Gig Seeker Pro


Boston, Massachusetts, United States | SELF

Boston, Massachusetts, United States | SELF
Band World Jazz




"I could not recommend this more highly to lovers of world and jazz music."

The latest from Esthema is another great slab of east meets west, jazz meets world, art meets earth. A follow-up to their critically acclaimed Apart From the Rest, this new album picks up on the framework previously laid down, while refining and blurring the lines of influence. The band has obviously evolved to become more that a sum of their parts. This new release is a much more cohesive singular idea. This thread of continuity gives this album a natural flow lacking in their previous release. The compositions are more of a collaboration of all members than just one, which provides a fluid counterpoint, spotlighting the talents of everyone in the band so eloquently. I could not recommend this more highly to lovers of world and jazz music.

Joel Simches, The Noise Magazine - Noise Magazine

"Apart From The Rest Review Highlights"

Recommended and very enjoyable listen!
August 2008
…together they manage to fuse and transform a resume of their skills into one fruitful unity with a more global style, and with each previous style completely adapted into one another.
- Gerald Van Waes, Phsyche Music, August 2008

...weaves us in and out of a perfectly crafted dream-world
June 2008
Within each of the six compositions featured on the CD, different styles and genres such as Middle Eastern, Jazz, and Progressive Rock are effortlessly pulled in and led away, only to reappear, forming a lovely circle of sound that fully engages the listener.
- Lily Emeralde and Emma Dyllan, Phosphorescence Magazine, June 2008 Issue

...nothing less than a true celebration of a number of different styles of world beat, jazz, rock, ethnic European and Middle Eastern traditional music
May 2008
Though the five musicians themselves hail from different parts of the earth, the global chemistry between them is obvious, like five minds MIDI-linked without latency issues.
- Joel Simches, The Noise - Boston, May 2008

It’s a perfect combination of Middle Eastern/East European folk music and American jazz, like an amped-up Loreena McKennitt without vocals.
April 2008
This isn’t some garage band, y’all, they know their stuff. I should send roses to my editor for giving me this disc.
- Jamie Anderson,, April 2008

…a unique listening experience
March/April 2008
Best of all, Esthema has added something else to the normally staid jazz-rock sound–a heavy Eastern European influence–that makes the six instrumentals on Apart From The Rest a unique listening experience.
- Todd Sikorski, Skope Magazine, March/April 2008

Esthema has made a truly moving and magical musical experience
February 2008
Esthema is a World Fusion ensemble based in Boston, MA that deserves your attention.
- Wildy Haskell, Wildy's World

A truly exciting instrumental record
December 2007
…should appeal to musical adventurers everywhere.
- Rob Forbes, Leicester Bangs

…the seamless blend of Eastern and Western motifs
November 2007
The propulsive rhythms and consequent ability to build dynamic tension on a track such as “Distance,” for example, is what sets Esthema apart
- John Collinge, Progression Magazine, Issue 52, Fall 2007

Esthema knows what the heck it’s doing...
August 2007
With fine refined compositions such as “Consequence,” “For Whom? For Me” and “Finding My Way,” the Massachusetts-based quintet makes the case for not giving up on world music just yet.
- Jedd Beaudoin, Sea of Tranquility

Great Stuff
July 2007
…reminded me a good bit of Shakti, John McLaughlin's acoustic World music band
- TAXI, The World's Leading Independent A&R Company

For the complete Apart From The Rest reviews, please visit us at

- Various

"...the group plays at a truly world-class level"

As their press states, this Boston-based quintet is “a world fusion ensemble mixing elements of Eastern European/Balkan and Near/Middle Eastern music with jazz and progressive rock.” Led by exceptional guitarist and composer guitarist Andy Milas, Esthema also includes Turkish violinist Onur Dilisen, oud and bouzouki player Tery Lemanis, Argentine Bassist Ignacio Long, and Brazilian drummer Bruno Esrubilsky. Drawing on advanced musical studies and international performance experience, the group plays at a truly world-class level, with authenticity, aplomb, and exuberance, resulting in a sumptuous blend that’s as tasty as an Athenian olive.

