It’s been a long time since I saw it, but Diáspora's performance at the Crown Hotel in Nantwich on a dark, cold night in late November remains fresh in the memory. The Scottish family of the groom had spent some years living in Mexico, and it was clear to see that they had really wanted to add some tacos and tequila to their neeps and tatties for the evening. We crept sheepishly into the hotel “to support the band”, and sat down on a windowsill at the side of the hotel’s grand Georgian assembly rooms, complete with its 36 vast chandeliers and “el tri” decorations, trying to remain as inconspicuous as possible. It was clear that we were not going to be able to remain hidden for very long. Diáspora immediately got everyone on their feet from the very first song, and the groom’s mother and father grabbed us and started flinging us round the dance floor in the style of an Eightsome Reel. The band’s own song “Move to the Music” was particularly well received, perhaps even more so than the Latino-pop standards of Ricky Martin and The Eagles. The inevitable sight of Scottish country dancing set to Latin rhythms appeared towards the end of the set, an idea further encouraged from the mic by band leader Rory and his Scottish family roots, who joined the wedding guests in a morcilla and tequila (or is that haggis and whisky?) induced circle of joy for the final song.
- Seb Duffy
It was an epic night on Sunday May Day Bank Holiday as the DIÁSPORA 11-piece band performed an explosive three sets at Matt & Phred’s Jazz Club. If you’re not familiar with the club, it’s a very bohemian and cosmopolitan bar in the Northern Quarter of Manchester, and the guys sure know how to whizz up a tasty cocktail! The lights were dimmed, and the candles were on the tables, with salsa music playing in the background – which set the mood perfectly for the night’s proceedings.
“...a hugely talented and energetic band...This is a band we will definitely be booking again and again.”
Matt & Phred’s Jazz Club
“...a young band set to ignite and inspire listeners and dancers wherever they appear.” Manchester Jazz Festival
“Absolutely stunning.” Band on the Wall
Salsa critic, author of the bestselling novel 'Travels on the Dancefloor' and our very good friend, Grevel Lindop, who has his own website (www.grevel.co.uk) has written us this very nice article in anticipation of this Sunday's 11-piece Latin big band gig at Matt & Phred's. You can view the original article by clicking HERE or continue reading...
You have a big chance on Sunday 1 May. Diaspora are playing at Matt and Phred’s in Manchester and, frankly, you seriously need to go and hear them. Really.
Their gig at Matt and Phred’s on 31 March was really fabulous. Diáspora have definitely got that magic ingredient – the one that makes or breaks a Latin band. I’m sure you know what I mean. Anyone who dances salsa and the like knows that some bands play very well technically, but they just haven’t got it – the magic ingredient that forces you to move your body, to forget everything and get out there on the floor.
It was great to hear Rich Sliva guesting with them on drumkit in April: Rich is a master percussionist, initiated and trained in Cuba, and he knows what he’s doing. You may have heard him playing with Mojito, another top local band.
Alyss Rose has a superbly engaging vocal style that’s tough, sexy and also melodious: amazing for an English singer and exactly right for the Latin and AfroCuban lyrics she puts over so expressively. It’s hard to believe she’s not a native Spanish speaker.
On 1 May they’ll be playing with a full brass section, so it will definitely be a night to remember. The gig starts at 8.30. If you don’t know Matt and Phred’s in Tib Street, you’ll enjoy the ambience: a real funky jazz club with drinks and excellent pizzas available (mine’s a Charlie Parker, please). I’m often enthusiastic on this blog, but it isn’t hype, it’s because I write about what I love and when I think something is that good, I want to share it. I want to share Diáspora with you. Please be there.
"To say I was 'blown away' by the evening's experience is a little bit of an understatement!..." Manchester Salon-->read the full article HERE:
Diáspora put on an explosive and volcanic performance at their gig on April the 26th at the RNCM. There was no sign of ashen faces in the crowd, despite it being a Monday night at the start of the summer exam period at the college, and it was impossible for audience members to resist foot tapping, clapping or even salsa-ing along to the flowing rhythms, which as we have come to expect from the band, were as hot as lava.
Rorito Martín’s performance of “La Bomba” showed that he is rapidly growing in confidence as both vocalist and band director, and his sax playing showed consummate professionalism from someone who has really forced himself under the skin of Latin jazz. Two new recruits in the horn section provided excellent cover while Rory found himself up front at the mic.
Sarita’s elastic vocals in the finale complemented her performance throughout, grabbing by the throat and making you cry “¡Sí!” as she asks “¿Do you really wanna dance?”.
The beautiful Diáspora string quartet added elegant colour and poise to the performance of “Habana del este” by the Buena Vista Social Club.
Heider and Mark blasted their brass solos deep into the unusually humid Manchester night, their squeals resonating deep into the souls of the watching crowd.
The rhythm section were as tight as a conga drum skin, keeping the pace pumping throughout the set.
Luciano arrived fresh out of the favelas five hours before the gig, and his cameo appearance provided a picante taster of things to come.
Sebas de la Fuente
UNITED IN THE LATIN BEAT