Since forming in 1988, Tempest has delivered a globally-renowned hybrid of high-energy Folk Rock fusing Irish reels, Scottish ballads, Norwegian influences and other world music elements. The last 30 years have seen the San Francisco Bay Area based act release seventeen critically acclaimed CDs and play more than 2,500 gigs. It’s also enjoyed an evolving line-up that’s enabled musicianship and creativity to rise with each new member.
Hailing from Oslo, Norway, founding member and lead singer/electric mandolinist, Lief Sorbye, is recognized as a driving force in the modern folk-rock movement. He started Tempest after years of touring and recording on the folk circuit. San Francisco fiddler Kathy Buys brings her international award winning playing to the Tempest stage. Her experience performing world-fusion music with high energy dance bands combined with many years of playing Irish traditional music in America and Ireland makes her a perfect fit for Tempest. Driving in from the North Bay area is Josh Fossgreen, an exceptional musical talent whose innovative bass textures add a rich dimension to the Tempest soundscape. And Northern California’s own young Indian-American progressive guitarist, Ab Menon, skids to a flaming stop on the Tempest stage, replete with flying dreadlocks, dazzling string stylings and a sense of ticklish fun. Cuban-born drummer Adolfo Lazo, an original Tempest member, colors the band’s sound with inventive rhythms, and rock-steady drumming.
Signed to Sony-distributed Magna Carta Records, Tempest’s releases are acclaimed worldwide. This year, the group celebrates it’s 30th Anniversary with the latest studio CD, Thirty Little Turns, a collection of inspired new original and traditional material — with a cheeky surprise or two.
Tempest is regularly featured at prestigious festivals such as The Philadelphia Folk Festival, and has also appeared at Denmark’s Skagen Festival, Britain’s Cropredy Festival and The Winnipeg Folk Festival in Canada. The band is a mainstay at countless American Celtic festivals, as well.