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Biography

Original Roots Music for the 21st Century. Sometimes raucous (imagine trumpet and accordion played simultaneously by one person), sometimes subtle (the harp-like sound of the West African kora), Round Mountain touches their audiences with great songs, emotional honesty, and an engaging live show.

Round Mountain’s Char and Robby Rothschild have been playing music together for most of their lives. Based in Santa Fe, New Mexico, their background ranges from Balkan and West African styles to traditional Appalachian music, from classical to funk. While they have played extensively together and separately in many ensembles and projects, including Ottmar Liebert, Prince Diabate, Panjea, and the Old Moscow Circus, this configuration marks the crystallization of their own music using the traditions that have inspired them. Expect many extremes - beautiful acoustic numbers, wild bagpipes, trumpet and accordion played by one person at the same time, Bulgarian zydeco, klezmer, and Malian rhythms, to name a few. But while their music is varied, it is far from random. There is a solvent behind all these different dry ingredients that allows them to blend seamlessly – original songwriting with respect and love for the music. And, of course, the peculiar breed of madness the Rothschild brothers possess.

Char Rothschild, the elder of the two brothers, gives new life to the word multi-instrumentalist. In the course of a live performance, he plays trumpet, guitar, banjo, dobro, accordion, Irish whistle, gaida (Bulgarian bagpipes) and saz (a type of Turkish lute). In recordings he will often add ney (Turkish flute), clarinet, trombone, percussion, and more. Behind each of these instruments is a story and often a journey. He has played in Tokyo with the Old Moscow Circus, toured Australia with the Afro-funk band Panjea, recorded with Latif Bolat, and performed with countless other projects regionally. He is also a gifted songwriter and accompanist who has written music for many theatrical productions. Char graduated with a BFA in Contemporary Music from the College of Santa Fe.

Robby Rothschild, the younger of the two, plays cajon (Peruvian/flamenco box drum), djembe, bouzouki, mandolin, kora (West African harp), as well as singing. He began playing piano and drums at an age of eight, and has never been the same since. As a percussionist, he has been deeply influenced by the rhythms of West Africa. He has studied djembe in Mali and the United States, and has toured and recorded internationally with Kip Winger, Panjea, and Ottmar Liebert. Robby is a talented composer - his places of study include the New England Conservatory of Music, the College of Santa Fe's Contemporary Music Program, and the University of New Mexico, where he is completing a Master’s in Composition.

Round Mountain is a lively mixture of ceremony and irreverence, of exuberance and reflection. Beneath all of these unlikely marriages, a certain warmth remains to unify their sound and their message. In a time when most music has become so brightly polished that no one can see inside, Round Mountain presents a rare rough gem of humanity that glows from within.

Instrumentation
Char Rothschild - vocals, trumpet & accordion (simultaneously!), guitar, dobro, gaida (Bulgarian bagpipe), and more!
Robby Rothschild - vocals, cajon, kora (W. African harp) bouzouki, djembe.

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