Latin Sol Fest 2018

Latin Sol Fest is a combination of Latin music as well as Soul music from the late 70s, 80s, and 90s bringing all communities together through music and honoring these great artists!

The S.O.S. Band

The S.O.S. Band hit with a two-million-selling single, "Take Your Time (Do It Right)," their first time out, before having several hit singles written and produced by Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. The Atlanta, GA-borne band was started in 1977, when keyboardist/vocalist Jason Bryant, saxophonists Billy Ellis and Willie "Sonny" Killebrew, guitarist Bruno Speight, bassist John Alexander Simpson, drummer James Earl Jones III, and lead vocalist Mary Davis formed a group called Santa Monica that played at Atlanta nightclub the Regal Room.

Their manager, Bunny Jackson-Ransom (who later managed Cameo), sent a demo to Clarence Avant, head of Tabu Records. After signing the band to Tabu, Avant suggested that the band work with songwriter/producer Sigidi Abdullah. Abdullah was curious as to why an Atlanta-based band named itself Santa Monica. Keyboardist Jason Bryant replied that the band had an enjoyable concert in Santa Monica, CA. Abdullah then came up with a new band name, the S.O.S. Band, with S.O.S. standing for "Sounds of Success."

Abdullah produced and co-wrote "Take Your Time (Do It Right)" with Harold Clayton, which went platinum, parking at number one R&B for five weeks and peaking at number three pop on Billboard's charts in spring 1980. The debut LP, S.O.S., went gold, selling over 800,000 copies and holding the number two R&B spot for three weeks. While the band was on its world tour, trumpeter/vocalist/percussionist Abdul Ra'oof joined them. Their second album, Too, went to number 30 R&B in summer 1981. On the band's third LP, S.O.S. Band III, they worked with producer Leon Sylvers III and the Time's Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. The breaking single, "High Hopes," hit number 25 R&B in the fall of 1982 while the album went to number 27 R&B in late 1982.

On their fourth LP, On the Rise, Jam and Lewis took over the production chores. Scoring with the slammin' number two hit "Just Be Good to Me" and the number five beatbox ballad "Tell Me if You Still Care," On the Rise became their second gold album hitting number seven R&B in summer 1983. The formula continued working: Just the Way You Like It (including the number six R&B single "Just the Way You Like It") went to number six R&B in fall 1984 and Sands of Time (including the number two R&B hit "The Finest") went gold and hit number four R&B in spring 1986. Many of these releases as well as the sound of early releases of Chicago-borne house music helped to popularize the now-classic sound of Roland drum machine the TR-808.
In 1987, vocalist Mary Davis left the S.O.S. Band to pursue a solo career. The band recorded two more albums: Diamonds in the Raw (number 43 R&B in fall 1989), produced by Eban Kelly and Jimi Randolph, and One of Many Nights, produced by Curtis Williams. In August 1994, former lead vocalist Mary Davis reunited with Abdul Ra'oof and Jason Bryant, and together they reconstructed a new band with the same funky S.O.S. sound, appearing on comedian Sinbad's HBO concert specials and Rhino's various-artists set United We Funk issued October 5, 1999.


Lakeside was formed out of the city of Dayton, Ohio. Their true sound comes from the unique voice of
Mark Wood, the leader, musical director and lead singer of Lakeside. As lead singer of Lakeside and owner of the Lakeside
Trademark, Mark Wood great voice carried Lakeside sound to all the far corner’s of the planet. Lakeside is a R&B, Funk, Dance and Ballad Band.

Lakeside has so many hits, such as “It’s All The Way Live,” “I Need You,” “Raid,” “Fantastic Voyage,”
“Shot Of Love,” “Something About That Woman,” It's All The Way Live and so many more hits.

Lakeside has headlined and co-headlined tour dates with all the great bands. Appeared on national television to many times to count and have performed all over the globe.

Mark Wood the lead voice of Lakeside had support from an outstanding band. However, music lovers and critics will agree, Mark Wood voice and leadership propelled Lakeside straight to the top of the music charts.

Lead singer Mark Wood also credits his business of music awareness and his dedication to maintaining the Lakeside sound as the
driving force as to why Lakeside is still one of the most requested bands of all time.