- Barry Cleveland, Guitar Player Magazine, April 2010 Issue - Barry Cleveland, Guitar Player Magazine

"Evocative and dramatic throughout"

Self proclaimed World Fusion ensemble Esthema out of Boston return with their second album, the Hereness and Nowness of Things, which follows on from a favourable response to their 2007 debut Apart From The Rest. The title of their debut certainly proves accurate as this is an outfit that can seamlessly blend the sounds of the Far East and Eastern Europe with more contemporary Western rock influences and also finds space for more than a passing nod to the prog bands of yesteryear. This is a vibrant and colourful collection that frequently changes direction but stops well short of self-indulgence and is held together by some inspired playing from the musicians and in particular the steady rhythm section of bassist Ignacio Long and drummer Bruno Esrubilsky. Evocative and dramatic throughout, the guitar flourishes of Andy Milas regularly interchange with violin, oud and bouzouki with "A Place to Rest" and "On and On" being notable high points.

An entirely instrumental effort, the Hereness and Nowness of Things will satisfy those who are seeking something that little bit different that transcends boundaries and has melody, originality and spark. - Dean Pedley, Sea of Tranquility

"If one wants some breathtaking World Fusion music, then Boston, MA's Esthema is the way to go."

If one wants some breathtaking World Fusion music, then Boston, MA's Esthema is the way to go. Despite the heavy Middle Eastern influence and sound, this has universal appeal. The recording is magnificent bringing all the instruments both exotic and traditional, fully up in the mix. The drums especially sound wonderful, in particular the cymbals and snare drum. Of course, it helps to have an excellent drummer, and Esthema do in Bruno Esrubilsky.

Other instruments featured include acoustic and electric guitar, violin, bass, bouzouki and oud. If Rock fans were able to enjoy the Page/Plant tour of '95-'96 and heard all the Middle Eastern arrangements to various Led Zeppelin songs with an open ear, than why not Esthema? The track "On & On" is the closest to being maintsream or Rock oriented, largely due to the killer electric guitar solo by Andy Milas which shows a heavy Jazz Fusion influence from acts like The Mahavishnu Orchestra and Return To Forever. It's just an outstanding piece of music and the drums and violin are also stellar. Nothing else displayed here sounds like this one song, and it would be nice to hear more material of this ilk.

"Eastern Dance" sounds just like the title says and features very delicate arrangements that work perfectly, while "Arrythmia" is more of a mellower, drawn out piece. For fans of World Music, Jazz Fusion, Progressive Rock and even Folk Rock, Esthema are a rewarding investment. - Peter Braidis,

"...melodic, smoothly flowing persuasion with exotic texturing and tricky changeups"

Two years after debut Apart from the Rest, eclectic Boston-area ensemble Esthema returns with another album of Eastern- and Latin-flavored ethnic instrumentals sifted through the jazz-improv strainer. Violinist Onur Dilisen and guitarist Andy Milas pace these eight tracks with Tery Lemanis (oud, bouzouki) lending ethnic flavors. Ignacio Long (bass) and Bruno Esrubilsky (drums) man the rhythm section. Guests on doumbek and cello also appear.

Like its predecessor, The Hereness and Nowness of Things is of melodic, smoothly flowing persuasion with exotic texturing and tricky changeups. Nine-minute opener “Change of Season” sets the prevailing tone of subtle mood shifts, from mysterious to playful to cerebral – unpredictably twisting and winding about in mid-tempo fashion. Long’s understated bass soloing pushes the jazz vibe out front while Dilisen alternates between strident and swingin’.

The likes of “Eastern Dance” and “Four Colors” are danceable (but you’d better be especially light on your feet). “Illusion of Truth” has some swiftly nimble call-response passages. “On & On” features Milas on electric guitar, which Esthema hopefully will explore further next time. - John Collinge, Progression Magazine, Fall 2009 - Issue 58

"Boston’s Esthema may be one of the most original acts we’ve come across."

Boston’s Esthema may be one of the most original acts we’ve come across. A World Fusion band that takes that label to heart, Esthema blends Eastern European, Middle Eastern, South American and Far Eastern Sounds with Progressive Rock and Classical elements to create magic. Esthema released their debut album, Apart From The Rest in 2007, receiving significant positive press. They follow up on November 3, 2009 with their sophomore effort, The Hereness And Nowness Of Things.

