the Diáspora experience, having us all on our feet all night!  They now have quite a following in the salsa scene – highly recommended!” Salsa de Cuba

“A bunch of young, hip and cool aficionados producing the slickest and most polished sounds in the city. Fronted by mesmerising vocalists, backed by a burning hot percussion unit and equipped with a tight pop horns train, Diáspora provides the perfect recipe for a fun-filled fiesta night out.  A zesty infusion of salsa and jazz influences, fat funky grooves and just about everything else south of the border, Diáspora is the ultimate tribute to Latin music in the UK. Absolutely stunning.” Band on the Wall

“Diáspora small band brought a fun fiesta feeling to the Festival Hub’s main-stage at the 2010 Manchester Food & Drink Festival. With their colourful interpretations of Latino classics mixed with their energetic, quirky spontaneity and delightful stage presence, Diáspora brought the sunshine out of all who came to attend. The performers really seemed to be enjoying themselves, which naturally fed into the enjoyment of the assembled crowds. This is a band definitely worth keeping an eye on!” Manchester Food & Drink Festival / Edge Street Events Ltd

“Diáspora left audiences cheering and pleading for more after their high-energy performance at Manchester Jazz Festival 2010. Their dedication to the Afro-Cuban and Brazilian repertoire, which they deliver in such a vibrant and authentic way, was a treat for both the aficionado and the dancer out for a good time. With their punchy horns, colourful percussion and engaging vocalists, here is a young band set to ignite and inspire listeners and dancers wherever they appear.” Manchester Jazz Festival

“To say I was ‘blown away’ by the evening’s experience is a little bit of an understatement! Diáspora took to the stage and the evening really  ‘kicked-off’. DIÁSPORA are an 11-piece band, billed as being ‘one of the most exciting new projects in the contemporary UK Latin scene’ and they did not disappoint. The acoustics are great and I was particularly impressed with Rory Duffy’s haunting saxophone rifts, coupled with the vibrancy and clarity of the lead female vocalist. The sexy, up-tempo, Latin American beat soon had the audience tapping in tune, with an adventurous couple taking to the dance floor to show off their salsa style steps. This seemed to pave the way for the other experienced salsa dancers get in on the action. As a salsa virgin I was in total awe of the way they moved as one entity, synchronising their moves in perfect time with the music – as soon as the first beats of the next song were played they automatically knew what moves to make. I must admit listening to the fast paced music I just wanted to get up there and join in, but felt inadequate watching the footwork skills on show.  Wow, I want to learn how to do that, I have to take salsa lessons and strut my stuff; maybe it is the new ‘Line-dancing’ fad but it look so much fun and I want IN. The whole evening was one of the most entertaining and fun that I have had in a long time. The music, atmosphere and venue blended so well but unfortunately it was over too quickly.” Manchester Salon

“Our audience really enjoyed Diáspora’s performance at La Soirée Concert Series. Thank you for entertaining us.” Your Event Musicians

“It was a superb salsa workout last night as local Latin bands Diáspora and Mojito put on dazzling performances as part of the Manchester Jazz Festival. Diáspora (whom I hadn’t heard before) took us through a whole range of music including son and samba as well as salsa.  They’re a big orchestra – 11-piece as far as I could count from where I was – with emphasis on brass, piano and vocals. The style is Latin jazz, not unlike the Alex Wilson sound if you’re familiar with that: some of it just forced you to get up and move, and all of it was highly listenable. I hope to hear a lot more of Diáspora.” Grevel Lindop, Salsa journalist / author of the bestselling novel ‘Travels On The Dancefloor’

“Diáspora gave a performance that was both great fun, and well received by our audience – who simply didn’t want to stop dancing. Moreover, the band too seemed to be having such a good time, so much so that they didn’t want to stop dancing either! Well done, thanks for keeping us informed at all times during the booking process, and I am sure that, on the strength of such a successful gig, I will have little problem booking you for others!” Cultural Collage World Music Festival 2010

“On first listening, very nice. Shows the scope of the band’s repertoire. Well recorded, production is good (brass & vocals are really clean and percussion is well balanced), playing is good – you are all obviously excellent musicians technically… Excellent Spanish pronunciation… This band can PLAY. They’ve got the feel!” Lubi Jovanovic, (salsa DJ and promoter)

“In February 2010 we had the pleasure of Diáspora to entertain us at our annual conference. The band were kind enough to liaise with us well in advance to discuss our requirements and I am really happy that this was taken into account for our evening. As our guests had an age range from 23 to 73, I feel you provided a great party atmosphere for all, and the surrounding logistics was made easy by your professional approach. I would have no hesitation in recommending DIÁSPORA to any corporate function should they desire an entertaining upbeat Latin style party.” WPA Health Insurance

“What a lovely surprise! The music is authentic, and the guys really understand clave. I’ve been collecting Latin music (from Cuba, Puerto Rico, Colombia) for a long time now and am very rarely surprised…” Irfan Rainy, (salsa DJ and promoter)

“Diáspora are a hugely talented and energetic band who blew the roof off Matt & Phred’s on their first ever gig at the club. The band of 11 musicians has a great natural fusion and the ease in which they commanded the stage was a joy to behold. This is a band we will definitely be booking again and again.” Matt & Phred’s Jazz Club

“Diáspora have a great energy showing through; the arrangements are clever and innovative, and there are some good musicians.” Salsa Direct

“Tight, professional, and above all, FUN, Diáspora blew us all away. Faithful enough to the traditions of Latin music to satisfy even the most diehard purist, but with enough energy and diversity for an amazing party band. I would recommend these guys to anyone.” Royal Northern College of Music

