Ecuadoran ensemble Solazo ignites the stage with a new mix of Latin and South American music, featuring the traditional Andean sounds of the panpipe and charango combined with folk and dance music.

Each of the five members of Solazo have performed and recorded in various formats with some of the more well-known and recorded groups in Ecuador, Cuba and Chile. As Solazo they offer a new mix of Latin music which includes traditional Andean sounds combined with folk music and dance music.

Pepe Aranda (lead singer/guitar/bass guitar) is well-known as a performer, songwriter and studio musician. Originally from Chile, he began his musical studies at age seven. From the age of ten to nineteen, he performed classical music exclusively, with an emphasis in violin and piano. He played with the Chilean Symphony for many of those years. In his twenties, however, he became interested in performing more pop music and achieved major success with his own band, Pepe Aranda Y Los Rockmanticos. Now residing and working in Ecuador, Aranda is an award-winning songwriter. He also performed as singer and lead guitarist with the Latin rock group, Barro, for seven years; their videos were shown frequently on MTV in South America. He also performs solo or with Charry Garcia.

Charry Garcia (bongo/percussion) is originally from Chile. Garcia has recorded over twenty CDs and toured all over the world with the successful band Altiplano. Altiplano was particularly known for their traditional Andean style of music, which included panpipes, blues, charangos, and mandolins as well as a large array of unusual percussion and string instruments.

Kike Rodriguez (singer/guitar) is also originally from Chile and has performed as lead singer with Barro. More recently Rodriguez has been performing as part of a duo with Miguel Benitez. The two have their own CD available, Kike & Miguel, which features a collection of popular traditional South American folksongs.

Miguel Benitez (singer/guitar/bass guitar) hails from Argentina where he was a popular folk singer and soloist for many years. He moved to Ecuador and became bass player for Barro.

Vladimir Espinoza (percussion/singer) hails from Havana, Cuba, where his Afro-Cuban style of drumming was well-known and where he played with some of the most recognized musicians on the island. He then moved to Ecuador and recently joined Solazo.

Watch Past Performances

Video 10/14/1999: Solazo

Solazo ignites the stage with a new mix of Latin and South American music.

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