ol y Canto is the nationally-touring and Boston Music Award winning Pan-Latin ensemble led by Puerto Rican/Argentine singer and bongo player Rosi Amador and New Mexican guitarist and composer Brian Amador. Featuring Rosi's crystalline voice, Brian's lush Spanish guitar, and virtuoso musicians from Uruguay, Perú, Panamá and Argentina on piano, winds, bass, and percussion, the sextet has established a reputation for their quirky original compositions that address matters of the heart, social and global aspiration, and for their unique and driving interpretations of contemporary Latin music.
Since 1994, Sol y Canto has brought audiences to their feet from the Kennedy Center to the White House, the California World Music Festival to Boston's Symphony Hall, Puerto Rico's Museo de Arte to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The Boston Globe hails them "sublime ambassadors of the Pan-Latin tradition" and their many accolades include Best of Boston for Latin rhythms by Boston Magazine and Outstanding Latin Act by the Boston Music Awards. Music critic Norman Weinstein of the Christian Science Monitor and Boston Phoenix explains:
"Every Sol y Canto album is a demonstration of what the poet Federico García Lorca identified as "deep song. Always they evoke the sensual splendor of simply being vitally, vividly alive in a magical and mysterious universe. Brian Amador is a Spanish modernist poet in the guise of a musician...Together, Rosi and Brian Amador create a musical marriage made in heaven."
Sol y Canto is known for making their music accessible to Spanish- and non-Spanish speaking audiences of all ages. Musical director/composer Brian was the first Latino ever to be commissioned by Boston's preeminent Celebrity Series to compose a Latin orchestral suite, Prisma de amores, which has toured nationwide with classical ensembles from symphony orchestras to string quartets. Their debut recording, Sancocho, on Rounder Records, was chosen by Scott Alarik of The Boston Globe as one of the ten best recordings of 1994. Sendero del Sol, their 1996 Rounder Records release produced by renowned Panamanian jazz pianist Danilo Pérez, was chosen as "one of the best of the year" by Hispanic Magazine. Sol y Canto's fall 1999 album, En Todo Momento, was featured by People en Español as one of the year's HITS in 2000. Their newest (Rounder 2003) release and a Parents Choice Award winner, Twice as Many Friends/El Doble de Amigos, features a fun and celebratory collection of bilingual children's songs for singing, dancing and learning.
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Mission StatementSol y Canto's mission is to create music and performances that move, delight, excite and connect - connect the audience to the richness of Latin American culture; connect individuals, Hispanic and non-Hispanic, to each other through shared experience of music, poetry, humor and a joyful, playful vibe; and connect us all to our hopes and visions of a better world.
Brian Amador • Musical director, arrangements, acoustic guitar, vocals, percussion
Of Mexican heritage, born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Brian was a founding member, arranger and co-producer of two albums with Flor de Caña. In 1995 he received a highly competitive artist grant awarded to the state's "exceptional artists" by the Massachusetts Cultural Council for music composition. He studied classical guitar and improvisation at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston and flamenco guitar in Madrid, Spain. For five years, he was principal guitarist for the Ramon de los Reyes Spanish Dance Theater. He has spent the last ten years adapting his classical and flamenco technique to different Latin American musical styles, incorporating influences from Africa and the French and English speaking islands of the Caribbean. He is the group’s primary composer of original songs.
Rosi Amador • Company director, lead vocals, bongó, percussion
Of Argentine and Puerto Rican heritage, Rosi was raised by performer parents, who passed on to her their love of Latin American rhythms and musical styles.Her New Yorican Rican mother was a dancer, singer and actress, appearing in the U.S. and Europe with Bob Hope, Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin, among others, and in Mexico with comic actor "Cantinflas" (Mario Moreno). Her father began in radio in Buenos Aires and later became an actor, touring all over Latin America. Rosi founded the award-winning Latin band Flor de Caña's in 1984, which she also managed for ten years. Following this, in 1994 she and her New Mexican guitarist/composer husband Brian founded Sol y Canto, with whom they tour nationally and have released five CD's internationally.
She has been deeply influenced by popular Latin music, flamenco, jazz, North American folk, blues and contemporary African vocal styles. In 1998 she founded her Latin music agency, MusicAmador, and was later the President of the Latin Music Division of the Roots Agency; both agencies represented major Latin American music and dance ensembles in the U.S. and Canada.
She also founded her bilingual voice-over company, Amador Bilingual Voice-Overs in 1994 which provides Spanish and English narration to companies like National Geographic, the Smithsonian, Comcast, Scientific Learning, the New York Stock Exchange, The Agency for Healthcare Research, Barefoot Books and many more. You can even hear her voice in Spanish on all Motorola and Blackberry phones!
