The band brings together acclaimed Iranian electronic composer, POUYA EHSAEI; Carlos Acosta and Irakere’s Latin Grammy winning 'percussion virtuoso' HAMMADI VALDES; figurehead of London's Cuban music scene, ORESTE NODA; and Ropeadope’s award‐winning Jazz trumpeter, JAY PHELPS.
The word “ariwo” means “noise” in Yoruba, a West-African religion that came to Cuba during the transatlantic slave trade and heavily influenced the island’s musical development. Whether it is genres like Yambú, Songo, Guaguancó or Changüí, it is the fusion of these complex Afro-Cuban rhythms and syncopations with live electronic processes that forms the building blocks for the bands first album.
For the Cuban musicians in particular, Ariwo is about shining a light on the incredible cultural heritage that resounds through the barrios of Havana, Matanzas and Guantánamo. In order to capture this raw musical energy, EHSAEI programs his electronics and processes the instrumentation live, constantly changing the intensity to create a real-time dialogue that elevates these rich ancestral traditions, pushing them beyond traditional Cuban and Iranian identity to create a sound that no longer belongs to any specific culture.