Conceived by Cuban-born guitarist/composer Eddy Balzola after years of touring with show bands, reggae and Latin bands, Las Vegas clubs etc., Oriente’s signature sound features funky, guitar driven tumbaos, blazing harmonic brass, and explosive Afro-Latin percussion – fusing Cuban roots with Blues, Jazz, Caribbean and Brazilian influences. Their first New Orleans concert at world famous Snug Harbor Jazz Club created a major buzz, attracting local musicians and world class audiences excited by their new Cuban roots fusion. That New Orleans scene, drenched in roots music torn from the soul of the streets, in combination with the band’s deep Cuban roots heritage, thoroughly impacted Balzola and continues to influence Oriente’s creative, hard-driving and soulful sound.
ORIENTE has produced four recordings to date. The band’s latest CD is titled NOW and clearly represents band leader Balzola’s vision, aptly soaring with the tight and cohesive sound of Oriente’s talented lineup. The band features Balzola (guitar/voc/perc), Stuart King (trumpet/perc), William Paredes (trombone/voc), Yoel Del Sol (multi-perc/voc), Pepe Aparicio (bass/voc) and Orlando Machado (drums/perc/voc).
All full time artists, Oriente’s band members have played, recorded and toured with a wide range of stylists and legends including Mongo Santamaria, Celia Cruz, Jaco Pastorius, Willy Nelson, Babatunde Olatunji, “Cachao” Lopez, Yanni, Candido Camero, Luis Enrique, Isaac Delgado, Mandrill, Yma Sumac, Anders Osborne, Big Chief Monk Boudreau, Jimmy Riley, Willie Stewart (Third World), Kirk Joseph, Patrice Fisher and many more.