Ashè originated from the encounter of three distinctive musical histories.
Marcel, Cees and Martin were born and grew up on three different continents, but they share the same passion for music. They met in Los Angeles in the late 90s and as many musicians do, they promised each other that one day they would collaborate. The artistic chemistry they share allowed them to bring their promise to reality in the form of Ashè.
Marcel Adjibi was born in Dakar, Senegal to a Senegalese mother and a Beninese father.
Marcel began his musical career in Benin, West Africa, covering international hits with Angelique Kidjo’s brother. He rapidly becomes a professional singer and tours all over Africa and Europe.
In Paris, Marcel decided to expand his musical horizons and started to play percussions.
He collaborated on Tam-Tam pour l’Ethiopie, intended as a charity record to aid the starving people in Ethiopia, Eritrea and Sudan. While in Europe, he performed and toured with world-famous artists, including Manu Dibango, Bonga (Angola), Tshala Mwana (Congo) and Mory Kanté (Yeke Yeke). He also formed his first band, Abele, with Vincent Nguini, who now plays with Paul Simon.
On one of Abele’s tours in the United States, Marcel decided to further his career in California and established himself in Los Angeles. There, he worked with George Clinton and opened for him at the Century Club. With Essoa, a traditional ensemble from Cameroon, he opened two nights for the Rolling Stones Voodoo Lounge tour at the Pasadena Rose Bowl. He also performed on the same bill as Cesaria Evora (Cape Verde) with Conjunto Jardin and recorded for the video game Outcast with the Moscow Philarmonic, under Lenny Moore’s direction.
Currently, Marcel works with Tribal Jazz, a band put together by John Densmore from The Doors.
Marcel’s new artistic goal is to reconnect with his musical heritage.
Cees van der Linden, born and raised in the Netherlands, educated in Antwerpen (Belgium), worked in France, Spain and lives in Los Angeles.
From an early age music has played an important role in his life. He worked as a bass player and had the responsibility to organize, supervise and co-run sessions with various Dutch artists such as Hans Dulfer, Bertus Borgers and Rosa King.
While studying Business Management in Antwerpen, Cees performed with a local street band called “Ticket to LA” in several European cities.
After graduating in 1991, he continues his active life in the artist and music scene in Los Angeles with the aim to develop his musical talents and qualities in the broadest sense in depth.
In Los Angeles Cees quickly became part of the local music scene and in the early ’90s he was introduced to Cuban and African music by Makina Loca. He toured and recorded with them as well as other African artists, like Sam Mangwana, around the United States and Europe (WOMAD, Montreal Jazz-festival, Lincoln Center).
From his hunger for innovation and development, over the years Cees has widened his musical scope from performing to composing, arranging, recording, engineering and producing. He is composing music for commercials (e.g. Bebe) and music libraries. Many artists have approached him for his artistic sensitivity and personality. He has worked with Tony Lucca, Scott Bergman, Armen Chakmakian, Zuma, Estani, Chanel Velasco, Bijoux and many more.
This has resulted in a series of musical projects, mainly recorded in his home studio ‘Front Porch Sound’, in genres such as singer/songwriter, pop, African, rock, jazz, world music, regional Mexican and electronica.
Besides the cooperation with various professional artists, Cees composes his own music; in 2000 he’s won a Grand Prize in ‘The John Lennon Songwriting Contest’.
The guidance and coaching of young artists starting to find their musical path, is a treasured activity for him.
Cees is currently working on his first solo album ‘Dustbin Dandy’.
Born in East Los Angeles, Martin Flores started his musical career at 13, when his father offered him his first set of drums. He rapidly joined Jazz bands at the famous Eagle Rock High School directed by the late trumpeter John Rinaldo.
He studied with the great Jazz drummer John Tirabasso and refined his art by listening to such artists as Shelly Mann and Carlos Vega at the Jazz at Eagle Rock Sundays.
Martin started recording TV jingles and film scores in 1992. Next to over 200 scores and jingles to his record, Martin has joined various bands and orchestras, exploring new beats and styles. From Bateke Beat’s Afro Beat, Tabu Ley Rochereau and Orchestre Africa National’s innovative Soukous sounds, Makina Loca’s Afro-Cuban-Congolese fusion to contemporary Latin music artists such as Joan Sebastian, Paulina Rubio, Graciela Beltran, Vicente Fernandez, Alexandro Fernandez, Juan Gabriel and many others.
Martin Flores is a Grammy Award winning musician.