EASTWINDS is a quintet of diverse cultural roots and a captivating original sound.
Four of Eastwinds members are overseas-born. Superb vocalist, Kristiina Maalaps, hails from the Baltic nation of Estonia. Her remarkable voice draws strongly on both the Estonian runic tradition and neighboring Scandinavian influences and beyond. Persian ney (flute) and daf (framedrum) maestro, Esfandiar Shahmir, is one of his country's outstanding younger generation musicians, who in addition to playing with Eastwinds, continues to play in one of Iran's leading Persian classical ensembles, the group, Mastan. Didgeridoo maestro, Sanshi, has an enviable reputation both as a player and promoter of the didgeridoo tradition in Australia - all the more remarkable given his Japanese heritage. Whilst English-born, former music festival Director, Steve Barnes (guitar and cittern), is a highly seasoned performer and saxophonist and multi-reedman, Mark Cain is well known both as a musician and educator with a long and distinguished pedigree in world music and as a maker of innovative instruments.
Eastwinds have recently released their debut self-titled CD. Their music deftly traverses the rich and surprising cultural diversity within this group and one clearly hears Persian, Estonian, Balkan and also undeniably Australian sonorities in this music. The album also features guest performances by versatile Iranian percussionist, Nikou Javadi playing tombek, cahon and darbuka and the lyrical mbira of Australian multi-instrumentalist songwriter, Jamie David.
Eastwinds are international boundary riders breathing new life into old traditions. They are unlike any group you have quite heard. Their music is a vibrant blend of cultural threads, where exquisite melodies, sophisticated rhythms and the vocals of a songbird will transport you to other lands and a new geography of sound.
released June 1, 2015
Kristiina Maalaps: voice, jaw harp
Esfandiar Shahmir: Persian ney, daf
Mark Cain: saxophones, tarogato, tarota, claritubes (in A and D-hijaz), gemshorn, jawharp
Sanshi: didgeridoos, bass drum
Steve Barnes: guitiar, guizouki