Mark Wood always gives ample credit and thank you's to the Label, Solar Records, and owner Mr. Dick Griffey for signing the band Lakeside.

Howard Hewett

With his silky smooth, straight-from-the-heart soulful style, Howard Hewett is gifted with one of the most instantly recognizable voices in contemporary music: with the 2007 release of his Groove Records’ debut IF ONLY, his loyal worldwide audiences will be reminded of just why Howard Hewett has endured, sustained and maintained a solid career as a solo artist for over two decades.

As popular as ever, Howard is most frequently asked - at the many concert and club dates he does on a regular basis - when he’ll be putting out new music. For those eager to hear more from an artist who one “Rolling Stone” writer described as “the premier vocalist in the post-Marvin Gaye era of romantic pop,” the answer, thankfully, is now!

“This will be my first R&B album in a few years,” says the Akron, Ohio-born, Los Angeles-based award-winning singer/songwriter. “I’m not a ‘fast food’ kind of artist: I have to be able to say something with my records and this new album really reflects what I want to portray at this point in my life and my career.”

An artist of the first order known, Howard Hewett has been a consistent favorite among the legion of classic soul, traditional R&B and pop listeners since his days with Shalamar through his solo albums for Elektra Records in the ‘80s and ‘90s and on to inspirational recordings such as 2001’s critically-acclaimed “The Journey”: with IF ONLY, Howard continues the tradition of creating music that is honest, authentic and for real.

A prime example: the first single, the beautifully-crafted “Enough” which has gained immediate airplay and attention among radio programmers from coast-to-coast awaiting new sounds from Mr. Hewett. As Howard explains, “The concept of the song is based around the importance of asking questions in a relationship. Some people may hear it and think it’s a ‘breakup’ song but I don’t see it that way. At some point, you have to sit down and ask questions of each other to make sure you’re both on the same page in the relationship…”

Written by Brandon Howard (son of soul stylist Miki Howard), “Enough” was produced by longtime friend and musical associate, the renowned George Duke; others contributing to this much-awaited project from Howard include Marc Nelson (formerly of the group Az Yet, whose credits include songwriting for Babyface, Toni Braxton and Brandy) who produced the album’s future-slow jam classic title track; and Chicago-based producer Butch Stewart, with Howard and consistent Hewett collaborator and writing partner Monty Seward bringing a number of songs to the CD.

IF ONLY also represents a reunion of sorts for Howard who serves as executive producer the album with Ralph Johnson, one of the founding members of supergroup Earth, Wind & Fire. With a big smile, Howard recalls that his first-ever recording session in Los Angeles was produced by Johnson! “That’s a great story,” Howard recounts. “I had only been in L.A. for a few weeks when I started hanging out at a popular club called Maverick Flats. It was the kind of place where you could find celebrities like Richard Pryor, Lionel Richie, Chaka Khan. In fact, it’s where I first met (future Shalamar partners) Jody (Watley) and Jeffrey (Daniels) because the dancers from “Soul Train” would head over there after the show. Anyway, I was there one night, just mackin’ on this woman. She was just so fine! I asked her to dance and the song was LTD’s “Love Ballad” and I’m singing in her ear, you know, trying to get over. After the dance was over, this guy comes up to me: he had been dancing close by with his lady friend. He said, “Man, I heard you singing to that girl on the dance floor. I’ve got some demos I’m doing that need vocals. Would you want to come in and work with me?’ That guy was Ralph Johnson from EW&F! Of course, I said ‘yes’ when he told me who he was and that was my first time in the studio!”

Fortuitous indeed and Howard Hewett’s career has indeed followed a similar course from his early years in Ohio singing as a pre-teen on the gospel circuit with his older sisters as a member of The Hewett Singers through to joining the group Shalamar in 1978 as the trio was on the verge of achieving international success. Howard’s voice quickly became known to listeners the world over via hit singles like “Take That To The Bank,” the chart-topping “Second Time Around” (a No. 1 hit in the U.S. and the U.K.), “Make That Move,” “A Night To Remember,” “Dead Giveaway” and the now-classic “This Is For The Lover In You” (a Hewett composition, revived in 1996 by Babyface with the original members of Shalamar). A series of best-selling Solar Records’ albums - including “Big Fun, “Go For It,” “Friends,” “The Look,” “Three For Love” and “Heartbreak” – and an exciting live show established Shalamar as one of the most popular groups of the ’80s.

