the wali sanga


The Wali Sanga is a groove collective out of Brooklyn, NY with a sweetly concocted blend of original pop-funk and indie-soul.


In 2016, The Wali Sanga released 3 singles featuring special guests and collaborators: J. Hoard (Dynamo, Gentei Kaijo), Maralisa (Space Captain), Le'Asha Julius (Quincy Vidal) and Jesse Fischer (LunchMoney Lewis, Gregory Porter, Takuya Kuroda). 

In Spring 2017, the The Wali Sanga will release their new EP entitled Big Ears.



Sheriff Ariff was born in Baltimore, MD in December 1988. By age 10, he was writing music, playing piano and getting his reed wet on alto saxophone. At the age of 15, he played his first gig with his first band Cicero at the Recher Theater in Towson, MD. Ariff produced a CD of original material called Catharsis with Stephen Mulligan and released it in 2006. That same year, he moved to Tallahassee, FL to pursue a degree in Jazz Studies. There, he was dubbed "Sheriff" during a hazy band-van ride -- it rhymes with his last name. During his sophomore year, Ariff was invited to take a "Music of Indonesia" course during which he learned of about gamelan and the history of the wali sanga/sango.

For his "first" gig, he adopted The Wali Sanga as the name of his collected saints of groove. He never looked back. Sheriff Ariff and The Wali Sanga performed to packed venues and house parties in Tallahassee until the Sheriff relocated to New Jersey in 2011. That same year Sheriff Ariff put out Sanga Sessions (2011) and went into the studio back in Tallahassee to record 4 new songs/videos for The Kraken EP (2012).

After The Kraken EP, The Wali Sanga went through many changes. The band was in limbo having left the core members in Tallahassee and New Orleans.

Now, reborn in NYC, The Wali Sanga have emerged as a refined outfit, pulling from the city's riches while honoring the spirit of the sanga of lush harmony, positive groove and undeniably infectious rhythm.