“Esthema is a Boston-based ensemble composed of virtuoso musicians that defy musical boundaries,” writes Angel Romero in Progressive Rock Central (Sept 2014). A progressive music ensemble hailing from Boston, MA (USA), Esthema has been creating their unique sound since 2006 by fusing progressive rock and jazz-fusion with the sounds of the traditional music of the Balkan region and the Near & Middle East. The musicians that shape the sound of Esthema bring together both western and eastern influences, instruments, and concepts creating a musical tapestry that transcends musical genres and cultures.
On June 3, 2014 Esthema released, Long Goodbye, an introspective concept album featuring Andy Milas (guitar), Onur Dilisen (violin), Naseem Alatrash (cello), Mac Ritchey (oud & bouzouki), Tom Martin (bass), and George Lernis (drums & percussion). To date, Long Goodbye has been met with a considerable amount of critical acclaim. Grant Moon of PROG Magazine says that Esthema’s “beautifully produced third album Long Goodbye is a relentlessly classy and high-minded affair but with a knowing rock vibe.” Bob Mulvey of the Progressive Aspect states that “this accomplished sextet, who hail from Boston (Massachusetts) richly deserve to be heard” and Chris Marsh for Skope Magazine writes “Esthema’s Long Goodbye is a rich progressive rock record that harnesses classic and modern sounds.”
Esthema’s beginnings date back to 2006. They released their first CD, Apart From The Rest in July 2007. Apart From The Rest was voted in the Top 25 independent recordings of 2008 at Indie-Music.com and in 2009, alongside artists like the Gipsy Kings and Arvo Pärt compositions from the CD were chosen and featured at the critically acclaimed Waterfire Providence in Providence, Rhode Island. Joel Simches from Boston’s Noise Magazine stated, “this recording is nothing less than a true celebration of a number of different styles of world beat, jazz, rock, ethnic European and Middle Eastern traditional music” and John Collinge from Progression Magazine called it “a seamless blend of Eastern and Western motifs: Ethnic scales and meters intertwine delightfully with jazz-rock drums and bass beneath jazzy improv and winding melodies.”
Then in 2009, Esthema released the Hereness and Nowness of Things, which once again blurred the boundaries between Eastern and Western musical ideas and motifs. Janie Franz for Skope Magazine wrote that “these two recordings have already marked them as maestros of their instruments and as masters of world fusion like no one has ever done before” and that “Listening to their work is like hearing and feeling the heartbeat of the planet.” Lily Emeralde and Emma Dyllan of Phosphorescence Magazine called it “a world-class collaboration of the highest order” and that “once again, Esthema dazzles.” And Barry Clevelend for Guitar Player wrote “the group plays at a truly world-class level, with authenticity, aplomb, and exuberance, resulting in a sumptuous blend.”
Since the release of the Hereness and Nowness of Things, Esthema has been in the weekly Top 20 at Latch Fusion Radio alongside Fusion greats like Herbie Hancock, Return to Forever, and the Mahavishnu Orchestra, they have been nominated and won the Top 25 of 2011 Award at Indie-Music.com and their composition “Eastern Dance” went to number 4 on the Instrumental Charts at Indie-Music.com and on September 20, 2010 the International Association of Independent Recording Artists (“IAIRA”) certified Esthema’s “Eastern Dance” as an International Top 10. Compositions from all three releases can be heard on radio programs and stations throughout the United States, Europe, and Turkey.
With the release of their third CD, Esthema is currently performing in the Boston area building their local fan base and are promoting Long Goodbye, domestically and internationally.