Valentina Montoya Martínez – voice, rhythm guitar and cuatro – has been singing South American folk songs since the early days of her family’s exile from Chile. Now based in Edinburgh, she fronts her group Valentina and Voces del Sur, which she formed with Scottish guitarist David A Russell. Following in the steps of her predecessors, such as Violeta Parra and Víctor Jara, her repertoire consists of traditional folk music from Latin America and her own compositions based on these genres. Add the passion and drama of tango to this alluring mix and you will find an authentic and dazzling voice like no other, born in the turmoil of exile.
David A. Russell – lead guitar, Colombian tiplé – was born in Scotland. He has been playing the guitar since the age of 11. He studied composition and production of film music and began to play Latin American genres on meeting Valentina. Previously he was involved in a broad range of music projects, playing classical, experimental, folk and world styles, collaborating with Scots, Indian and African musicians. He particularly enjoys playing the works of Piazzolla, as solo guitar pieces and also gives private guitar tuition. He has recently arranged a selection of Cuban son for solo guitar and will be recording his own solo album this year. Also a producer, he has recorded for a number of musicians in Scotland. He writes music for, is musical director and producer of, Valentina and Voces del Sur.
Mario Caribé – double bass – Brazilian born bassist/composer and educator Mario Caribé came to live in Scotland in 1996 where after completing a Masters Degree in Jazz Composition at Edinburgh Napier University he became integral part of the Scottish Jazz scene recording several albums for Caber Music, playing with the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra, teaching in several Universities and Colleges. He played and still does with many of the most influential players in the British scene as well as many of their North and South American counterparts. Not bound by stylistic constrains he is constantly working with musicians from all denominations and this open approach is reflected in his music. Always aiming to improve and looking for new challenges he is yet still very much in tune with the music he grew up with and relishes the opportunity to bring all sides of this musical universe together.
Wilmer Sifontes – percussion – From Caracas, Venezuela, is one of London’s most accomplished, outstanding and prolific percussionists. He studied at The Roberto Marcano School (part of the Association of musicians institute), and Fundacion Bigott, an institute dedicated to the study of Traditional Venezuelan Folkloric music. In Venezuela he worked with The Erik Franceski y Su Orquesta salsa band, as well as touring extensively throughout South America and Europe, with Afro-Venezuelan groups Autoctono and Entreverao, playing in Brazil, Colombia, Germany, Portugal and Spain, finally settling in the UK in 1996. He has played in some of the most prestigious international festivals around the world and is the musical director of several projects including the UK’s leading Salsa band Conjunto Sabroso. He also directs his own Afro Venezuelan ensemble ‘Afro-American Project’. He has established himself as one of the UK’s leading Latin percussionists.