AO Music on Apple Music

AO Music

A pan-cultural world music outfit known for its exotic rhythms, cinematic cosmopolitan textures, and multi-layered -- and multi-lingual -- vocals, AO Music (most often referred to as simply AO) was founded in 1996 by St. Louis, Missouri natives Richard Gannaway and Jay Oliver. Gannaway, a multi-instrumentalist who had worked alongside jazz greats like Maynard Ferguson and Chick Corea, and Oliver, a composer/producer and co-founder of indie rockers Tiger & the Helix, had a shared interest in artists who drew inspiration from world music traditions like Peter Gabriel, Deep Forest, Bill Whelan, and Värttinä. Looking to perfect their own unique hybrid style, the duo released their debut album, Grow Wild, via Gannaway's Arcturian Gate label in 2000. The following year saw the group traveling to Southeast Asia, and while abroad, they were contacted by the Beijing Olympic Committee, which led to a job composing theme music for the 2008 Summer Olympics. Bollywood film composer Sandeep Chowta joined the group as a contributing producer in 2004, and two years later renowned South African-born British singer and composer Miriam Stockley joined the fold. In 2009 the group released their long-awaited sophomore LP, Twirl, followed in 2011 by the acclaimed ...And Love Rages On!. Hokulea arrived in 2014, and in 2017 they released their ambitious fifth studio long player, Asha. In addition to their musical work, AO operates the AO Foundation International, a non-profit organization for children orphaned by natural disaster and conflict. ~ James Christopher Monger

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