Testimonials from venues/promoters

“The temperature rose 10 degrees just listening to the rhythms.”
Live and Local tour promoter

This was one of the best Village ventures we have had! The band were very nice people and easy to deal with. Once they started playing, the audience quickly responded to them and the dancing started... and went on and on and on........ Great! A really good evening!
Annie Duquemin, Thurgarton Village Ventures, Dec 2009

We have had many positive and very good reviews for the evening.
I really thought the group were excellent and the impromptu dancing by a few members of the audience was great entertainment. Please would you pass on my thanks to Sonrisa. They were extremely friendly and very accommodating. It made for a very relaxing and highly professional entertaining evening. I shall be very happy to pass on recommendations.
Linda on behalf of St Andrews Church

“thank you for putting on such a lovely show and making the night. You will without a doubt be invited to play again sometime soon.”
Ed ,music promoter, The Maze, Nottingham

“I just wanted to say a really big thank to you and the band….. the music really 'rounded off' the event!”
Hélène Renard-Coadic, UKTI Passport Manager
West Midlands, Birmingham Chamber of Commerce and Industry

We have had lots of great feedback from our guests, the music was spot on and everyone had a great time. Add to that the fact that you guys were a total pleasure to work with (despite delays and having the raffle effectively dumped on you!) then it couldn't really have been much better.
Thank you so much for making it such a great night. Wouldn't hesitate to book you again or recommend you to others, though I think it'll be a while before I do another one!

Please pass on my thanks to the rest of the band. We made just short of £1100 for our two charities.
Promoter, The Purple Party (charity event)

Sonrisa, I’ve seen them live and they are absolutely fantastic!
Vic Minnett, BBC Radio Coventry and Warwickshire

You guy's get better every time I hear you, which is saying something as you were amazing to start off with. The vibe on Saturday was just right. I can hardly wait till the next Liquid gig.
DJ Rossi, Liquid

“saw you guys at liquid last week. Absolutely fantastic, loved the vibe, great tunes”
Sonrisa fan

“Cry Me A River is still by far the best cover song I’ve ever heard anyone play, full stop”
DJ Trew, Prague

I love the Jazz influence of some of Kaths singing, a touch of Krall but very disitinctive
Dianne Nelmes, executive producer, ITV

We all had a fantastic time on Saturday - thank you all very much for making it such a memorable evening.

Sonrisa transformed our aging village hall with their wonderful and unique style of Latin American music. Everyone was on their feet dancing - it was perfect for a hot June evening and made for a very memorable celebration. We are truly grateful to Northants Touring Arts for making it all possible.

I do hope you might come back again when the new hall is built!
Katie Lindenbaum, Old Village Hall

Sonrisa combine skilled musicianship and a warm rapport with audiences. The band's infectious rhythms had everyone up and dancing.

Many thanks again for the shows. We've had some very positive feedback.  (I heard from the Thurgarton promoters about the fantastic dancers that turned up!).  

I’m happy to provide a testimonial and to consider the band for future programmes.  Will be back in touch in the future.  
Sue Beresford, Notts & Lincs Rural Touring

Thanks to Kath, Wayne, Liz, Chris and Anthony for driving away the clouds. The trumpet seemed hot enough to me Liz and the singing was magnificent again.

The CDs are already getting my granddaughter dancing her heart out.
Kenilworth Festival, Roy Shearing, Chair

“beautiful stuff, absolutely brilliant..”
Jimmy Franks, BBC Radio West Midlands

Had a fantastic night watching you guys perform at the Yardbird in Birmingham on the 5 August 2009. I remember seeing you all in July 09 for the first time and I couldn't believe how amazing you were.

So I decided to buy your CD "This Ain’t Rio" off Kath K. Went home and listened to the CD in the car and absolutely loved it! Just started listening to the new album and that's really good too!

I really love your music; it's got a great vibe. It's nice to hear the Latin & Jazz being brought back into vogue again!

I have told quite a few friends and family all about you and a definite must see and listen too.
Audience Member, The Yardbird Jazz Club

It’s times like this when I really love my job”(taken from live session on the Anita Miah radio show)
Anita Miah, BBC Radio Coventry and Warwickshire

We had a very successful festival and this would not be possible without the entertainment that people such as yourself add to the occassion, we had several comments about the fact that we were able to offer a diverse and interesting programme of events and the atmosphere that you managed to create adds to this, without help we would not be able to do this, so we are very much in your debt for this.

