THE STORY  Conceived by Cuban-born guitarist/composer Eddy Balzola after years of touring with show bands, reggae and Latin bands, Las Vegas clubs etc., Oriente’s signature sound features funky, guitar driven tumbaos, blazing harmonic brass, and explosive Afro-Latin percussion - fusing Cuban roots with Blues, Jazz, Caribbean and Brazilian influences. Their first New Orleans concert at world famous Snug Harbor Jazz Club created a major buzz, attracting local musicians and world class audiences excited by their new Cuban roots fusion. That New Orleans scene, drenched in roots music torn from the soul of the streets, in combination with the band's deep Cuban roots heritage, thoroughly impacted Balzola and continues to influence Oriente’s creative, hard-driving and soulful sound.

ORIENTE has produced four recordings to date. The band's latest CD is titled NOW and clearly represents band leader Balzola's vision, aptly soaring with the tight and cohesive sound of Oriente's talented lineup. The band features Balzola (guitar/voc/perc), Stuart King (trumpet/perc), William Paredes (trombone/voc), Yoel Del Sol (multi-perc/voc), Pepe Aparicio (bass/voc) and Orlando Machado (drums/perc/voc).

All full time artists, Oriente's band members have played, recorded and toured with a wide range of stylists and legends including Mongo Santamaria, Celia Cruz, Jaco Pastorius, Willy Nelson, Babatunde Olatunji, "Cachao" Lopez, Yanni, Candido Camero, Luis Enrique, Isaac Delgado, Mandrill, Yma Sumac, Anders Osborne, Big Chief Monk Boudreau, Jimmy Riley, Willie Stewart (Third World), Kirk Joseph, Patrice Fisher and many more.

Influences incl: Ruben Blades, Eddie Palmieri, Mongo Santamaria, Fort Apache Band, Allman Brothers, Taj Mahal, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Beny More, Pat Metheny, Jaco Pastorius, Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Bonerama, Robert Johnson, Israel Cachao Lopez, Eric Susoeff, James Taylor, Jobim ...

St. Lucia International Jazz Festival
Sunny Isles Beach Jazz Festival, FL
Bele Chere Arts & Music Fest (Asheville, NC)
Piccolo Spoleto World Music & Arts Fest (Charleston, SC)
MOJA African Arts Festival (Charleston,, SC)
South Florida Jazz & Heritage Festival
Live with Chef Bobby Flay - The Food Network
Key West Cuban-American Heritage Fest
Hon-Dah Casino, Apache Nation, AZ
Atlantis Casino, Nassau, Bahamas
Calder Casino & Race Course, Miami
Jeff Fest, Metairie, La
Sung Harbor, New Orleans
Tulane & Loyola Univ., New Orleans
Cafe Brazil, Blue Nile, Mermaid Lounge - New Orleans
Carnival On The Mile Latin Festival
Gainesville Jazz & Blues Festival
The Florida Fair, w/ Albita
Clambake Festival w/ Poncho Sanchez
Festival Miami & Miami Jazz Festival
Miami-Dade County Youth Fair
Arturo Sandoval's Jazz Club
Tobacco Road
Fiesta Tropical Mardi Gras Festival
Viva Broward Latin Fest w/ Dave Valentin
Calle Ocho Festival
and many more...