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Universal Music Middle East

 

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Why Kuwait?

With songs in Arabic and English, KUWAISIANA is an indie rock band based in New Orleans. The 7-piece is led by Kuwaiti songwriter +Aziz, who works with the group to produce a danceable big band sound with a world music influence.

“this band from New Orleans amalgamates elements of funk, rock, and reggae, with evocative poetic lyrics blending the day-to-day lives of Arab-American youth and the evolving viewpoint of Khaleejis living in the Arabian Peninsula.

Chapter 1 is amazingly excellent. The mixture of reggae, rock, funkadelic pop, and Arabic sonic patterns produces thrilling harmonics, a kind of reckless dynamism, and hormonal exuberance.” Randall Radic, BlogCritics

“At its core, the band is first and foremost a funk, rock, reggae band with the emphasis on spirit and personal authenticity. The band folds Arabic lyrics and musical touches into the arrangements, but they’re the seasoning, not the sauce.” Alex Rawls, My Spilt Milk

“These musicians are world class and second to none at what they do to combine old and new world themes that sound as good at any cookout or outdoor festival as they do at any inside venue, or on the headphones.” James McQuiston, Neaufutur

Let’s build cultural bridges together.

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Meet the Band

+Aziz

Our band leader. Flawed but friendly. +Aziz is a Kuwaiti indie rocker who sings/writes in Arabic & English. He pays his bills through freelance marketing work.

John “Soltrane” McCloskey

has been playing bass since the age of 14. He started playing shows since the age of 16 when he moved to New Orleans in Late 2007; John was also a student at the Victor Wooten bass camp that same year. John enjoys soul food, long walks on the beach and obscure sound equipment. John is also an expert in making grilled cheese sandwiches; his favorite cheese blend for said sandwiches is Jarlsberg and Irish Sharp Cheddar. John hopes to one day collaborate with Jonwayne and John Travolta in a project he has dubbed as Tron Javolta.

Patrick Driscoll

has over 16 years of experience in the world of percussive arts. He cut his teeth with Chicago bands Get up with the Get Downs, Videobug, and Dust Bunnies. Upon recently moving to the beautiful city of New Orleans, he has been privileged to play with KUWAISIANA and 2nd Chance Brass Band. He is also an educator, teaching young children the basics of brass band music as part of an after-school program for the Art Klub. His performance hijinx over the years have led him to open up for Ivan Neville's Dumpstaphunk, Youngblood Brass Band, The Diplomats of Solid Sound, and Low Cut Connie. It should be noted he is also an ardent lover of cats.

Nick Ferreirae

is a tenor sax player originally from San Diego, California. He moved to New Orleans in 2013 to study jazz in the city of its birth at Tulane University. While his musical focus is primarily jazz, Kuwaisiana has allowed him to explore other styles of musical expression while incorporating his jazz knowledge. Besides music, Nick loves travel, the outdoors, beer, Star Wars, the ocean, and New Orleans. Some of his influences and favorite musicians/groups are Wayne Shorter, Miles Davis, Sonny Rollins, John Coltrane, Joe Henderson, Snarky Puppy, Tower of Power, BADBADNOTGOOD, Kanye West, NxWorries, Led Zeppelin, Jack White, Kendrick Lamar, Kamasi Washington, Robert Glasper, Frank Ocean, Thundercat, and Flying Lotus.

Michael Stalios'

roots in New Orleans go back to the 1990's, where he cut his teeth as a guitar and bass player for local live acts. A move to Brooklyn, NY in 2005 led him to create, perform and tour with several indie rock and punk outfits for which he also produced a variety of projects. A recent return to the Big Easy inspired a dedication to improving his piano chops and provided a serendipitous meeting with Kuwaisiana. His dual role as the band's record producer and soft synth man allow him to indulge both his love of live performance and his commitment to capturing enduring studio sounds.

Dehan Elçin

hailing from Istanbul, Turkey, where he was born and raised. He started his musical journey with piano when he was three years old and a few years later he started studying classical piano part-time at the Istanbul Conservatory. He picked up the trumpet in middle school and it has been his primary instrument since. During high school he became very interested in jazz and attended the Bahcesehir University certificate program. Upon graduating high school, Dehan wanted to be closer to the roots of the musical idiom he wanted to study and chose to move to New Orleans to attend Tulane University. He recently graduated from Tulane University where he had been studying under the guidance of Jesse McBride and Jim Markway. Kuwaisiana's vision of bringing different musical idioms together excites him a lot, as he wants to connect his Middle Eastern musical roots with the music of the Big Easy. Currently, he is also a part of the Next Generation Band and EMCM Jazz Orchestra.

Matthieu

plays drums.

 

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