With her husband Brian Amador (Sol y Canto's guitarist/composer and musical director) she joyfully parents identical twin daughters Sonia and Alisa, born in April 1996.
Tim Mayer • Flute, saxophone
Having grown up in Oregon and California, Tim Mayer came to Boston to study at Berklee College of Music, from which he graduated in 1996. Tim enjoys an active schedule of performing and recording in styles as diverse as Jazz, Latin, Cape Verdean, and Pop. He has performed with and recorded for such artists as Maynard Ferguson, Slide Hampton, Arturo Sandoval, Eguie Castrillo, Horacio "El Negro" Hernandez, Antonio Sanchez, Bana, The Mendes Brothers, Mandy Moore, and Rachel Yamagata. Tim currently teaches at Berklee in the 5-Week and City Music programs.top of page
Nando Michelin • Piano, keyboards
After a very successful career in his homeland Uruguay, Nando Michelin came to Boston to develop his skills as piano player and composer at the Berklee College of Music. Since his graduation in 1991, he has recorded extensively here and in Uruguay with several acclaimed artists such as singer Teresa Inez and jazz trumpeter Tony D’Aveni, and his own band, comprising Jerry Bergonzi, Fernando Huergo, Steve Langone and Sula Da Silva. Nando also did the musical direction for tango/jazz singer Katie Viqueira's album "El Otro Lado" (The Other Side), has recorded a series of monthly performances with singer Giana Viscardi at the Acton Jazz Café, and serves as pianist for the Felipe Salles group. Other artists he has collaborated with include MPB icons Jair Rodrigues, Flavio Venturini, and Celso Adolfo. Currently, he teaches at Berklee College of Music, Brookline Music School, and Tufts University.
Keala Kaumeheiwa • Bassist
Bassist Keala Kaumeheiwa was born in Oswego, New York and was raised in Marquette, Michigan. After studying violin, he began playing acoustic bass when he was 17. He received a Bachelor's of Music Degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he studied both jazz and classical music with renowned bassist Richard Davis. From Wisconsin, Keala moved to New York City, where he performed with the New York String Orchestra at Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center. In 1995 he was offered the bass position at the Thelonious Monk Institute at New England Conservatory. There, Keala studied jazz bass and improvisation with Miles Davis' legendary bassist Ron Carter. Meanwhile, he continued his classical bass studies with virtuoso bassist Donald Palma. While at the Monk Institute, Keala has performed with Jimmy Heath, Jackie McLean, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, T.S. Monk, Wynton Marsalis, Bobby Watson, Harry "Sweets" Edison, and James Moody as well as making a trip to India and the Playboy Jazz Festival. In 1997, Keala finished at New England Conservatory with the first graduating class of the Monk Institute. Currently, he is teaching Jazz Combo Ensembles at MIT, and freelancing around Boston, frequently performing at Sculler's Jazz Club, Ryles, Wally's Jazz Cafe and the Regattabar.
Jorge Roeder • Acoustic and Electric Basses
A native from Lima, Peru, Jorge has performed a wide range of styles, including Peruvian Creole and Folkloric music, Jazz, Central and South American music, Classical and Rock. He began playing cello and electric bass at age 14, and later he switched to Double Bass at age 19, performing mostly Classical music and Jazz. He became assistant principal bassist of the Lima Philharmonic and Opera orchestras on the 2001-2002 season. After moving to Boston in the fall of 2002, Jorge got a degree in Jazz Performance from the prestigious New England Conservatory of Music, where he studied with Danilo Pérez, Bob Moses, John Lockwood, Oscar Stagnaro and Charlie Banacos. Jorge has performed and recorded with artists such as Alex Acuna, Herbie Hancock, Victor Mendoza, Steve Turre, Roy Haynes and Bob Moses, among others.
Renato Thoms • Percussion
Born in Colón, Panamá, Renato began his music training at the Conservatory of the National University of Heredia in Costa Rica. After earning a Bachelor of Music Performance degree at Berklee College of Music, Renato received his Master of Music degree in Jazz Studies at The Boston Conservatory in 1998. Renato has performed with numerous well-regarded musicians and ensembles, including Rubén Blades, Eddie Palmieri's Latin Jazz & Salsa Orchestra, the Danilo Pérez Quintet, Brian Lynch, Hilton Ruiz, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Jon Lucien, Paquito D'Rivera, Victor Mendoza, Conrad Herwig, Antonio Hart and the late Pete "El Conde" Rodriguez. Mr. Thoms was a finalist in the 2000 Thelonious Monk Hand Drumming competition, and cast member-musician of the 2005 Broadway production of the Mambo Kings.top of page
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