Esthema leads off with Change Of Season, mixing Western, Middle Eastern and Far Eastern sounds in a dynamic musical composition that sounds like it should the opening score element of a major motion picture. The piece has a highly distinctive sound and style and is very enjoyable. The cultural genre-bending continues on Eastern Dance. Highly energetic and danceable, Eastern Dance varies significantly from the sort of popularized dance music currently in vogue, relying on pulsing and morphing organic rhythms that travel from percussion to strings and back again. The focus changes slightly on the Mediterranean flavored A Place To Rest before Esthema returns to a grand cinematic feel for Arrhythmia. Nuanced and vibrant, A Place To Rest co-mingles Middle Eastern and old world Spanish styles and sounds in pleasurable ways.

Four Colors features a vibrant, almost frantic energy in an explosively energetic dance number before Esthema rolls into Illusion Of Truth. Illusion Of Truth has a cloudy feel to it, with a theme that's roiled and punctuated by turbulence. It's as if "facts" and "truth" collide atmospherically in a cycle that never ends, winding and unwinding throughout the composition sparking sometimes storms and sometimes unsettled skies. Esthema closes out with the "Pop-iest" selection on the disc. On & On has a serene feel that's neither ethereal nor ambient but lends to a sense of transcendence. You can almost hear an arrangement of this forthcoming from Keith Lockhart.

We noted that Esthema's Apart From The Rest was a magical musical experience. On The Hereness And Nowness Of Things, Esthema leaves behind the magical world for the gritty, earthy charm of The Mediterranean, where culture upon culture washes upon the shore with sometimes unpredictable outcomes. The Hereness And Nowness Of Things is a musical breadbasket where loaves and fishes mix in fantastical ways and there's always enough to fulfill you as a listener, no matter how many times you return.

Rating: 4 Stars (Out of 5)

Wildy Haskell, Wildy's World - Wildy's World

"A listener can't go wrong with The Hereness and Nowness of Things; there is much to love."

Boston's Esthema offers a world-class collaboration of the highest order. Their sophomore CD, The Hereness and Nowness of Things, is currently being released, and once again, Esthema dazzles. The eight instrumental tracks each have a distinct flavor, with the overall common theme of changes in tempo that build excitement and mystery, while enriching the texture of each composition. "Change of Season," an exotic Arabian nights interlude, and "Four Colors" perfectly illustrate pace changes that blend seamlessly into each other and journey full circle to a satisfying conclusion. "Arrhythmia" is a slightly otherworldly piece that gets under your skin, as its base and rhythm keep time with your heart. Or sample "Forward Motion," a bold but sweet, skillful intermingling of sounds. Throughout the CD, the individual instruments of guitar, violin, oud and bouzouki, bass, and drums, take on a persona of their own in each song, as they guide our feelings and emotions to follow wherever they lead. A listener can't go wrong with The Hereness and Nowness of Things; there is much to love.

- Lily Emeralde and Emma Dyllan, Phosphorescence Magazine

- Phosphorescence Magazine

" emotional experience that is dramatic and cinematic"

Boston isn’t known as a major player in world music but that doesn’t mean it isn’t home to some fine bands who love to play the more complex and unconventional sounds associated with the genre. Need proof, just listen to Esthema’s latest cd The Hereness and Nowness of Things which expands on the charms of the group’s debut Apart from the Rest by tackling new ways to fuse European, Middle Eastern, and American music together.

In the past, Esthema has successfully incorporated music from the Eastern European Balkan area and the Near/Middle East with the sounds of progressive rock and jazz. The result gave the band a distinct personality as it flawlessly blended such traditional Western instruments as the guitar, bass, and drums with Eastern instruments such as the oud and bouzouki.

Now, as apparent from listening to the all-instrumental The Hereness and Nowness of Things, the five members of Esthema sound even more confident as they are willing to add folk rhythms from Eastern European dances to its songs. The tracks “Eastern Dance” and “Arrhythmia” are the best examples of this as the stringed instruments played by Andy Milas (guitar), Onur Dilisen (violin), and Tery Lemanis (oud and bouzouki) sparkle by giving off a nice groove.

While songs like these showcase the band’s willingness to add new textures to its sound, the most enjoyable stuff on this recording are the songs that are more like the stuff heard on the group’s debut. However, this time things are more complex. The opening track entitled “Change of Season” is a nine-minute epic that feels more classical in nature because of its numerous tempo changes and glorious violin and cello work. Best of all, it gives the listener an emotional experience that is dramatic and cinematic.

