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), Tina Holmes (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!


Friday 19th April 2024 8pm
The Grain Barge  Hotwell Rd, Bristol BS8 4RU
TICKETS £6 - at the door or else in advance from

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

Shallow Roots at The Grain Barge Shallow Roots at The Tobacco Factory


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.

Tina Holmes
Bass guitar

Adam We welcome Tina as our latest addition to the band. She is a guitarist and bass guitarist but is only playing the 4 strings for us! She is delighted to jump straight in and join Shallow Roots following Adam Coombs's decision to concentrate on his own music. Tina has been in several bands, including as the guitarist/backing vocalist in the 9-piece Meet Your Feet since 2008. She has always been drawn to the power and energy that rhythm brings to music, so is loving the Latin and Afro grooves with us!

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

Thanks to Duncan Cruikshank for the lovely photos!

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