(U)nity was the musical project of five musicians from different corners of the world, but it stopped being a band a long time ago. It has now morphed into an ideal, a collective, a movement, of like-minded artists that bring their heritage, expertise, and wisdom to create a sonic euphoria. The core: Michael Valeanu, Axel Tosca Laugart, Chris Smith, Max Cudworth and Amaury Acosta have created an unlikely collaboration, ranging from a multitude of cultural backgrounds: Paris, Havana, Minneapolis, Providence and NYC. In their mission of fusing Afro Cuban culture with modern jazz, soul, hip-hop and gospel they’ve sacrificed neither virtuosity nor groove.
Conceived in the summer of 2006 by Cuban American Drummer Amaury Acosta and Cuban pianist Axel Tosca Laugart, (U)nity represented a universal ideal for the two. They envisioned a collective of musicians whose every note would have the power to cross the lines that divide genres, countries and cultures and reach each listener, no matter his or her place in life.
In 2008, while studying at the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music in New York City , Axel and Amaury were joined by French guitarist Michael Valeanu, Bassist Chris Smith and alto saxophonist Max Cudworth
Reflecting back on (U)nity's strong heritage and eclectic modern influences, their sound has been influenced by John Coltrane, Miles Davis, J Dilla, Chucho Valdez, McCoy Tyner, Wayne Shorter, D'Angelo, Los Van Van, Parliament Funkadelic, Robert Glasper, James Brown, The Soulquarians, Arnold Schoenberg, Led Zeppelin, Alan Holdsworth, Art Blakey And the Jazz Messengers, Just Blaze, Jimi Hendrix, Flying Lotus, La Charanga Habanera, Los Muñequitos De Matanzas, Brian Blade Fellowship, Thelonious Monk, Pancho Quinto, Tata Guines, Jay-Z, Tony Williams, Issac Delgado, Bon Iver, Kendrick Lamar, Irakere, Herbie Hancock, Derek Trucks, Nas, Freddie Hubbard, The Grizzly Bears.
In early 2017 they premiered the documentary film entitled “(U)nity is Power” which was shot through 3 years of making the album.
The 14 track manifesto will feature bass hero Pino Palladino, Cuban percussionist and vocalist Pedrito Martinez, multi-instrumentalist Devonne Harris (AKA DJ Harrison), vocalists Jonathan Hoard, Lauren Desberg, flutist Elena Pinderhughes, and bassists Luques Curtis, Dj Ginyard, Joshua Crumbly, and more.