Another standout is “On and On” which is definitely the most accessible track on The Hereness and Nowness of Things. The first half of the song is pleasant enough with an understated violin and guitar but the second half is where Esthema lets loose with its rockier side. The most impressive aspect to it is Milas’ guitar work which is propelled beautifully by the steady rhythm section of bassist Ignacio Long and drummer Bruno Esrubilsky.

In the end, Esthema’s sophomore release should be experienced as a whole though because there is no filler here. In fact, the band shows on the cd that it is talented enough to be a player in the world music scene—and not only in Boston, but anywhere.

- Todd Sikorski, Skope Magazine

- Skope Magazine

"Esthema seems to have a solid grasp of what the hereness and nowness of things is about."

The band Esthema may hail from Boston, but it is the diverse makeup of the band that makes them so unique. The world fusion quintet contains some members from Turkey, Brazil, and Argentina. They are all thoroughly trained musicians, and to add to their range, some of them have trained throughout several countries in Europe, including Spain, Greece, Belgium, and Ireland. Putting all of these pieces together, Esthema brings something original on their second release, The Hereness and Nowness of Things.

Esthema’s first release, Apart From the Rest was composed of six tracks that were written by guitarist Andy Milas. They were arranged by the entire band and included many elements of Eastern and Western music. On The Hereness and Nowness of Things the creation process is pretty much the same, outside of “Four Colors”, which was written by violinist Onur Dilisen.

With over eight songs, Esthema really takes you around the world while ranging from more traditional elements to some more modern, and often a combination of them. The styles vary, and you will be reminded of different regions several times, sometimes even in the same song. Personally I tend to prefer the more traditional aspects, but I think the quality of the musicians carries you through the different characteristics that you may like less and makes the transitions smooth. My favorite track is the opener “Change of Season”, so sample that one first. The closer “On & On” tends to be more modern, so check out that one to get a better sense of the range of this album.

At first The Hereness and Nowness of Things seemed an unfitting title for this album. There is much more to this album then the “here and now”, it certainly seems to cover the “then and there” as well. However, the more I think about the title, how it feels, and the time in which it is being released, Esthema seems to have a solid grasp of what the hereness and nowness of things is about.

- Kevin Kozel, Muzik Reviews

- Muzik Reviews


Esthema Discography:

Apart from the Rest, released July 2007.

the Hereness and Nowness of Things, released November 2009.

CDs & mp3s available for purchase at iTunes, Amazon, CDBaby and other on-line retailers and distributors.



Esthema “plays at a truly world-class level, with authenticity, aplomb, and exuberance” writes Barry Cleveland in the April 2010 issue of Guitar Player Magazine about Esthema’s sophomore release, the Hereness and Nowness of Things. A World Fusion ensemble hailing from Boston, MA (USA), Esthema has been creating their unique sound since 2006 by fusing the Western sounds of Jazz, Progressive Rock, and Acoustic New Age music with the sounds of the traditional music of the Eastern European 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 genres and cultures.

Esthema’s first CD, Apart From The Rest featuring Andy Milas (acoustic guitar), Onur Dilisen (violin), Tery Lemanis (bouzouki & oud), Jack Mason (bass) and Carl Sorensen (drums & percussion) released July 2007 was voted as one of the Top 25 independent recordings of 2008 at 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.”

In 2009, Esthema released their second CD, the Hereness and Nowness of Things featuring Andy Milas (acoustic and electric guitars), Onur Dilisen (violin), Tery Lemanis (bouzouki & oud), Ignacio Long (bass) and Bruno Esrubilsky (drums & percussion). With the new release Esthema once again blurred the boundaries between Eastern and Western music. 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 call it “a world-class collaboration of the highest order” and that “once again, Esthema dazzles.”

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 have won the Top 25 of 2011 Award at and their composition “Eastern Dance” went to number 4 on the Instrumental Charts at Compositions from the Hereness and Nowness of Things can be heard on radio programs and stations throughout the United States and Europe and on September 15, the International Association of Independent Recording Artists (“IAIRA”) certified Esthema’s “Eastern Dance” as an International Top 10.

In 2011, Esthema welcomed Cyprian born percussionist George Lernis and with the departure of Tery Lemanis (oud & bouzouki) and Ignacio Long (bass), Palestinian born cellist Naseem Alatrash and bassist Tom Martin rounded off the lineup. The sextet is currently working on new compositions that will be featured on their future CD, The Long Goodbye and are reworking the compositions from their two earlier releases to capture the intensity of the new-lineup and the beauty of the new instrumentation.