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Sophie Solomon, the violinist best known as one of the founding members of the pop-klezmer group Oi Va Voi, will play three shows in Israel to promote her debut solo album, Poison Sweet Madeira.
Madeira combines elements of the many musical influences that have interested and attracted Solomon through her many years of study. The range of sounds on the album includes classical, North African, Jewish, gypsy, Russian music and the tango. The album also features guest vocals, including actor Ralph Fiennes on the track "A Light That Never Dies."
Solomon began playing the violin at the age of two, and her precocious talent led her lessons with the legendary violinist Yehudi Menuhin. She later studied history and Russian at Oxford University. During this time she would also DJ drum'n'bass as part of her exploration of music beyond the classical realm in which she had been educated.
When performing with Oi Va Voi, Solomon has been called "the Keith Richards of the violin" for her on-stage pyrotechnics displays. Her solo debut is an extension of the recognition she has enjoyed for her work with a band whose own debut album, Laughter Through Tears, was called one of 2004's 10 best by the New York Times and won various top awards in the UK. Solomon has collaborated with diverse artists ranging from Rufus Wainwright to Theodore Bikel.
Solomon will play shows at Tel Aviv's Barby Club on May 11 and 12, and a third show at Jerusalem's Hama'abada on Saturday, May 13.