In 1985, Howard launched his solo career, scoring a immediate major R&B hit with “I’m For Real” (which featured an all-star set of musicians including George Duke, Stanley Clarke and Wilton Felder), followed by “Stay” (a Top 10 R&B single), “I Commit To Love” (the title track for Howard’s Elektra debut album) and the all-time Hewett perennial “Say Amen,” an inspirational song that was Howard’s personal testimony and remains a staple in his repertoire whenever he performs.

Throughout the late ‘80s and into the early ‘90s, Howard remained a fixture on the R&B charts with cuts like “Strange Relationship,” “Show Me” (another major Hewett cut that reached the upper reaches of the R&B listings) and a memorable cover of The Eagles’ “I Can’t Tell You Why,” recording another three albums for Elektra (1988’s “Forever & Ever,” a 1990 self-titled set and 1992’s “Allegiance”); Howard’s ‘80s and ‘90s duet partners also included Anita Baker (“When Will This Be”), Dionne Warwick, Brenda Russell and Stacy Lattisaw. In 1994, Caliber Records released the critically-acclaimed “It’s Time” album with the majority of songs Hewett originals along with a superb cover of the Marvin Gaye tune, “Just To Keep You Satisfied.” Speaking of the album, Howard noted, "Just as I believe that I can't compromise romance," says Hewett "I can't compromise my music. I want songs like 'This Love's Forever,' 'On and On' and 'Your Body Needs Healing' to disclose secrets about myself and expose my heart. "I want to be clear -- 'Crystal Clear' is the name of the song -- about how I need love. Ballads seem to express that need best. That's why I'm thrilled that It's Time is about ballads, ballads and more ballads." In 2001, Howard recorded his first all-inspirational album, “The Journey” for Sony Music, releasing a live recording of songs from it in 2002 as “The Journey Live…From The Heart.” Four years later, Shout Factory! released a ‘live’ DVD entitled “Intimate,” an aptly-named description of the mood and flavor of Howard’s in-person performances. Given what he calls “the state of the state of the recording industry,” particularly for artists such as himself who put a premium on making meaningful music, Howard focused his attention “having a good time making personal appearances, both across the U.S. and overseas,” performing with Jeffrey Daniels on Shalamar shows in Europe, three and four times a year and taking his own dynamic show to concert halls and clubs throughout the country as well as appearing on bills with such artists as Jeffrey Osborne, Freddie Jackson, Regina Belle and George Duke among others.

His decision to return to recording was the result of a meeting with old EW&F pal, Ralph Johnson: “Ralph came to me and told me about Groove Records. People had come to me in the past about making another album but they wouldn’t really know what it took to put out a record in a marketplace that has changed so much in the past few years. I sat down with the folks from Groove and I got a good feeling, I realized they understood that it’s not about jumping on a bandwagon but about creating a bandwagon to jump on! An artist has to stay true to themselves and it’s as much about what you bring to a record company as anything else. You have to know where you are as an artist in your career: I worked hard in the beginning years of my career so I could do what I’m doing now – performing and recording when it feels right and I thank God that it’s shaped up that way.”

Howard’s many fans will doubtless be thrilled that he’s taken his time to release a new album: for, with such standout tracks as “I’ll Be Right Here,” “Enough” and the exceptional title track, IF ONLY is a further testament to Howard Hewett’s enduring artistry and a reminder that when it comes to great music, good things truly do come to those who wait!

Evelyn King

They called her “Bubbles” because of her effervescent personality and sense of humor. Some thought she’d grow up to become a comedienne. But young Evelyn King was an all-around performer who sang, danced… whatever it took to hold her audience of friends and family members.

“You have to live life to know life,” says vocalist supreme Evelyn “Champagne” King. “That’s the philosophy I apply to my day-to-day dealings and that’s the philosophy I apply to making my music. “Evelyn “Champagne” King is one of the few disco stars who successfully weathered the decline of disco to have more hits through the 1980′s. Not only did she manage to survive as a star into the 1980′s, she is still recording and touring frequently today. Evelyn was born into a musical family. She was born in The Bronx and her father, Eric King, performed often as a stand-in singer for various bands, occasionally at the legendary Apollo Theatre. Later, her family moved to Philadelphia, and 14-year-old Evelyn began performing professionally with a local band.

