Meet CMP Senior Jordan Solis

Senior CMP major Jordan Solis sings, plays bass guitar, percussion, and piano. Photo by Rebeca Gonzalez.

Senior CMP major Jordan Solis sings, plays bass guitar, percussion, and piano. Photo by Rebeca Gonzalez.

A few weeks ago, Jordan Solis performed his senior show in the O’Shaughnessey Performance Space. His lively combination of reggae and classics like “I Shot the Sheriff” brought in such a full house of enthusiastic fans that many were forced to spill out through the back door. Solis was originally scheduled to perform in the Tipton courtyard, but a cold rain forced a quick move to O’Shaghnessey. But even those listening through the door didn’t mind standing in the cold for Solis’ bass guitar and raw vocals.

Solis started with music at about 10 years old when he began messing around with his grandmother’s piano. “I was just playing keys like, ‘Whatever,’ and eventually she started me on piano lessons,” Solis says. “After that I went into my middle school band program and after that I fell in love with it, I love playing music. It’s always been a big part of my life.” From middle school, Solis went on to play percussion in his high school marching band and came to college to study mallet percussion. In total he plays five instruments, though percussion can be split into a whole array of instruments in which Solis is proficient.

In the middle of his senior performance, Solis makes a quick transition while one of his fellow musicians plays a solo. He whips off his bass guitar and throws on a set of drums just in time to beat his way back into the melody. The crowd hollers in excitement and Solis seems to radiate in his performance. “I love seeing people dance, I love seeing people groove with what I’m doing, I feed off of the way people react to my music,” Solis says. “And so I love being able to make people happy and to make people forget about the stuff that’s getting them down. I love being a good performer.”

After graduation, Solis is scheduled to have an EP released in the coming months with his signature combination of reggae, cuban music, salsa and drumming. After that, he’s just looking to make his way as a professional musician however he can. “I hope to just chip away, make a name for myself wherever I find myself, in Santa Fe or someplace else.” After these years at SFUAD, Solis says he has been able to build strong relationships with his peers and instructors. “I feel like I’ve made very good connections and had a very good opportunity to network. [Contemporary Music Chairman] Horace [Young] knows everybody…I realized, and it took me four years to realize it, but these are the people that I’m going to be working with as a professional,” Solis says. “These are the musicians of the next generation and to build good relationships with them and to network with them…is really what I think has been my most valuable experience here at SFUAD.”