ALLY Afro-Peruvian Jazz Ensemble

Global Jazz at its best – unique, exciting, and bristling with invention.

What's coming up for ALLY

Join us for a special performance with a cameo guest appearance from Brazilian Australian spoken-word artist Dai Moret. We’re preparing an exciting mix of music inspired by a broad spectrum of the Latin jazz idiom from classic descargas to original pieces influenced by Afro-Peruvian landó, festejo and panolivio alongside Gerry González’ latinized Monk standards. This spicy blend of cultures, music and word is guaranteed to grab your attention.

Check out a little video of Giorgio Rojas and Steve Marin playing cajón.

The rhythm section of Stamatis Valacos on double bass, Giorgio Rojas and Steve Marin on percussion set up a great platform for…Eamon Dilworth’s extravagant Fibonacci…Gai Bryant’s South American styles such as bomba and cha cha chá…and Jonathan Cohen’s solos and melodies that make a real statement.

Mark Pigott

Sydney Arts Guide

While Eamon Dilworth was in NZ, the very talented Simone Spiropoulos captured this fantastic new image of most of the band.

ALLY’s music is drawn from Afro-Peruvian, Cuban and Caribbean traditional rhythms paired with a modern jazz aesthetic. It encapsulates a cross-pollination of cultures, ideas, and sounds grounded by the distinctive resonance of the Peruvian cajón. Whilst inspired by the past this music has vitality, energy and a sense of space. There is an organic balance of air pushed through trumpet and saxophones with skin on wood.

Each band member brings their experience and knowledge to create a convergence of riches. Expect to hear Giorgio Rojas’ Peruvian heritage alongside Jonathan Cohen’s Cuban descargas; Eamon Dilworth’s Fibonacci-inspired writings and Gai Bryant’s densely layered Cuban and Peruvian-influenced jazz cameos. The alchemy resulting from the blend of these elements and people is an exhilarating new twist on landó, panolivio and more..

Plans are afoot to collaborate and perform with Perth-based Peruvian percussionist Daniel Susnjar in the future.

ALLY began as vehicle to explore and blend Latin American and Caribbean traditional music styles with modern jazz harmony and Spanish and Andean influenced melodies to create our version of Global Jazz. Our aim is to pay respect to traditional rhythmic practices and jazz language while heading into new territory.

Many of the traditional music and rhythm patterns we embrace have their origins in the forced migrations of slaves from the 1500s onwards. Instruments such as Peruvian cajón and Cuban cajón were devised during those migrations through necessity. ALLY wants to create a platform that celebrates those inventions and music practices while forging a new path.

With both Giorgio Rojas and Steve Marin playing percussion, the ensemble has a spacious, light feel. Pianist/composer Jonathan Cohen and bassist Stan Valacos complete a Latin-centric rhythm section. Musician/composers trumpeter Eamon Dilworth and saxophonist Gai Bryant bring a jazz spice to the mix.

Cajón Basics Giorgio Rojas

We are thrilled to announce Cajón Basics by Giorgio Rojas, one of our most versatile and creative percussionists, will be available on Spare Parts as an eBook soon. 

‘Cajón Basics’ is aimed at beginners with no experience.