At age 15, Evelyn’s big break came in storybook fashion. Legend has it she was working, subbing for her sister as a cleaning woman at Philadelphia’s Sigma Studios, and singing “A Change Is Gonna Come.” Soul producer T. (Theodore) Life, a former member of the band Instant Funk, heard her singing. He took her to RCA, signed her to a contract, and produced her first album Smooth Talk. The album included the disco smash “Shame.” She earned some notoriety as a teenager singing adult themed songs in an adult-sounding voice, but Evelyn was on her way. The follow-up, “I Don’t Know If It’s Right” was a major mid-tempo R&B hit.

Evelyn had only minor success through the end of the 1970′s, but she began working with former B.T. Express member Kashif as her producer. The result in 1981 was “I’m in Love,” a #1 dance hit. She followed up with the Get Loose album in 1982 and another smash, the classic anthem “Love Come Down.” Kashif maintained an open, uncluttered production style that let Evelyn’s strong, rich voice shine through.

Evelyn continued to hit the charts through the rest of the early 1980′s. In the late 1980′s she left RCA for Manhattan Records. The result was another major hit with “Flirt.” At the time she was 28 years old and engaged to be married. Of her hit, she said “There’s too many diseases out there and too many people jumping into bed. My song is a way of telling them ‘Go through the flirting stage first’.” King’s 1995 album The Girl Next Door is a celebration of this philosophy: a spirited, ear-opening 10- song platter that is all Evelyn. Produced by such luminaries as Leon Silver III and Gene Dozier, Nayan, Ten City, Marshall Jefferson, and her brother Johnny King, The Girl Next Door deftly showcases the versatile musical and vocal talent that has kept the artist among the most important female vocalists of the past decade.

The Girl Next Door covers a wide range of material, offering a bit of something for everyone. Selections such as the seductive “Day To Day,” the arresting “Magnet” or the comforting ballads “Cross Your Mind” and “This Song” all serve to accentuate the artist’s remarkable ability to perform with all cause music that ranges from cool, Quiet Storm to beat-laden House.

“It’s always been important to me to be in touch with what’s going on in music,” Evelyn explains. “I enjoy being in the clubs, on the street, listening to what’s hot at radio. I know that translates to The Girl Next Door, which is very “now,” and I think that has something to do with my continued success over time.”

Over Evelyn’s 10 album career (The Girl Next Door became her 11th LP), fans and critics have continued to watch and applaud the artist grow and expand creatively without ever losing touch with who she is.

“One thing that was engraved early, something my family always taught, was to remember who you are and keep in mind that it was important to be true to yourself first,” King says. “Maintaining a level head keeps me on top of my game. The Evelyn “Champagne” King you hear and see is the only Evelyn “Champagne” King there is. It’s always been that way and I’m proud of that.”

In her modest and confident approach, and by seasoning her vast talent with collaborations that include work with top producers Kashif and Paul Lawrence Jones, Andre Cymone and Ron Kersey and Alex Brown, to name a few, Evelyn King was able to consistently lend a bright and fresh element to her work. And, while each album clearly distinguishes itself from the others, one ingredient has remained: the voice.

Recall, if you will, the first time you heard “Love Come Down” from 1982′s Get Loose, or 1985′s So Romantic, which featured the hit “Your Personal Touch.” Compare them to Evelyn’s ground-breaking single and album from 1981, “I’m In Love” or the Top 10 “Hold On To What You’ve Got” and “Kisses Don’t Lie” from Flirt. That one ingredient that has not changed is Evelyn’s emotion-textured vocal gift. It is Evelyn’s range and energetic delivery that continues to make every song she selects to record that much more exciting, that much more dynamic.

Without issue Evelyn “Champagne” King has continued to enjoy success over time. Hers is a name that commands respect within the industry, a name which has remained prominent in the Pop, Club and R&B arenas since the artist burst onto the music scene what seems a short time ago. King made her dramatic introduction with 1978′s Top 10 crossover classic “Shame” off her Gold-plus debut album Smooth Talk. Few are the music enthusiasts who can recall that tune without finding themselves humming or singing its profoundly catchy chorus. “Shame” was an exciting taste of things to come from an artist on her way to super-stardom.

