Little Rumba

Deep in the Welsh Marches amidst the most beautiful scenery you will find one of the most extraordinary bands in Britain. They have been hiding away, playing the pubs and parties of the Welsh Borders for the last twenty years, honing their remarkable rich romantic tunes. Only recently have they emerged to share them with the world. Little Rumba’s musicians come from very different musical backgrounds which is why the band presents such a unique blend of styles.

John Hymas (violin, viola and accordion) trained as a professional viola player in the classical world. He is also a highly regarded composer and founder member of the contemporary folk band Hoover the Dog.

Singer and guitarist Pete Mustill was part of the original R&B boom in the 60’s but subsequently had a ‘Road to Damascus’ moment in the late 80’s on first hearing the music of Astor Piazzolla. This led to the formation of The Tango Band, a top three album in the Czech charts and his first collaboration with Hugh Colvin.

Hugh Colvin is the band’s saxophonist. He is another polymath, combining large scale theatre productions with playing his beloved saxophones. His music is exciting and original and often sounds like the bastard child of Sidney Bechet and King Curtis!

Little Rumba’s inspirational bass player Jacqui Savage has provided the beat for a whole series of border bands – most recently backing up bluesman Dirty Ray and as part of the rhythm section of zydeco masters Joe le Taxi.

They are joined on their latest album “Cafe Perdido” by the fabulous Welsh singer and songwriter Jess Hall and it’s her you see performing with the band on ‘Poisson Rouge’ the video featured on this page.

The band writes all their own music and over the years this has developed an instantly recognizable house style which owes debts to East Europe and South America as well as jazz and blues. Recently a musician friend hearing the new album for the first time remarked “I know what this is. It’s Tom Waits meets Tom Lehrer” and indeed the music and the lyrics possess both humor and a haunting melancholy.