This summer is a time of celebration, and the upcoming performance of Sol y Canto at Martha’s Vineyard Film Center provides the perfect opportunity on Thursday, July 29. The pan-Latin ensemble is led by Puerto Rican singer and bongoist Rosi Amador and New Mexican guitarist and producer and composer Brian Amador.
Their story began in 1984, after returning from a cultural exchange trip to Nicaragua. Rosi recalls: “People were really interested in hearing our experiences there, as it was a controversial time in our history and that of their country. People were trying to shape their destiny in their own hands during the dictatorship. We found it very inspiring. We decided to sing some of their songs here, and Brian started writing others inspired by our experiences there.
At first, the group played mainly for political events in Central America. Brian continues, “Before we knew it, we started to be called in for more and more performances, and we spread to regular clubs and performing arts centers. “
Over time, their focus has changed a bit. “Our message has become more general. We feel that we are now singing a very universal message. Sometimes we get very specific about what’s going on in Latin America. We see ourselves as ambassadors of Latin music because we play mainly in this country. We’re completely bicultural and bilingual, and we love translating lyrics into English to make sure people understand what we’re singing and writing songs in all the different Latin rhythms because we love our music, ”says Rosi.
The only live concert the band did during the pandemic was on the island, where their families have been coming for more than 30 summers. It was a plus for Martha’s Vineyard Film Center. Rosi explains, “Music is a spiritual need for many of us. People were sitting 25 feet from us and 10 feet from each other outside at the Featherstone Arts Center. People were hungry for live music, so the capacity of 50 was reached in one day. It was so happy for us, even though we could barely see people’s eyes. We could see their smiles and applause and screams. People were dancing and I almost have tears in my eyes.
They will perform songs from their new CD, which was recorded live during a concert with their daughter, Alisa Amador, who now performs a lot alone here. There will also be new original compositions by Brian and covers of Latin music by contemporary and older composers.