TIERRA, named "Best R&B Vocal Group" in 1981 by Billboard Cashbox, Record World, and BRE (Black Radio Exclusive) magazines, is the first Hispanic act to have
four songs on the national Pop charts and three songs simultaneously in the top 100 charts. Tierra's invigorating blend of R&B, Latin, and Pop, is the precursor to many Hispanic artists. They performed at such prestigious venues as, Carnegie
Hall, The Greek Theater, Dodger Stadium, The Rosebowl, Red Rocks, Houston Astrodome, as well as such television shows as, The American Music Awards, American Bandstand, Soul Train, Solid Gold, and many others.

Their 1981 mega hit "Together" catapulted them to the top of the national and international charts. And the band, under the leadership of Rudy Salas has been going strong for almost 45 years, and have performed on stage with such
superstars as James Brown, Michael Jackson, Bruce Springsteen, War, as well as many other top performers of the music business. Tierra has been widely known for opening doors for other Latino artists, such as Los Lobos, Gloria Estefan and Miami Sound Machine, Sheila E., Paul Rodriguez,

Rudy started Tierra in 1972, and brought in his brother Steve on vocals. At the time, Tierra was more rock oriented, and released two albums. They received critical acclaim, but they failed to impress the commercial markets around the country. They refined their R&B and Latin influences on the nightclub circuit for about 6 years.

In 1981, Tierra decided to quit the club circuit and honed their skills in the recording studio again. "City Nights" was the result, and Rudy tried to shop it to every record company around L.A. He was turned down by all of them. Rudy decided to put the album out independently. He worked out deals here and there, and the local radio stations started playing "Together" the single. Before you know it, the song got on the national charts, even without a record company. All of a sudden, the very
same record companies that turned it down were bidding for the record.

It finally caught the ear of Neil Bogart of Boardwalk Records. He signed the band, and as they say, "The rest is history".
Subsequently, Tierra had many other hits such as "Gonna Find Her", "Memories", "La La Means I Love You", "Are We In Love", "Zoot Suit Boogie", "Lady In the Moonlight", Latin Legends Live, etc.

In 1992 Tierra was asked by James Brown to back him up for his appearance on the Hollywood "Walk Of Fame" and toured with him, as well as with the Commodores, Kool and The Gang, The Gap Band, etc.

Since then, Tierra has performed all over the U.S. and many parts of the world. With over 25 CD's under their belts, and their songs being featured on several compilation CD's, the band is as strong as ever, with leader-guitarist-singer-
producer Rudy Salas holding down the foundation, along With a super tight rhythm section lead by Chris Trujillo on drums (formerly with Toto and Tom Petty), Tony Banda (original bassman for the legendary Poncho Sanchez), Joey Navarro, keyboard wizard, and Dale Villavicencio on percussion (Sheila E., Azteca).

Leading the horn section is Tierra veteran Rudy "Bub" Villa on alto sax, as well as Victor Cisneros on soprano sax, and Jeff Lewis on trumpet (formerly with the Jackson Five). Handling the vocals is the dynamic Will "Rize" Rivera.

Tierra is now in the studio working on their next CD. With a line up of veteran musicians like this, it promises to be one of their best ever.

Celebrating over 14 years of great success, Havana NRG! continues to be one of the strongest up-and-coming Latin orchestras of the world. A lot has happened since our debut in Dallas in the summer of 2002. Not only have we been fortunate enough to perform in every major venue and public event in the State of Texas, but we have also traveled to the surrounding states and as far as New York City, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Miami and San Francisco. We have also produced our debut CD, Camino al Cielo, which, to ours and the the industry's surprise, has become very popular in many US markets and in countries like Japan, Italy, and others. A video release followed in December of 2004.

We have been able to prove that we are indeed "a new breed of Latin band," the New Rhythm Generation that is taking our Cuban roots to new levels of performance. And we owe our great success not only to a magnificent combination of fantastic musicians, but mainly to very supportive audiences everywhere. Our second CD RECETA PERFECTA has captured more fans and we are blessed for this. Thank you everyone!


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