Operations Director, Ludlow Food & Drink Festival 2009

Just wanted to say’ thank you’ to yourself and to Anthony on behalf of staff and audience here at Middleton for the lovely performance on Saturday. It was, I’m sure you realised genuinely enjoyed and appreciated. As you know it was  Middleton’s first venture into hosting such events as this, and whilst the audience was small I think it is something we can definitely build on  and I would certainly not hesitate to recommend yourselves to other libraries that might be considering  hosting a similar event. Once again. Many Thanks.
Elizabeth Hatfield, Supervisor, Middleton Cheney Library

We had a wonderful evening. Comments have included:
"so good to see such talented musicians"
"a fabulous evening- I have never been to anything like this before"
"why finish now ?- the party has only just started"
I hope you enjoy your next L&L at Fillongley- you may now have some more groupies!
Joanne Lole, Promoter, Our Lady of the Angels Parish Hall

Just to say I was at the Chesterfield Live and Local event recently and thoroughly enjoyed it.  Such musicianship!

And it was such infectious music it didn't matter that some of us that did get up to dance couldn't salsa to save our lives.

But........ I ended up with the maracca with the one bead in it - which, poor thing, doesn't really  make it a maracca does it!  Please put it out of its misery and put some more beads into it.
Audience member, Calow Village Hall

"Before you started we told you that it would be quite a challenge getting anyone up to dance but you succeeded.  By the end of the gig the area in front of the stage was full of dancers. A great evening enjoyed by all"
Promoter, Jane Harris, Great Alne and Kinwarton Memorial Hall

A most enjoyable evening with lots of lovely music from a very pleasant talented group. Latin rhythms tempting the audience to rattle their maracas and dance both in their chairs and on their feet.

Thank you Sonrisa for making all the effort worthwhile!
Promotor – Stoulton Village Hall 2012

Sonrisa Reviews

Sun Soaked
Kenilworth’s finest, Sonrisa will be adding a touch of the Latin beat at The University of Warwicks Arts Centre on 24th June. The band have been adding the ‘oh so’ colourful brand of happy sunny rhythms to the scene since 2003.

On the way they have released a trio of must have albums that track their musical progression with the current offering, Sun Soaked.

It’s an album that in my opinion stands to define Sonrisa as a professional outfit, with it’s rich rhythms and infectious beats all topped off with Kath Kimber’s superb vocals. Little mystery why this band can still play such prestigious venues, check them out on www.Sonrisa.info.
Pete Chambers, The Telegraph

Warwickshire band Sonrisa have recently released their third studio album 'Sun Soaked'. This is an admirable collection of 12 great tracks that are guaranteed to set your foot tapping, your hips moving and your head gently swaying to the enticing Latin rhythms. Sonrisa are song writers Kath Kimber on vocals with Anthony McTiffen on acoustic guitar, joined by Liz Ralls, Wayne Matthews and Chris Viggers. Their music is “a world fusion of latin, jazz and flamenco with driving bossa inspired beats and soaring vocals”. It's guaranteed to hit the groove and make you move!
Chris Studman, CWN Network

Melting pot of Jazz and Latin is the ‘real deal’

TANTALISING jazz fusion and hot Latin rhythms, a sound you may not immediately equate to Warwickshire, but Kenilworth’s Sonrisa have been ticking all the right boxes since 2003, and with another album under their belts the party looks set to continue.

I got into this band in 2004, and although I have never been a huge fan of the chill out grooves of Latin music, this was unmistakably the real deal; the more I listened the more I understood this type of music.

It’s very easy to get this genre very wrong, this music has a spirit and vibrancy all its own, it has to be respected and nurtured to sound anywhere near convincing.

Happily Sonrisa are more than just convincing, indeed when they play you listen, and when they play you dance, they are a fine example of ‘finger-on-the-pulse- music.

Exciting yet honest, edgy but smooth, listen and be prepared to be swept away to somewhere less frantic, somewhere less demanding. If this is what Kenilworth sounds like, then I’m on the next bus!

Originally a six-piece, the band slimmed down to a quartet for the last blockbusting album “This Ain’t Rio”, and are now up to a five-piece (that’s Kath Kimber, Wayne Matthews, Liz Ralls, Chris Vigz and Anthony McTiffen).

The band has played some key gigs, including Warwick Arts Centre, The Castle in Wellingborough and Wales Millennium Centre. Tom Robinson has played them on his BBC Radio 6 show, and they have been Band of The Month on BBC Coventry & Warwickshire in their time.

I asked lead vocalist Kath Kimber how come a nice band from Kenilworth came to be playing hot Latin rhythms?

“Myself and Anthony McTiffen are the main songwriters of the band and have always been passionate about Latin music. Four years ago Ant went on a flamenco guitar course in Spain and this was the beginning of the new direction with Sonrisa’s sound as we took some of what he learnt into the song writing.

“What we are really interested in is being influenced by and the fusion of styles and also recognising the fact that we are British, the music is very song based and the lyrics are mostly in English. The rhythms we create are also really key to what we do. The grooves are designed to be uplifting and make people dance; however, the lyrics are meaningful and equally important

“When we started Sonrisa we were purely a recording band and it wasn’t until a little later that we wanted to do live shows and found that we couldn’t reproduce the sound on the record live so we started to strip it back to acoustic basics and found the rawness of this really liberating”.