Repertoire

Salsa

  • Celia Cruz & Oscar D’Leon, El Son De Celia Y Oscar
  • Celia Cruz, La Vida Es Un Carnival
  • Charanga Habañera, Gozando En La Habana
  • Gibson Brothers, Cuba
  • Issac Delgado, No Me Mires A Los Ojos
  • Jerry Rivera, Variaciones on a theme of ‘Amores Como El Nuestro’
  • Joan Baez, Gracias A La Vida
  • Jose Feliciano, Felice Navidad
  • Manzanita, Arranca
  • Marc Anthony, Palabras Del Alma
  • Marc Anthony, Valió La Pena
  • Oscar D’Leon, Pedro Navajas
  • Pete Rodríguez, I Like It (I Like It Like That)
  • Tito Puente, Déjame Soñar
  • Willie Colón, Aguanile

Latin Jazz

  • Cal Tjader, Sabor
  • Chick Corea, Spain
  • Dizzy Gillespie, Manteca
  • Dizzy Gillespie, Night In Tunisia
  • Dizzy Gillespie, Tanga
  • Eden Ahbez, Nature Boy
  • Horace Silver, Nica’s Dream
  • Irakere, Boliviana
  • Jesús “Chucho” Valdes, Chucho
  • Jesús “Chucho” Valdes, Claudia
  • Juan Tizol, Caravan
  • Mario Bauzá, Mambo Inn
  • Michael Brecker, Song For Bilbao
  • Mongo Santamaria, Afro Blue
  • Paquito D’Rivera & Arturo Sandoval, Reunión
  • Ray Barretto, La Cuna
  • Sonny Rollins, St Thomas
  • Tito Puente, Linda Chicana
  • Tito Puente, Ran Kan Kan / Oye Como Va

Traditional & Folkloric

  • Afro-Cuban All-Stars, Habana Del Este
  • Buena Vista Social Club, Chan Chan
  • Buena Vista Social Club, Como Fue
  • Buena Vista Social Club, Dos Gardenias
  • Buena Vista Social Club, El Cuarto De Tula
  • Buena Vista Social Club, Silencio
  • Carlos Puebla, Hasta Siempre Comandante
  • Consuelo Velásquez, Besame Mucho
  • Guillermo Rodríguez, Bilongo
  • Israel “Cachao” Lopez, Cachao’s Guiro
  • Joseito Fernández, Guantanamera
  • Miguel Matamoros, Lágrimas Negras

Brazilian

  • Ary Barrosso, Brasil
  • Caetano Veloso, Não Enche
  • Chico César, Mama África
  • Corduroy, Something in my Eye
  • Djavan, Flor De Lis
  • Jorge Ben, Mais Que Nada
  • Jorge Ben, Mais Que Nada: Revisited
  • Lanu feat. Christin Deralas, Shine
  • Seu Jorge, Carolina

Latin Pop Fusion

  • Al Green, Let’s Stay Together
  • Alex Wilson, Fire Burns Below
  • Bacilos, Caraluna
  • Barry Manilow, Copacabana
  • Bellini, Samba De Janeiro
  • Bob Marley, Get Up Stand Up
  • Bolivar, Bingo Bango
  • Eagles, Hotel California
  • George Gershwin, Summertime
  • Gloria Estefan, ¡Si Señor!
  • Gloria Estefan, Santo
  • Jennifer Lopez, Ain’t it Funny
  • Maria Muldaur, Midnight at the Oasis
  • Mia, Do You Only Wanna Dance
  • Pablo Beltrán Ruiz, Sway
  • Pérez Prado, Mambo no. 5
  • Ricky Martin, La Bomba
  • Ricky Martin, Livin’ La Vida Loca
  • Santana, Primavera
  • Santana, Satellite
  • Santana, Smooth
  • Shakira / Wyclef Jean, Hips Don’t Lie
  • Shakira, Whenever, Wherever
  • The Champs, Tequila
  • Van Morrison, Moondance

Diáspora Originals

  • Diáspora, Conundrum
  • Diáspora, Golden Section
  • Diáspora, Lullaby (In Dying Light)
  • Diáspora, Místico
  • Diáspora, Moonlight
  • Diáspora, Move to the Music (Live to 100)
  • Diáspora, Sign of Love
  • Diáspora, Superstarlight
  • Diáspora, Time is Running Out

Lineups

12-piece:

2 vocalists (male and female)

Piano

Bass

3 percussionists

4 horns (alto sax, tenor sax, trombone, trumpet)

1 backing vocalist

 

11-piece:

2 vocalists (male and female)

Piano

Bass

3 percussionists

4 horns (alto sax, tenor sax, trombone, trumpet)

 

10-piece:

2 vocalists (male and female)

Piano

Bass

2 percussionists

4 horns (alto sax, tenor sax, trombone, trumpet)

OR

1 vocalist (male or female)

Piano

Bass

3 percussionists

4 horns (alto sax, tenor sax, trombone, trumpet)

 

9-piece:

1 vocalist (male or female)

Piano

Bass

2 percussionists

4 horns (alto sax, tenor sax, trombone, trumpet)

 

8-piece:

2 vocalists (male and female)

Piano

Bass

+

3 percussionists

1 saxophonist

OR

2 percussionists

1 saxophonist

1 trumpet

 

7-piece:

1 vocalist (male or female)

Piano

Bass

+

3 percussionists

1 saxophonist

OR

2 percussionists + 1 extra vocalist or trumpet

1 saxophonist

 

6-piece:

1 vocalist (male or female)

1 saxophonist

Piano or Guitar

Bass

+

2 percussionists

OR

1 percussionist + 1 vocalist

 

5-piece:

1 vocalist (male or female)

1 saxophonist

Piano

Bass

1 percussionist

How to book

For more information, or to book this artist, contact Rory Duffy