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"The Soul Mates" - A Local Band of Elves

Posted: Thursday, September 1, 2011

By: Michael Roberts (Expired article)

Buellton, CA -

"The Soul Mates" is a group of very talented 11-year old children who have banded together from different schools throughout the Santa Ynez Valley to form what could very well be "The World's Youngest Soul Band", playing popular hits from the 1960's.

The Soul Mates first started "Gigging" back in July of 2010 at the 48th annual "Old Santa Ynez Days," when their full repertoire was ONE song: “Mustang Sally”. The Soul Mates are ten strong and comprised of Mathew on drums; Jaxson and Nolan on lead and rhythm guitars; Steven on bass; Sofia on alto sax, Luke on trumpet, Rebecca on keyboards, Sajan on lead vocals, and Olivia and Erica, back-up singers and dancers, one of which plays the violin.

The band is currently holding auditions for three new members: 2nd Trumpet, Tenor Sax, and Trombone --thereby anticipating a five-piece brass line-up. Each week the band is steadily busy learning new music, along with perfecting what they have already rehearsed. Their popularity has grown tremendously over the past 12 months, and they are enjoying an accelerated increase in demand, playing many high profile venues including: The 4th of July celebration at Mission Santa Ines, 3rd Wednesdays/Solvang in the Park, The Buellton Barbeque Bonanza, Buellton Car Show, Los Alamos Days, Solvang School Fundraiser, Los Olivos Days, Real Men Cook, The Samuel DePalma Show, Arts on The Avenue... just to mention just a few!

The Soul Mates have performed for” Grand Openings" of National Corporations and have been featured on television specials such as "The Oliver Hamilton Show." Audiences of All Ages -- from 5 to 95 years old -- enjoy the Soul Mates. They even recently performed for a 65th Wedding Anniversary!

Who’s behind all of this?

First (and foremost): The Parents of these children deserve to be recognized and applauded for their true support and dedication in attending, supervising, and transporting their children to and from all rehearsals and gigs -- not to mention encouraging their child to practice at home, as well as planning, organizing, and hosting band barbecues, picnics and social gatherings, etc.

Additional teamwork has been provided to cover: Private Instruction & Mentoring, Public Relations, Marketing &Promotion, Wardrobe, Website & Flyer Designs, Securing & Documenting Gigs, Accounting & Planning, Recording & Road Crew.

The Music Teachers for the group are: Tom Pete, Steve Ochoa, Kay Baldwin, Benjamin B. Bado, Michael Roberts, Diane Bington, Francine De Franco, and Cindy Stucky. Dance Instruction & Choreography is provided by: Chiloni Huffman. Coaching and Mentoring by: Benjamin B. Bado and Michael Roberts. Soon to come on board as Mentor s are Lee Stanchfield and David Harridge.

The Rehearsal Studio is a converted barn on a horse ranch in Santa Ynez. It has a stage, Public Address System, Grand Piano, and huge seating area. This is donated free-of-charge for The Soul Mates’ use by Tony Lazzara. The Soul Mates also have a Dance Studio in Frederick's Court Solvang, donated by "The Corner Stone Studio."

Musical Selections by Michael Roberts; Transposing & Arranging by Michael Roberts, David Gardener, and Dave Smith; Mixing & Recording by Alan Sachwell; Photography by Mike Mesikeps; Video by Jack Drake; Editing by Earl Richmond; Graphic Design by Curt Cragg; Poster production and printing, Graphic Design; P.A. Equipment Loan by Arts Outreach; P.A. Donation by Charles Brandt of C.T. Construction in Santa Barbara ; and Equipment Repairs by Jim Richardson and Sean P. Thomas.

Arts Outreach, Buellton Chamber of Commerce, Solvang Chamber of Commerce, Solvang Visitors Center , The Elks Club, and the Solvang Rotary have all played a huge role towards the success of Soul Mates.

For more information about booking and up-and-coming shows - as well as more details on how to audition for the band - please go to, or call Michael Roberts at 805-686-1020.

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