I’m finding a much stronger jazz influence on this CD, is that a conscious thing, or a natural progression, indeed how would you sum up your sound?

“The jazz influence hasn’t been a specific intention,” Kath reveals, “but more a result of the interplay between the musicians who are playing on the album who are contributing to our sound.

“It’s only conscious in the sense that we recruited musicians who were from a jazz background but had an interest in world and Latin music. To sum up our sound I would say Sonrisa are a latin, jazz, flamenco, world fusion”

So what’s next for Sonrisa?

“Currently touring with more rural touring schemes, looking for management and planning to secure European dates next year. Also the band are planning to do some research and development in Cuba to study and work with Cuban musicians”.

The new album is a cracker and I’m proud it’s come from a local band, and if like me you didn’t think you were a Latin music fan, now’s the time to take the bull by the horns, and sample a taste of Sonrisa.
Pete Chambers, The Telegraph

This Ain’t Rio

Singer Kath Kimber, guitarists Ant McTiffen and Michael Melbourne and drummer/percussionist Tom Haines splendidly exhibit their understanding of modern Latin and Spanish jazz over 11 cuts of acoustic driven rhythm. True musicality breathes through every track and makes for an enthralling aural experience. www.sonrisamusic.co.uk
Musician Magazine

A new CD from Sonrisa is always welcome; I mean if ever a band deserves the phrase, “What’s not to like” then surely it is Kenilworth’s Sonrisa.

They have been picking up some well-deserved media attention of late (including BBC Coventry & Warwickshire’s Band of the Month). I doubt if a Sonrisa article has ever been written yet that didn’t use the word ‘Latin’. It’s hardly rocket science to deduce that there is a huge element of the Latin feel to their sound. Though there’s always more to this quartet that just latin!

Indeed The albums opener “Cool” took me right back to the jazz/folk sound of the mighty Pentangle (another outfit who had no fear of musical cross pollenisation). Having said that the Latin fans will be happy with this new offering. There’s plenty of clever fretwork and laid-back grooves on this disc, though offering a much less frantic mood from their previous albums. That could be the effect of the band having slimmed down from a six-piece to a four piece in recent years.

Set around Kath Kimber irresistibly smooth vocals, Sonrisa have little trouble in creating some delicious sound-scapes. Track three “Feed Me”, is divine and probably my favourite track on the album. Acoustic guitar at its base, it moves along quite deliciously, with its jazz influence unashamedly on show. Other tracks included on this terrific album are; “This Ain’t Rio”, “No Excuse is Good Enough”, “This Is For You”, “Faster”, “Impossible 2B Loved”, “Come Home Soon”, “Days Go By” and “Where Did the Dreams Go?”

This brand new album and is available from the bands website at just £7.99 at www.sonrisamusic.co.uk/cds.php do yourself a favour and get a copy or two for Christmas and chill out.
Pete Chambers, BBC music journalist and author (‘Godiva Rocks’ & ‘The Two Tone Trail’)

Fronted by Kath Kimber, Sonrisa are a four piece lounge jazz group that offer more than a nod towards latin infusions. For the size of band they are they box above their weight in terms of the depth of sound and score bonus points for managing to blend the distinct tone of a float into a number of their cuts. Jazz needs a certain something to take it from the elevator and into the lounge. "This Ain't Rio", packs all that's necessary to do that job. It's got bucketloads of atmosphere and a vibe that sits just above the groove and ensures that there is plenty of reward for listening. FATEA magazine

How to woo your lady in a few simple steps.
1. Treat her to a luxurious meal remembering to shower her in complements.

2. Open a bottle of her favourite bubbly to relax.

3. Place Sonrisa’s latest album "This Ain't Rio" into your CD player, turn the volume up and leave on loop.

4. Take her by the hand and lead her into a slow dance around the room, giving in to the sensual rhythms, Latin beats and soothing vocals of Kath Kimber, as she shares stories of love, loss, passion and dreams.

5. If you’re not naked and swaying in the arms of your lady by track 9. "Come Home Soon", there must be something wrong with your stereo.

Sonrisa’s latest offering is sensual pleasure to the ears and continues to improve with each listen. I've been lucky enough to see them live several times and am left wanting more at the end of each set. Kath’s vocal finesse is enough to make any aspiring musician weep. Her rendition of “Cry me a river” has to be seen to be believed and is by far the best cover version I’ve ever heard (I do hope they release it some day). Backed by the talents of Ant McTiffen and Michael Melbourne on guitar and Tom Haines on drums, percussion and flute, they stand out from the crowd, adding a much needed alternative to the Rock and House music scene.

With an array of up tempo beats and sensual melodies, this album was made for dancing and romancing. This might not be Rio, but it sure is hot in here.
Trew - DJ

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