ARTIST BIOS

Andreas Arnold. As an artist in a globalized world, Andreas Arnold expresses himself through a musical kaleidoscope that reflects the classical traditions of his homeland Germany, jazz from the US where he has been living for the last decade, and music from the Mediterranean, in particular the Spanish art form of flamenco. Through this unique fusion, Arnold proves that purity is not defined by any one culture or style but transpires when one finds his voice to express his personal experience in society, art, and life. While living between New York City and Andalusia, Spain, Arnold has participated in numerous productions as an instrumentalist, composer, improviser, and producer, touring on five continents. On his new album Ojos Cerrados he was accompanied among others by Carles Benavent, legendary and longtime bass player of Paco de Lucia. To date, Arnold has released three albums of original electric and acoustic music under his name. Because of his strong affinity with the Mediterranean, the Goethe Institut Paris commissioned him in 2013 to bring the multimedia performance Suite Camus to the stage. The following year he produced Dunya, the second album of Jordanian vocalist Farah Siraj as well as, A Contraluz, flutist Maria Toro’s debut album that featured the rhythm section of Jean Michel-Pilc, Ben Street and Justin Brown. His latest work Ojos Cerrados, on which he collaborated with vocalists Antonio Lizana, Carles Denia, and Alfonso Cid was recorded in Barcelona and is the vision of flamenco-jazz for an ever-evolving artist.

Anna Librada Georges (Producer and Creative Director) is a classically trained teaching and performing artist with international experience. She has taught percussive dance, flamenco, modern, world dance and yoga throughout the United States, Spain, Italy and Japan. Anna was a featured soloist at the 2010 world premiere of Earthbeat! at Jacob’s Pillow’s Doris Duke Theatre. She has performed at many venues throughout the Northeast and is a longtime member of Vanaver Caravan. Anna moved to Spain, her father’s homeland, to immerse herself in flamenco. She studied with greats La Presy, Ivan Vargas and Fuensanta “La Moneta” and in Sevilla with Isabel Bayon, Manuel Betanzo and Andres Marin. Anna holds a BA in Dance and Arts Management from Emerson College and a Masters of Social Work from Yeshiva University. She lives in Maryland with her husband and daughters.

Bárbara Martinez grew up performing in New York City. Originally from Venezuela, she comes from a lineage of Argentinian tango singers, including her grandmother Morenita Rey and great-aunt Libertad Lamarque. For almost 20 years Bárbara has worked as a dancer and singer with several flamenco dance companies, as well as productions of Carmen at the Metropolitan Opera, where she sang as a child. In 2010, Barbara performed to a sold out house at Carnegie Hall/Weill, singing an eclectic repertoire of flamenco, Latin and world music with a magnificent group of musicians. She has appeared in the documentary “Sobre Las Olas – A Story of Flamenco in the U.S.” by Carolina Loyola-Garcia and the photography exhibit entitled “100 Years of Flamenco in New York

Mario Rincon. Mario is a musical polyglot inspired by a diverse array of traditions. As a child he gained formative instruction from his father – flamenco guitarist Reynaldo Rincon – and sang with the New York Boys Choir backing up Stevie Wonder and Al Green among others. Mario holds a BMus from SUNY Purchase Conservatory of Music, has studied bluegrass guitar with grammy-nominee Michael Daves and flamenco cante in Spain with Rocio Marquez. Today Mario sings professionally with Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana and his father’s company, Romeria Flamenca. He also performs original music with his folk quartet, Steamboats.

Deirdre Towers, producer of the award-winning LA CHANA, is a dancer/ choreographer who works with her composer/guitarist Jared Newman. She produced the Dance on Camera Festival, co-sponsored by the Film Society of Lincoln Center from 1994-2012, and taught flamenco in the NYC school system for 12 years through City Center. Also a writer currently working for The Dance Enthusiast, she taught flamenco history for six summers in Santa Fe, New Mexico for Maria Benitez’ Institute of Spanish Arts. Her multi-media work SURPRISED BY JOY is the latest in a series of installations entitled BELL 8 and multi-media performances that explore emotional waves and the natural trio danced by the light, wind, and the sea.

Paloma de Vega Centenera, Spanish dancer, actress, singer and choreographer, studied at the Real Conservatorio Superior de Danza in Madrid and the New York Film Academy. Recent credits include FAME, Jesus Christ Superstar with The World Voice Ensemble and The Miracle of Christmas

Elisabet Torras Aguilera was born and raised in Barcelona where she studied Flamenco and Danza Española at the Conservatory of Dance and Theatre of Barcelona and continued her studies later in Madrid. Amongst her teachers were La Chana, Carlos Lérida, Carmen La Talegona, Alfonso Losa, Concha Jareño, Belen Cabanes, Gala Vivancos, Javier Latorre, Miguel Ángel Rojas y Carlos Rodríguez, Cristina Casanova, Nuria Truco, Eli La Truco, La Lupi, Eva Yerbabuena, and Belén Maya. Elisabet has toured Europe and Asia with Zarzuela, Clasico Español and Flamenco companies. In 2009 Elisabet was invited as a guest artist for the Flamenco Festival “Viva España” in Moscow and the “Presidence Belge”-Festival in Brussels. She toured Spain and China with Flamenco pianist MANOLO CARRASCO’s company, performed several seasons with JAVIER LATORRE’s Somorrostro Dansa Flamenca Company and danced for ROJAS & RODRIGUEZ Company in Madrid in 2011.

Michael Diago is a Hudson Valley Based flamenco guitarist. Diago’s first guitar lessons were given at the age of twelve in Barcelona, Spain under local Spanish luthier Antonio Sabate; Sabate didn’t teach songs per se but rather storytelling with the guitar.  Diago quickly became interested in rock guitar but as the years went by the sound and feel of the nylon stringed Spanish guitar that he first held drew him back in. Diago picked up the flamenco guitar and poured himself into it, learning technique from NYC based classical and flamenco master Dennis Koster, modern style from New York legend Pedro Cortes, and accompaniment for singers and dancers in the New York based Flamenco Latino Ensemble—co-led by guitarist and singer Basilio Georges and dancer Aurora Reyes. Later Diago would travel back and forth from Spain to soak up the soul and culture of true flamenco by hanging out with old legends like Juan Del Gastor in local Flamenco clubs in Seville and getting lessons from today’s leading professionals like Diego Del Morao back stateside. Outside of Spain, Diago has found the dramatic natural landscape of the Hudson Valley to be the prime setting for Flamenco and he is working with other local Flamenco musicians to build the local scene.