Shallow Roots - World Rhythms In Bristol

Spanish, African pop, Latin & home-grown music

An eight-piece band - to get your feet moving....

Shallow Roots are a Bristol-based band playing (mostly) dance music fusing Afro, Caribbean, Spanish, Latin and Western pop. The combination of horns and guitars make a great sound. The music is intimate and gentle yet also rhythmic and highly danceable, while the (mostly) self-penned lyrics have a political edge - an uplifting take on the wider world and a realistic look nearer home. The players are Rob Vasey (guitar, vocals), Jonathan Hyams (guitar, vocals), Romilly Gibbs (soprano sax), Jamie Darwen (tenor and soprano saxes), Carol Arnold (alto sax), Adam Coombs (bass) and Jeremy Arnold (drums and percussion). The amazing voice of Rosalind Moreno-Parra can be heard as principal vocalist on some of the songs. Shallow Roots gigs often feature guest players too - so do come and enjoy the party!


Sunday 1st October 2023 8pm
Tobacco Factory  Raleigh Road, Southville, Bristol BS3 1TF ADMISSION FREE

Friday 1st December 2023 8pm
The Grain Barge  Hotwell Rd, Bristol BS8 4RU TICKETS TBA

If you would be interested in Shallow Roots playing at your event, then please click here to get in touch.

Shallow Roots at The Tobacco Factory

Group photo


Original by Shallow Roots

West African influenced political piece. Featuring Jonathan, Romilly and Jamie.

Move On

Original by Shallow Roots

Danceable ditty. Featuring Romilly and Jonathan.

Me Voy Ya

Original by Shallow Roots

East African inspired dance piece. Featuring Jonathan, Romilly and Jamie.

Freakin Typico

Original by Shallow Roots

Homage to times gone by. Featuring Romilly.

La Cubana

With Rosalind Moreno-Parra

Sourced from Provencal gypsies by Bristol cajonist Jaime Cantera and arranged by Shallow Roots.

Respect Yourself

Shallow Roots Original

Just as the title says...

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Shallow Roots - the musicians

Jonathan Hyams
Guitar, vocals, trumpet

JonathanJonathan initially formed Shallow Roots as a duo with Rob Vasey shortly after settling in Bristol in 2005. Jonathan has performed in and led many bands including The Afro Dizzy Acts, The Open Band, The Heartbeats and The Memos. He is the principal songwriter and arranger.

Rob Vasey
Guitar, vocals

RobRob started Shallow Roots together with Jonathan, from duo through trio, quintet, sextet and now 8-piece band. He provides a rich and percussive guitar as the essential backbone of all the songs. Rob is very active on the Bristol music scene and plays in several bands and is also a promoter. His own band is Neureille. He is a long-serving exponent of experimental post-punk and avant-garde song-writing.

Romilly Gibbs
Soprano sax

Romilly plays the wonderful soaring solos that are so distinctive to Shallow Roots. She plays a key role in the horn arrangements. She has been in several Bristol bands including Meet Your Feet. She has been with Shallow Roots almost from the start. She is a superb and very talented improviser.

Jamie Darwen
Tenor and soprano saxes

JamieJamie plays both tenor and soprano saxes and gives us that great gutsy sound with driving solos.

Carol Arnold
Alto sax

CarolCarol brings the lovely mellow sound of the alto sax to Shallow Roots. She also plays in Mendip Swing Big Band, the Ambling Band, and Magna Jazz. Loves the sax harmonies, and the wonderful Latin, Spanish, and African rhythms of Shallow Roots.

Rosalind Moreno-Parra

RosieRosalind's powerful and beautiful voice expands the character of the band’s sound. With her Spanish roots, she excels on many of our Spanish language songs. She loves Ladino and Spanish folk music and has her own band in Bristol.

Adam Coombs
Bass guitar

Adam Adam joined the band in 2021. He has had a lot to do with Shallow Roots since its beginning - he produced quite a number of our recordings. Adam is a professional musician, composer and teacher - and a superb bassist!

Jeremy Arnold
Drums and percussion

JeremyJeremy plays drums, congas and cajon. He has recently joined Shallow Roots and is enjoying the opportunity. He is a highly experienced drummer having played with various Bristol bands over the years - punk, rock, funk, soul, and jazz.

  For enquiries please email Shallow Roots

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