Mi Solar
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Mi Solar

Band Latin World


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The musicians around Cuban singer Mayelis Guyat manage to evoke Santiago's old glory right from the very first note. Rich trumpet sounds set the tone for the hottest of all rhythms; outstanding percussion and especially the impressive voice of Mayelis complement each other perfectly. [...] From the opening “Dile A Catalina” to “La Isla” and “Profundo” to “Lagrimas Negras,” Mi Solar is surprising and thrilling, as much with its original compositions overflowing with a zest for life as with fresh arrangements of classical Latin American pieces. Mi Solar doesn’t leave you any choice: It is all too tempting to get infected with the feel of the Caribbean. (March 2008)
- Frank Keil

[...] For purists among Cuban music fans, who view the ancient originals from Cuba as the only legitimate representatives of Caribbean salsa rhythms, the lineup alone might seem sacrilegious: Almost the entire rhythm section of the band is comprised of women. Band founder is the German bassist Maike Scheel, and the wonderful lead singer is also a woman, Mayelis Guyat - generally singing original lyrics - whose interpretations do not need to fear comparison with those of the dazzling Celia Cruz. Right with the first song Mi Solar sweeps away the suspicion of having to expect a boring, conventional imitation of Caribbean music by some German band with a musical firework that leaves you breathless. [...]
This means that Mi Solar is not only fit for worldmusic-festivals but also shakes every dance-floor and the coming backyard parties. So: Buy the cd and start celebrating!!! (March 2008) - grossmutter futziwolf

Throbbing congas, powerful piano chords, some razor-sharp horn phrases and things really get cooking! Mayelis Guyat has a voice that doesn’t let you walk away. Mi Solar’s salsa is simply where it’s at, with imaginative melodies, jazzy solos, wonderfully precise yet forceful percussion breaks. The only thing this band can’t do is hit the brakes. Even if a song starts out as a soulful ballad, within two minutes they’ve had enough of being sentimental and hit the gas. Such a packed, authentic sound comes right out of the Caribbean - that’s what you think, but the palm trees on the cover are standing next to Berlin’s Reichstag dome. [...] (Hamm, 26 March 2008) - Ralf Stiftel

[...] It is not easy to assign Mi Solar’s songs to a clear-cut category. “Senora” develops from a romantic salsa, with passages that might prove hard for some novice dancers to stay in step, to a rousing timba, in which it is pretty hard to lose the beat. “La Isla” starts out as a guaguanco rhythm, fades into a danceable salsa, and returns at the end to another delightful 40 seconds of the Afro-Cuban guaguanco. But my absolute favorite on this CD is “Profundo”. The song starts as a languishing bolero with a stunning vocal performance by Mayelis Guyat, than changes midway into a lively salsa. [...]
This band does not have to be afraid of being compared to the big ones of the business - and the seven original compositions on this CD offer clearly more variation than some productions made by salsa superstars. (March 2008) - Klaus Reiter

The band Mi Solar from Berlin offers a sound overflowing with musicality and a joy in music-making. Funky rhythms and horn phrases combined with expressive vocals make you want to dance; they enhance your mood considerably, even without alcohol. [...] Accompanied by top-class musicians, Mayelis Guyat recorded most of the songs in a single take. You can clearly hear that spontaneity. - Weltmusik Magazin

On their album "Amistad", the band Mi Solar plays “real Cuban” music, mixing salsa, timba, bolero, and guaguanco, without giving the listeners ever a chance to notice, that the band is not really from Cuba, but from Berlin, Germany. [...] (March 2008) - Jazzthetik

This is an album that distinguishes itself through the music and the passion to make music. [...] The CD is exciting and shows great diversity and great potential in expressing a culture. (March 2008) - JazzZeitung online

[...] Mi solar delivers a sound that couldn't be more Cuban and more Caribbean - even though the band comes from Berlin, Germany. Traditional and modern Cuban music is underlined with elements from Jazz, Salsa, Timba, Soul and Funk. So the listener immediately dreams of sun, white beaches, and cool mojitos. [...] - Rainer Janaschke


Out now: Mi Solar published their first CD
"Amistad"/ skycap records - roughtrade, March 2008



solar (el) (m.): (Cuban) courtyard; a place of vibrant life, where people party and dance to salsa rhythms.
That kind of courtyard was missing in Berlin, thought bass player Maike Scheel, when she founded the sunny band on a gloomy day in November 2003. Mi Solar gave their first concert only a few months later, in March 2004, at a small club in Brandenburg on the Havel. Numerous gigs followed quickly. A year later, Mi Solar performed at the world-renowned Montreux jazz festival. The audience was so enthusiastic that the band was invited to return in 2006.
At the music competition sponsored by the Berlin Senate, Mi Solar won the Studio Award enabling the band to record its first album. Accompanied by top-class musicians, Mayelis Guyat recorded most of the songs in a single take. Often referred to as the Celia Cruz of Berlin, she also wrote most of the song lyrics herself, dealing with issues of friendship, love, breaking up, tolerance, and especially also a lust for life.

Mi Solar has performed at:
- Open Air Events: with the Carnival of the cultures - Berlin's largest multi-cultural street festival (2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008), 3rd Potsdam event night, summer festival, English Garden/ Berlin, Festival at the Nauenertor/ Potsdam,

- in salsa discos and clubs: Fontane Klub/ Brandenburg a.d.Havel, HAVANNA/ Berlin, Tropicando/ Potsdam, Casa Latina/ Dresden, Floridita/ Vienna, Circulo/ Munich, Kaffee Burger/ Berlin, Felix Restaurant, Junction Bar, HAVANNA Berlin

- Festivals: Montreux Jazz Festival/ Switzerland (2005/ 2006), Latin-Chem (Latin Music & Dance Festival), Praterinselfestiva/ Munich, Museumsinsel Festival/ Berlin (in cooperation with Piranha Events), Bergmannstrassejazzt/ Berlin, Jazz- und Bluestage/ Zinnowitz

- Randlage/ Eschede, Schloss Wackerbarth, German Red Croce, Deutsche Kinderhilfe, Bundesministerium fuer Zusammenarbeit und Entwicklung, Werkstatt der Kulturen/ Berlin, Palais in der Kulturbrauerei/ Berlin, 2nd Pub tour/ Belzig, Long Night of the Museums/ Berlin, Music in the Zoo/ Leipzig, et al.

- finalist of the "Creole World music" competition, Berlin and World Jazz-Award "Ella 2006", Berlin