"...the band grounds lighthearted melodies and reflective vocals in an expert amalgamation of Afro-Brazilian and Cuban rhythms." -Flavorpill
"The sinuous jams of Dendê & Hãhãhães ought to delight fans of Afrobeat and psych-tinged funk." -Time Out New York
Led by master Afro-Brazilian percussionist Dendê, a former member of the world famous band Timbalada, the beat is always central to the music of Hãhãhães. With roots in the Afro-Brazilian traditions of candomble and samba de roda their music is all original with compositions, rhythms and arrangements by Dendê. Based in New York City, the group's music has absorbed the diversity of the city incorporating rhythms ranging from Nigerian Afrobeat to Dominican merengue to Afro-Cuban rumba. With band members who have played with the likes of Caetano Veloso, Carlinhos Brown, Gilberto Gil and Vinicius Cantuaria their music is sophisticated and refined with its jazz improvisations while still danceable and entertaining with its driving rhythms and gritty grooves.
Formed in 2002, Hahahaes is named after the Indian tribe Pataxo-Hahahaes that once inhabited the city of Salvador in Bahia, Brazil. Since its inception, Hãhãhães has held a regular spot at the world famous Brazilian club Sounds of Brazil (SOBs). More recently they have been performing more widely at venues such as Joe's Pub, the 92nd Street Y, New York City's Brazilian Day Festival, Philadelphia's North by Northwest, Musikfest, the Lake Eden Arts Festival in North Carolina and the Kalalu Festival in Saint Lucia. With their seminal CD set to release in 2009, Hãhãhães is on it's way to becoming the best Brazilian band in the US!
A former member of Timbalada, Dendê has been performing professionally since the age of 14. With Timbalada, Dende toured all over Brazil, Europe and Asia, and performed and recorded with such artists as Marisa Monte, Gilberto Gil, Carlinhos Brown, Ivete Sangalo and Sepultura. Having left Brazil in 2001, Dende now lives in New York, performing and recording with his groups as well as with artists such as Mongo Santamaria, Zakir Hussain, Giovanni Hidalgo, David Byrne, Melvin Gibbs, Adam Rudolph, Jerry Gonzales, Daniel Moreno, Alessandra Belloni, Tico da Costa and Vinicius Cantuaria. Dende also teaches Afro-Brazilian percussion in the New York City area.
"...Dendê, from Brazil, merged a strutting beat and annunciatory salvos on a single drum..." -NY Times