Alongside America’s fascination with all things Polynesia emerged a new sound to capture its mystique.

Appropriately dubbed “Exotica”, it was an intoxicating synthesis of Afro-Caribbean, Latin, Hawaiian, Polynesian and Far-Eastern sounds that could be lush, alluring, mysterious, enchanting, sensuous, frivolous, haunting and thrilling all at once.

The most popular and prolific musicians to capture these rhythms were Les Baxter, Martin Denny, Arthur Lyman and Yma Sumac. Click on the images below to discover their contributions.

Lex Baxter is the man
Les Baxter

Martin Denny

Arthut Lyman pic
Arthur Lyman

Yma Sumac in costume
Yma Sumac