BARCELONA / AMPLIFICA RECORDS
Migration, freedom and poetry
Ayom are musical seafarers who traverse the Black Atlantic from Brazil to Angola and Cape Verde with a distinctly Mediterranean identity.
"Their sound is a mix of Brazilian, Tropical, Afrolatin and Afrolusitan sounds played with Irresistible swing, like tropical sun penetrating grey clouds".
Their name, Ayom, refers to the "Lord of Music" that in Afro brazilian mithology (Candomblè) exists in the tambor and taught humans to play music and sing.
Blending century old traditions with the black and rhythmical language of lusophone cultures, Ayom provide a hot-stepping and spiritual voyage across the African diaspora.
Thus, musicality flourishes nomadic, profound, provocative and dancing, where tradition and contamination, male and female, poetry and energy, joy and engagement coexist.
Ayom is a multicultural band, made up of 6 members from Angola, Brazil, Greece and Italy with Brazilian singer and percussionist Jabu Morales centre stage.
Ayom's self titled debut album is a swinging collection of tracks pointing at, and borrowing from, the folk music of Brazil, Angola and Cape Verde. Blending century old traditions with the black and rhythmical language of lusophone cultures, Ayom defy the purists and provide a hot-stepping and spiritual voyage across the Atlantic.
Ayom has given Jabu Morales the opportunity to speak a global version of Portuguese that she couldn't previously communicate. Across the album you can also hear Spanish, Yoruba and Kimbundu alongside French Creole.
She sings in her mother tongue, Brazilian Portuguese, on the second single Cachaça and Macarrão referring to Brazilian rum and Italian spaghetti, and is the story of the passion between a Brazilian and an Italian in the group. Featuring the tuba and the flute, it's a baião, that plays with the maracatu rhythm. It's Dixieland jazz under the spell of North Eastern Brazil, a party with Jackson Pandeiro, Hermeto Pascoal and two of the greatest Louis in the business: Luis Gonzago and Louis Armstrong leading the festivities. Like all the tracks, it features Alberto Becucci's accordion, a core element of the Ayom sound, and particularly interesting as it was an instrument brought over by the European colonisers and regarded as a key cultural influence and product from the occupations.
In the album opener Exú, Jabu's Afro Brazilian drum, the zabumba, drives the trip like a religious ceremony and Jabu's repetitive vocals represent the chanting of Yoruba culture and the orixás. Cravo é Menta's swing echoes the Northern Brazilian carimbo style with similarities to South American cumbia. Me Deixe Ser is a deep and reflective coladeira inspired tune from Cape Verde whilst tempos and swingometer max-out on Maré e o Luar, a derivative of the Angolan semba.
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Jabu Morales emigrated from her home in Minas Gerais, Brazil to Barcelona in 2011 and now juggles her music career with being a mother, teaching women percussion and her on-going study of Candomblé and Afro Brazilian rhythms. It was an unexpected connection between Alberto and Jabu at a concert in Barcelona mid 2018 that instigated the new formation of the group. Alberto and Timoteo Grignani, Ayom cofounder and percussionist, recognised Jabu's incredible talent, invited her on-board the ship and Ayom was born. Fast-forward to 2019 and an intense, 2 week, recording session in a country house at the home of a Portuguese wine producer in south Lisbon and the manifesto was brought home.
Jabu Morales: voice and percussion // Alberto Becucci: accordeon // Timoteo Grignani: percussion // Walter Martins: percussion // Ricardo Quinteria: guitar// Francesco Valente: bass