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Bogotá, Bogota D.C., Colombia

Bogotá, Bogota D.C., Colombia
Band World Singer/Songwriter


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This band has not uploaded any videos



""HELLO, BOGOTA!" * Champi's Former Project VERDE3 SXSW 2009 review"

Hello, Bogota!

Speakeasy, Wednesday, March 18

Judging from the span of styles tackled by the Colombian mafia at Speakeasy, a regular salsa hangout, Bogota is not lacking for musical talent. The range of acts that took the stage for set spots one through four alone could leave listeners feeling like they'd taken a stroll along the global radio dial,... Tight twosome Verde3 play fuzzed-out pop-rock owing plenty in feel to the VU and its many followers, notably Sonic Youth. Singer Diana Galan hit high, evocative notes and picked out occasional melodies on a Minimoog. Galan´s ... equally talented cohort, guitarist Carlos Champi Benavides, added computer beats to attain a wall of sound. Verde3's English song, "Downstairs," was a sort of lover-next-door fugue, while Galan indicated her pick of the litter was an ode to a lost cow (!), "Margarita." The pair closed with the winning "Mar," a provocative dance number with the English lyric, "It's all garbage Latino trash now." - The Austin Chronicle

"LA TIMES recommends VERDE3 for SXSW 2009"

Pop & Hiss

March 18, 2009

SXSW: Wednesday's music picks --

What with the loads of free shows in the day and the endless selection of officially sanctioned South by Southwest concerts at night, it's usually a good idea to write down a short list of bands that you'd like to see.

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart -- 4:35 p.m.: Red 7
Vivian Girls -- 5:20 p.m.: Red 7
Von Bondies -- 5:20 p.m.: Red Eye Fly
Power Solo -- 5:25 p.m.: Sonny's Vintage
Verde3 -- 7 p.m.: Speakeasy - LA TIMES


VERDE (1997-2001)
MAPA TEATRO WORK (2001-2009)
VERDE3 (2002-2010)
RADIO VERDE3 VOL. 1 (2007)
SONORA 5 (2005)
SONIDO BAND (2010 / 2011)




SONIDO BAND is the newest brainchild of "CHAMPI" Carlos Benavides (Sidestepper, Verde3, Mapa Teatro), renowned Colombian composer, musician, singer, multi-instrumentalist, engineer, producer & lyricist; Berklee graduate in Music Production & Engineering.

SONIDO BAND: a positively new idea for indie / latin alternative music, with a distinctive voice, sound & live show: in CHAMPI's own words: "POPULAR SONGS FOR THE GENERAL PUBLIC, ALWAYS EMOTIONAL AND INTENSE, LIKE THE BOGOTA THAT I COME FROM."

CHAMPI's career highlights include playing such prestigious venues and festivals as Glastonbury, Rosklide, Festival Cervantino de México, Berklee Performance Center, Yale University, the Berlin Haus der Kulturen der Welt, the BBC, and SXSW.

His ample work and experience in songwriting, record production, sound engineering, and live touring, as well as in music for the theatre & film, gives us this imaginative exploration of top song craft & sound design, producing a distinctive collection of songs written in Spanish and English. He best describes his work as "A LABORATORY OF POPULAR SONGS" and his live show as "AN INTENSE EMOTIONAL EXPERIENCE."

Live, CHAMPI performs his own original tunes to the sound of a piano, a MiniMoog and a Rickenbacker 360, as well as providing the beats from Native Instruments Reaktor and his own live looping (a floor tom and an array of small objects placed on a table, much like "bruitage" in modern radiophonic theatre). His long time collaborators KRISTEN GRACE ODLE, FLAVIO GAETE and ERNESTO BRICEÑO play cello, viola and violin respectively. Former VERDE3 member FRANCISCO ZEA plays drums and electronic percussion; his sister PILAR BENAVIDES also makes a guest vocal appearance.

Born in Bogota, with its multicultural and vibrant music scene, Champi reflects his background in the music and lyrics he produces, showing a profound love for South American popular composers (Jobim, Piazzolla, Simón Díaz, Lucho Bermúdez), Alt. Country & Folk troubadours / songsmiths (Calexico, Tindersticks, Smog, Lambchop, Elliott Smith, Jeff Buckley, Nick Drake), all the way to chanson (Jacques Brel, Serge Gainsbourg), latin pop & rock (Mecano, Charly García, Spinetta, Cerati) and even traditional "serenata" music, maintaining at the same time an internationalist and forward-thinking set of production values.

His songs, heartfelt and full of sonic / lyric treats, pick themes of love lost and found, from the more day-to-day heartbreak of "Ando" alll the way to referential literary characters such as Juan Rulfo's "Pedro Páramo" who locks his wife-by-force to death, or Charles Baudelaire's "Les Bienfaits de la Lune" where the moon falls in love with a sleeping girl. As Champi puts it: "I want to write songs from new points of view, trying to achieve, above all, an original tone, one of maximum emotional intensity. In the end, a song is a song is a song."

SONIDO BAND is releasing its first album in 2011, with first single "ANDO" out in July.


From an early age I acted and sang. At the age of eleven I was playing around with a turntable and a MiniMoog, doing cassette tape mashups, playing with my father's turntable and programming BASIC on a tv home computer. My early formation in music always had two sides which entwined: a more classical approach combined with a constant regard for popular music, as a member of musical groups, and later on as sound engineer. Also, there always existed in me a profound passion for the theatre and the arts.

My experience and path in music and sound have always showed a hybrid and interdisciplinary nature as they have always been inside of two worlds at the same time (the popular and the academic, the musical and the sonic, the artistic and the anthropological).

As an adult the most important characteristic about my work has been producing clear, legible songs and sound materials, a product of well-developed compositions and arrangements of a heartfelt nature - in their intention of achieving a profound emotional impact, paired with the inclination for playing live concerts, always recording them on multitrack.


VERDE3 2002-2010: played Colombia National Theatre (Teatro Colón) six years in a row, as well as the main cultural stages in Bogotá (Teatro Municipal Jorge Eliecer Gaitán, Virgilio Barco Public Library, MAMBO Bogotá Museum of Modern Art); shared the stage with ERRORSMITH 2003; project started as a trio to then grow into a 9-piece band circa 2005; opened for LADYTRON 2006; song "MAR" highly ranked on Colombian National Radio (Radiónica FM) in 2006/2007; as a duo played more than 100 shows including Festival Cervantino in Mexico 2008. Appeared at SXSW 2009 to be recommended by the L.A. Times and reviewed favorably by the Austin Chronicl