THE BAND/LA BANDA
Richard Blair is a musician, engineer and producer who founded sidestepper in 1996. In the early nineties he worked in Peter Gabriel's Real World studios, where he made a record with Toto La Momposina, a star of Colombian folk music. He then took a fateful diversion to Colombia where he still lives, running the sidestepper band, producing and mixing. On stage he runs a small studio of samplers, consoles and effects, plays keyboard bass and even sings sometimes.
Eka´s first break was in the tv reality show Popstars in Colombia, where her incredible voice and great musicality brought her to the country's attention. She has sung with sidestepper for the last 10 years, bringing wonderful movement, grace and melody to stages all round the world. Eka is producing her own music and will soon launch her first CD. During the last 12 months she has been a key part of the writing team for the new sidestepper album.
Chongo was born in Cartagena and is a wildly talented hand drummer. He comes from the cumbia tradition and has played with many of the great folkloric musicians like Toto la Momposina, Petrona Martinez and Etelvina Maldonado. Since coming to Bogota in 2004 he has become a key player in the new cumbia boom, playing and recording with Mucho Indio, sidestepper, Ondatropica and many more. He has played a fundamental part in the new record, working with Richard in creating the beats.
Teto Ocampo is one of colombia's leading guitar players. Born in Bogota he took up the guitar aged 7. He studied in Colombia and at the Guitar Institute in LA. He was musical director for Carlos Vives, and later the co founder of legendary rock band Bloque with Ivan Benavides. His musical journey continues with his current project , the hugely influential band Mucho Indio . Teto brings great spontaneity and lyricism to the sidestepper sound, playing his unique combination of rhythm and lead.
Edgardo Garces, from Riohacha, Colombia is known as "El Guajiro". He joined sidestepper in 2009 , and since then has sung with the band throughout Latin America and in festivals in Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, USA, amongst others. He writes and produces his own music under the name Guajiro, and sings with several of the new wave bands in Bogota. He brings his own soulful sensibility to the band, a real joyful presence on stage and great melodic invention.
El Mauri. Mauricio Rodriguez
What began as a solo studio project in 1996 for main man Richard Blair soon developed into a production and writing duo with Colombian song writer Iván Benavides, and has since become a full live band. sidestepper´s shows have become legendary, the guarantee of a great party that starts on stage and results in a collective and euphoric experience, genuinely contagious. sidestepper has helped transform the Colombian music scene, where they are regarded as the originators of the current beat boom, inspiring a new generation of young beat scientists to marry latin music with cutting edge beats.
Many well known musicians have have played in the band, both in the studio and on stage. It seems that sidestepper is more an idea than a band, and many friends have shared the idea, like Goyo from Chocquibtown, Pernet, Kike Egurrola from Bomba Estereo to name just a few who have passed through the band.
Lo que comenzó en 1996 como un proyecto de estudio en cabeza de Richard Blair, rapidamente se convertió en un duo de producción y composición, con el compositor colombiano Iván Benavides, y desde entonces se convirtió en una banda completa en tarima. Las presentaciones de sidestepper han llegado a ser legendarias, garantía de una gran fiesta que empieza en tarima y termina en una experiencia colectiva y eufórica. sidestepper ha tenido mucha incidencia en la transformacion de la escena musical colombiana, donde están reconocidos como los pioneros del nuevo ´boom´ de música mestiza, ya que ha inspirado a una nueva generación de musicos colombianos en experimentar con nuevos sonidos en la música latina.
Muchos musicos conocidos han tocado con la banda en estudio y tarima. Parece cierto que sidestepper es más una idea que una banda y muchos amigos han podido compartirla, como Goyo de Chocquibtown, Pernet y Kike Egurrola de Bomba Estéreo sólo para nombrar algunos que han pasado por la banda.