Afro-Cubano seduced by New Orleans soul. That's not an indictment of your cousin's last trip to Mardi Gras, and the subsequent case of the crabs that ensued following said seduction. It's the term Oriente uses to describe their sound. And a damn good description it is. The six-piece orchestra's deep roots in traditional afro-Cuban are not their only facet, but rather the base for an amalgam of distinct influences, including blues, jazz and Brazilian sounds. It's no wonder their first tour, which kicked off in New Orleans' Snug Harbor jazz club, generated instant buzz for the group.
Since their inception in 1993, Oriente has maintained a steady tradition of highly-infectious, danceable tunes. It's a tradition members Eddy Balzola (guitars), Stuart King (trumpet), William Paredes (trombone), Yoel Del Sol (percussion), Pepe Aparicio (bass) and Orlando Machado (drums) continue today, and their live performances are the very best place to sample those jamtastic wares.
Oriente plays Transit Lounge (729 SW 1 Ave., Miami) this Thursday, August 13 at 10 p.m. No cover.