Aestaewast are Shetland's very own African Afro-Cuban drumming group. Since first appearing on the stage at the Shetland Folk Festival in 2006, they have developed their own unique mix of percussion, song and dance- bringing passion, exuberance and enthusiasm to performances which leave their audiences moved, entranced , delighted and exhausted from the sheer display of energy and vitality.
Traditional African and Afro-Cuban music is at the heart of their repertoire, but the band members give everything their own special interpretation and now include original compositions, arrangements and choreography in the heady blend which is an Aestaewast show.
Aestaewast is shetland dialect for East to West, recalling the groups's origins in the bringing together of two nightclasses from opposite sides of the island. They have played throughout their home islands as well as live on BBC radio Shetland, at African Drum Village in Glenisla in the heart of Scotland and at Dancing in the Isles(2011)and Jump In (2012) in Orkney. In 2012 they were also priviledged to be joined on stage by saxophonist Gilad Atzmon and pianist Frank Harrison as part of the Shetland Jazz Festival's Olympic Suite.
Staying true to their roots, Aestaewast still function as an open community group (welcoming new players, singers and dancers and running workshops for people of all ages and abilities), alongside their exciting performances. they embody meeting, sharing and learning -all while having fun!