In the 12 years of our existence Sol Y Sombra has strived to express a wide range of musical styles; latin and jazz, progressive and traditional, representing the musical heritage of multiple ethnicities embodied in the complexity of American life. SYS is often called upon for its expertise in Salsa music. Dance is intimately connected to music and the group has been fortunate to participate in the growth of the local latin dance community. SYS is also a standard-bearer for latin jazz in Western New York. Some of the area’s top jazz artists fill out the group’s roster. The inspiration from groups like the Buena Vista Social Club illustrates the group’s commitment to so-called típica and jibaro music, traditional country music of Cuba and Puerto Rico. Other influences like Fania All Stars, Hector Lavoe, Ismael Rivera and Cortijo a commitment to the music’s Puerto Rican heritage.
Vocalist and percussionist Eddie Candelario has been with the band for 4 years. He was a founding member of Grupo Siguaraya and is one of the top soneros in all of Western New York. His credits include Grupo Ceiba, Orengue and many others.
Leader and pianist Kevin Doyle has been a fixture on the local music scene for 35 years. Also a composer, one of his tunes ‘Sketch,’ originally written for John Bacon’s Multi Jazz Dimensions CD “Winds of Change” is a featured instrumental number for the band. Over 20 years of latin music experience includes time with Los Imperiales, Grupo Siguaraya, Los Caribes, Outer Circle Orchestra, occasional visits with Wendell Rivera and many others.
Percussionist/corista Juan Betancourt is a rising star. When he is not holding down the timbale chair, singing coro, and directing the band on stage he is the lead singer for Rochester’s Grupo Antonetti and UMB (Urban Merengue and Bachata). He started with Sol Y Sombra by just showing up at ‘O’ Lounge every week with his timbales. He’s been a permanent member of the band for over 7 years. He has also played with some of Buffalo’s top latin groups including, among others, Wendell Rivera’s Latin Jazz All Stars.
Andrew Weinzler is one of the top saxist in the area and a very accomplished improviser. His credits are too long to list but just a few are the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, The Gap Mangione Big Band, and Wendell Rivera’s Latin Jazz All Stars. The fire that he brings to every performance is indicative of the attitude and intent of all of our members
Congero/Percussionista Junito Gauthier has been with the band as a sub for a number of years and joined the regular roster about a year ago. We’re glad to have such a solid performer on percussion and as a corista. We also take advantage of his experience as a sound technician. We value the clarity and balance that he brings to each performance.
Bassist Ben Levitt is the newest member of the band. He was the original bass player for the group when it started with Anibal Hernandez and Ricardo Ferrer. He rejoins the group after an extended stint with the US Navy.
Sol Y Sombra is continuing a mission initiated by the late Anibal Hernandez to present an expression of Hispanic culture through music for the enrichment of the Latino community and of the local area at large.