Testimonials from venues/promoters

"Sonrisa came to Wark as a fresh breath of Latin American air - warm, vibrant and toe tapping. The whole audience found it hard to sit still as the rhythms of the music caught hold. A truly talented group of musicians who included us, the audience, in much of their music with maracas, clapping to the beat and singing. And they had better plan in more than one encore because you won't want to let them off the stage."
Promoter, Wark Town Hall, Highlights Tour 2016

"Put together sublime brass, brilliant guitar and a laid back bass player - fix it together with inventive percussion and add a voice that so utterly befits the Latin American theme and you have Sonrisa. Buena Vista Social Club meets Kenilworth. We had a wonderful evening with these five fine musicians, enhanced by some slinky latin dancing in a sold out event this March. We are still getting enthusiastic comment about out 'Taste of Latin' evening three weeks on. Thank you Sonrisa for a night to remember."
Promoter, Brigsteer Village Hall, Highlights Tour 2016

"Sitting in the village hall listening to Sonrisa giving us a taste of Latin I was transported back to my childhood summers spent in Spain. The music was excellent and audience participation with percussion instruments to shake brilliant. If you missed it you missed a real treat."
Promoter, Tangley Parish Hall, Hog the Limelight 2015

"Well I never thought I'd see a roomful of respectable villagers jigging in their seats, shaking plastic eggs with seeds in, laughing and making a wonderful percussion accompaniment to the musicians onstage. It was a Taste of Latin from Sonrisa at Tangley Parish Hall, and the audience certainly participated. We even sang 'na na na' and 'Oh Havana' in the choruses - quite loudly too! The music and musicians were great, the food was excellent - thanks Graham and Sarah of The Old Bell and Crown - and the dedicated volunteers of the committee even tidied up after us."
Promoter, Tangley Parish Hall, Hog the Limelight 2015

"Thank you for another fantastic evening at the Market Hall last night. We all thoroughly enjoyed ourselves."
Promoter, Botley Village Hall, Hog the Limelight 2015

"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

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

"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

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

"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

"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

Sonrisa Reviews

Review - Warwick Arts Centre by Ian Mann

Sonrisa's self-written songs offered moments of genuine lyrical insight among the party sentiments and were confidently delivered by Kath who impressed with both her vocal and instrumental skills. The band impressed with their well-structured set, sense of fun, witty lyrics and wide ranging approach to Latin music and its close musical relatives.

Review of "A Taste of Latin" by Pete Chambers, Coventry Telegraph

A Taste of Latin album is a wall-to- wall musical delight Latin faves Lament are no more, but have reinvented themselves as Sonrisa. Just to make the point the band have an album out entitled "A Taste of Latin". With all the recent sunshine about, this is an ideal soundtrack to an eye-squinting sunny day, sat down with a cool drink just relaxing. Front person Kath Kimber is a fine vocalist, completely in control of her voice, reminiscent of Pentangle's Jacqui McShee. Though this band is very much the total of all its parts. There's Liz Ralls on Trumpet and flugelhorn, Anthony McTiffen acoustic guitar, Wayne Matthews on bass and Chris Vigz on drums and percussion. The album is wall to wall musical delight, as they describe it themselves. "A musical journey from Spain, Cuba to Argentina, a collection of original material with some tradition songs from the Latin world given a unique twist and interpretation by Sonrisa". I would definitely not argue with that, my fave tracks on here are "She Said", "Eternal Flame", "Fire" and "Love Will Be". That's just my personal choice, to make your own, I suggest you go over to www.sonrisamusic.co.uk and buy the album.

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.
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

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