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Solana are a five-piece band performing original compositions encompassing folk idioms, modal jazz and experimental grooves. Their rich and inventive sonic tapestry is anchored by a deep respect for traditions rooted in all corners of Europe and beyond.
Formed in 2012 in Valencia, Spain, they have since found a niche in Bristol's contemporary folk scene. They are renowned for a soaring originality that transcends the boundaries of any one style, taking their music towards something new and bold beyond classic folk conventions. With almost nine years of extensive touring behind them, they have established their reputation as formidable live performers and have become firm favourites across a range of arts centres and festival programmes.
Recent touring highlights include Norwich Arts Centre, The Globe at Hay, Glastonbury’s Greenpeace stage and Fire in the Mountain festival, where they performed an electrifying headline show in 2019. They’ve sold out Bristol’s Jam Jar on multiple occasions, including the 2017 launch of their second album CAMINO. Hailed by Folk Radio UK as “an accomplished and colourful album”, CAMINO demonstrates their strong connection to a spectrum of traditions and was praised by Songlines as “thoroughly invigorating”. They are currently working on their third studio album with long-time producer Tom Excell (Nubiyan Twist/ONIPA) which is due for release in autumn 2021.
Outline Magazine described Solana’s live show as a “multi-textured cornucopia of sound… an intoxicating cocktail of rhythm, an infusion of dance and melody that is impossible to resist”. With their signature profusion of influences and impeccable attention to detail, it is perhaps unsurprising to find distinct musical threads brought by each member of the quintet.
Dexterous melodies are executed on flute, harp, accordion and whistles by Tamsin Elliott, whose compositions are inspired by her background in English, Irish and Eastern European traditions as well as collaborations with Egyptian musicians. Her brother Rowan Elliott shares her immersion in European folk music, augmented by modal jazz and contemporary classical influences that inform whole compositions as well his intricate violin and viola melodies. Drums and percussion are delivered by Elio Arauz de Marcos, a multi-instrumentalist and native Valencian who is deeply embedded in the musical traditions of Spain and Latin America. Guitarist JP Wolfgang, who studied flamenco under maestro El Entri in Madrid, brings a percussive flair to the arrangements and reinforces a recognisably Spanish influence that underpins their sound and history. Beneath all of these interweaving layers, Henry Edmonds cuts jazz-edged basslines with an effortless groove that testifies to many years’ experience gigging with a diverse range of artists around the world.
This vast array of shared knowledge is offered up with impressive instrumental proficiency, resulting in an assured vitality both on stage and in the studio that places them among the top acts of the UK’s folk and world music scene.