The band are London based but will travel for events.
DIÁSPORA: United in the Latin Beat
“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 11-piece lineup (2 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 director)
DIÁSPORA has performed all over the UK, touring concert venues, events both private and corporate, festivals, showcases and weddings. Previous clients include Band on the Wall, Cultural Collage World Music Festival, KRO Ltd Catering & Events, Manchester Food & Drink Festival, Manchester Jazz Festival, Manchester Salon, Matt & Phred’s Jazz Club, Prestwich Festival, Royal Northern College of Music, Salsa de Cuba, Salsa Direct and WPA Health Insurance.
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...
DIÁSPORA blends sophistication with FUN and works equally well as an amazing party band available for hire. Whether it is cheesy commercial Hollywood hits, sophisticated Latin jazz, straight-up contemporary salsa dance music or old-school Cuban classics, it is completely up to you! And of course like all great bands DIÁSPORA will judge what the audience respond to on the day and are prepared to change the set list ‘on the fly’...
“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
“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
“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.”
- On The Edge World Music Festival 2013, Richmond Arts Service
★ ☆ 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 did it. Booking: 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: Background music. 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. And then 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
"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
“Many thanks to you all. It was a brilliant night!”
- Russ & Jenn, wedding, Pershore, Worcestershire
"...you were really well received at the CILT NW Awards and the room was still networking and dancing to the end of your set!"
- Simon Reynish, Chartered Institute of Logistics & Transport
"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."
- KLM Airways
"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 were great! Fantastic entertainment from a great group of musicians. All the guests really enjoyed them!”
“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 Ltd
“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!"
- Edge Street Events / Manchester Food & Drink Festival
"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."
- Manchester Salon
"Our audience really enjoyed DIÁSPORA’s performance at La Soirée Concert Series. Thank you for entertaining us."
- Your Event Musicians
“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 critic, author of '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
“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 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 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
"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’s 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!"
- Eleanor & Ravinder, wedding, Oxford
“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!”
- GH, wedding, York
“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.”
- GW, wedding, Lancashire
“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
"Many thanks to you all. It was a brilliant night!"
- Russell & Jenn, wedding, Worcestershire
Scroll to view set list
Afro Blue, Mongo Santamaria
Aguanile, Willie Colón
Ain't it Funny, Jennifer Lopez
Besame Mucho, Consuelo Velásquez
Bilongo, Guillermo Rodríguez
Bingo Bango, Bolivar
Brasil, Ary Barrosso
Cachao's Guiro, Israel "Cachao" Lopez
Caravan, Juan Tizol
Carolina, Seu Jorge
Chan Chan, Buena Vista Social Club
Chucho, Jesús "Chucho" Valdes
Claudia, Jesús "Chucho" Valdes
Como Fue, Buena Vista Social Club
Copacabana, Barry Manilow
Cuba, Gibson Brothers
Déjame Soñar, Tito Puente
Do The Conga, Black Lace
Do You Only Wanna Dance, Mia
Dos Gardenias, Buena Vista Social Club
El Cuarto De Tula, Buena Vista Social Club
El Son De Celia Y Oscar, Celia Cruz & Oscar D'Leon
Fire Burns Below, Alex Wilson
Flor De Lis, Djavan
Get Up Stand Up, Bob Marley
Golden Section, Diáspora
Gozando En La Habana, Charanga Habañera
Gracias A La Vida, Joan Baez
Guaglione, Pérez Prado
Guantanamera, Joseito Fernández
Habana Del Este, Afro-Cuban All-Stars
Hasta Siempre Comandante, Carlos Puebla
Hips Don't Lie, Shakira / Wyclef Jean
Hotel California, Eagles
I Like It (I Like It Like That), Pete Rodríguez
Ketchup Song, Las Ketchup
La Bamba, Ritchie Valens
La Bomba, Ricky Martin
La Cuna, Ray Barretto
La Vida Es Un Carnival, Celia Cruz
Lágrimas Negras, Miguel Matamoros
Let's Stay Together, Al Green
Linda Chicana, Tito Puente
Livin' La Vida Loca, Ricky Martin
Lullaby (In Dying Light), Diáspora
Mais Que Nada, Jorge Ben
Mais Que Nada: Revisited, Jorge Ben
Mama África, Chico César
Mambo Inn, Mario Bauzá
Mambo no. 5, Pérez Prado
Manteca, Dizzy Gillespie
Midnight at the Oasis, Maria Muldaur
Moondance, Van Morrison
Move to the Music (Live to 100), Diáspora
Não Enche, Caetano Veloso
Nature Boy, Eden Ahbez
Nica's Dream, Horace Silver
Night In Tunisia, Dizzy Gillespie
No Me Mires A Los Ojos, Issac Delgado
Palabras Del Alma, Marc Anthony
Pedro Navajas, Oscar D'Leon
Ran Kan Kan / Oye Como Va, Tito Puente
Reunión, Paquito D'Rivera & Arturo Sandoval
Sabor, Cal Tjader
Samba De Janeiro, Bellini
Shine, Lanu feat. Christin Deralas
Silencio, Buena Vista Social Club
Sign of Love, Diáspora
Something in my Eye, Corduroy
Song For Bilbao, Michael Brecker
Spain, Chick Corea
St Thomas, Sonny Rollins
Sway, Pablo Beltrán Ruiz
Tanga, Dizzy Gillespie
Tequila, The Champs
Time is Running Out, Diáspora
Valió La Pena, Marc Anthony
Variaciones on a theme of 'Amores Como El Nuestro', Jerry Rivera
Whenever, Wherever, Shakira
This act's standard set times are as follows: