Denise Joanna Mendoza Canso
Juan de Marias
Denise Joanna Mendoza Canso – Baile
Born in Manila, Philippines Denise began her flamenco dance studies with Vancouver’s finest including Rosario Ancer, Karen Pitkethly, Kasandra Lea and Oscar Nieto. Denise made her performing debut under the training of Rosario Ancer and Mariano Cruceta of Madrid in the 2006 Flamenco Rosario production of Los Cuatro Vientos. In 2009 Denise took a sabbatical year from her public health career to pursue her passion for flamenco in Seville, Spain where she studied with Angel Atienza, Isabel Bayon, Juana Amaya, Juan de los Reyes and Soraya Clavijo. Denise is pleased to come back to Canada and work with good friends at the 2010 Toronto International Flamenco Festival Canadian Showcase.
Arash Mohammadi - Guitarra
Arash was born in Tehran and at 15 years of age decided to learn flamenco guitar after listening to a recording of Paco de Lucia playing with De Meola and John McLaughlin. At 19 years of age Arash moved to Seville, Spain where he studied for two years at the prestigious Fundacion Cristina Heeren and three years at the Conservatory of Music. He has studied and collaborated with professionals such as Nino Pura and Pedro Sierra. Arash performs in various venues throughout Seville with a multitude of dancers, singers and musicians. Arash is focused on sharing flamenco with all people and cultures.
Juan de Marias - Guitarra
Juan has worked as both soloist and accompanist for numerous singers and dancers.
Musical director, founding member and principal guitarist of the flamenco troupe Flamenko’s formerly known as ‘Elias Vargas and Company’, arranged the production ‘Gypsy Soul’, which has been presented for two years in many locations in British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan.
Juan has performed in Spain, England, Chile, United States and Canada. He is a regular performer at the flamenco circles in Vancouver as a soloist and with his troupe ‘Mimbre Flamenco’. He also teaches flamenco guitar and in December of 2004 released his first album “Mimbre” featuring his compositions and arrangements of several popular flamenco styles.
He is constantly looking for new forms of expression with other music influences such as the recent work in collaboration with opera simger Diana Diaz, violinist Roxana Avalos-Calderon and Indian sarode virtuoso Anupam Shobhakar. His work has been also choreographed and presented at the prestigious Palau de la Música in Barcelona, Spain.
Exceptional bass player and composer Dustin Shaskin is busy working in Toronto’s music scene. His first music lessons were when he was 6 years old on his mother’s classical guitar. Dustin was fortunate to grow up in a musical family who encouraged him to play the bass in his early teens. Within a month of playing the bass Dustin joined his first blues/rock band with school friends. While in this band they won school and community talent shows and began playing concerts.
As part of a middle school band assignment Dustin attended a concert that had a major impact on him. He attended and critiqued Canadian Latin-flamenco guitarist Robert Michaels and was amazed and captivated by the power of this music. It was this show that started Dustin’s love affair with flamenco music that continues to this day. A number of years later Dustin joined the band of Robert Michaels and performed internationally with him.
Dustin’s continued passion for music soon led him to study with John Hyde, a first-call bassist in Calgary and head of Mount Royal College’s jazz program. After graduating high-school Dustin continued to studied jazz at Mount Royal College with John Hyde. At the end of this 2-year program, Dustin graduated with honors and received an impressive 6 scholarships for his musical and scholastic achievements. In the fall of 2002 Dustin traveled 3430 kilometers away from his home in Calgary to Toronto, Ontario. Here Dustin spent 3 years studying at Humber College with Canadian jazz legends like Don Thompson, Mike Downes, and Hilario Duran. Outside of school Dustin studied flamenco guitar with Miguel de la Bastide. Again Dustin graduated with honors and received his BA in Music.
With the experience of playing both jazz and flamenco, it was time for Dustin to express his own musical voice. Dustin began writing for his own group The Café Olé and brought together the best young musicians he had met in Toronto. On April 1, 2007 the group received a grant from the Ontario Arts Council to help record their debut album "Cuanto Tardaré." The album has tracked in the top 5 on Earshot Magazine’s music charts and won Best Latin-Jazz Album and Best Latin-Jazz Song (Café Olé) in the 2007 Toronto Exclusive Music Awards. The band also won 2 prestigious songwriting awards; “Cuanto Tardaré” won the 2007 Luis Advis International Songwriting Competition in Chile, and “Mujer de Ojos Color Triste” won the Song-of-the-year award from SongOfTheYear.com (best jazz/instrumental song). The album was nominated for Best Jazz Album at the 2007 Toronto Independent Music Awards and the 2007 Ontario Independent Music Awards.
In 2008 Dustin enrolled at York University and began working on his master’s degree in composition focusing on flamenco-jazz. During this time he met flamenco guitarist Ruben Diaz, a disciple of flamenco legend Paco de Lucia, who has been mentoring Dustin in Paco de Lucia’s technique and compositions. Dustin has just recently completed his master’s degree at York and continues to perform with Ruben Diaz, The Café Olé, and other flamenco and jazz groups in Toronto.
Lisa La Mantia
Noelia La Morocha
Lisa’s flamenco training began in Hamilton, Ontario, under the tutelage of Canadian Flamenco dance pioneer, Paula Moreno. In 1997, Lisa began to intensify her studies with acclaimed performer and teacher, Esmeralda Enrique. In the past ten years, she has studied both in Canada and in Spain with many of flamenco’s greatest artists including, Andres Marin, Mercedes Ruiz, Juan Ogalla, Isabel Bayon & Torombo.
Over the past five years Lisa has performed with Toronto’s most prominent flamenco companies including the Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company and Compañia Carmen Romero. Lisa is one of the primary dancers for Canadian flamenco composer Jorge Miguel and his flamenco ensemble. She has worked extensively across Canada in venues such as the Michael J Fox Theatre in Burnaby BC, London’s Sunfest, Sanderson Centre for the Performing arts in Brantford and The Missisauga Living Arts Centre.
Lisa is the prominent flamenco presence in Hamilton. She teaches at the Hamilton Conservatory for the Arts, where she has fostered and grown a flamenco community that is not only dedicated to flamenco dance, but takes pride in its knowledge in the art of flamenco as a way of life.
Jose de la Vega
Jafelin was born in Ciudad Bolivar, Venezuela, a country where Spanish influence is ever-present. Since her childhood, it was evident that singing and dancing were not only a passion, but a gift as well. In her teens, Jafelin studied and performed contemporary dance, and she later took voice lessons with renowned Venezuelan tenor Carlos Almenar Otero.
Oddly enough, Jafelin’s lifelong interest in Flamenco only bloomed upon her coming to Canada in 1996, where she took Flamenco dance lessons at the Spanish Cultural Center in New Westminster with Professor Monzón, and later with Rosario Ancer at Centro Flamenco and Al Mozaico Flamenco Dance Academy under the guidance of Oscar Nieto and Kasandra. Jafelin also had the good fortune to workshop with various Spanish Flamenco singers, such as, Momi de Cadiz, Jesus Flores de Moron, David Hornillo, Cristo Cortez, and Manuel Ta both in Seville, Spain and Vancouver. Jafelin has traveled and performed at many local venues in Orlando, Florida, the Caribbean, Caracas, Venezuela and at numerous venues in British Columbia, Canada.
It wasn’t long before Jafelin became a regular in Flamenco circles around the Greater Vancouver area, performing both as bailaora (dancer) and cantaora (singer). Jafelin’s particular talent as cantaora didn’t go unnoticed, and she was invited to contribute to Juan de Maria’s CD Mimbre, where she performs the song Los Tientos de La Niña with her trademark intense, deep-felt passion. She has since created her first solo CD, Tantos Caminos, in collaboration with guitarist, Gerardo Alcala (Gary Hayes), in which they offer renditions of popular traditional Flamenco forms. Yet, Jafelin is never satisfied with her art and is always striving for more. Jafelin is currently working on her next CD project of Latin Classics in collaboration with guitarist Ivan Dimitrov.
Jafelin often performs with the Flamenco Alcalá group, Flamencocoast.com and with other groups and musicians in the Greater Vancouver area. She has appeared in many theatre shows and at restaurants such as Kino Café, The Lime, East is East to name a few. Jafelin can be seen and heard at her web site, www.jafelin.com.
Noelia La Morocha
Lisa La Mantia
Noelia La Morocha (Flamenco Dancer) has been dancing her whole life. She began in her native Argentina with Argentinean folklore and "Malambo", a traditional music that has no lyrics and is based entirely on rhythm. With strong foundations laid, she moved onto more modern forms of dance. Influenced by her grandmother's love for Flamenco and her own intrigue with movement, percussion and the emotion of dance, she began her formal Flamenco training in Toronto in 2002 with Carmen Romero. She has since trained intensively with mentors from Spain such as La Farruca, Juana Amaya, Soledad Barrio, Andres Marin, Domingo Ortega, Alejandro Granados, Mercedes Ruiz and Juan Ogalla among others. La Morocha spent 2004 - 2006 in Buenos Aires where she started dancing in "tablaos" with gypsies, and found that Flamenco was not only a dance, but her true passion. In 2006, as part of Twin Power Productions, she organized, produced and performed in "Las Lunares + Venlucia", a showcase of Argentinean Flamenco talent which was performed in many theaters in Buenos Aires to critical acclaim.
Upon her return to Toronto, La Morocha quickly re-established her presence in the local Flamenco circuit, performing in collaboration with The Red Festival, Los Amigos de Pilar, Santerías and Jorge Miguel, among others, and has recently joined the prominent Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company. La Morocha currently performs regularly at Plaza Flamingo, Embrujo Flamenco, and Lula Lounge.
She was recently in Seville for 4 months were she trained intensively with Pilar Ogalla, Adela Campallo, Alicia Marquez and Yolanda Heredia.
A long-time established dancer in Montreal, Hedi has been following her passion for Flamenco for over 15 years. She trained for many years in Spain at the feet of the masters of Flamenco like La Chiqui de Jerez, Javier Cruz, Javier Latorre, Eva La Yerbabuena, Concha Vargas, La Castano, Curro Sendra, El Torombo and Los Farrucos.
In addition to this she worked with the great Angelita Vargas who played a key role in her artistic development. After refining her stage experience and teaching in Spain, France, and Switzerland, she then founded Mektoub Flamenco, where she developed her skills as a teacher and interpreter.
Hedi has self produced sold out shows on several Montreal stages. She was also part of the Fringe Festival with the guitar virtuoso Ricardo Garcia in Toronto and Ottawa. Her teaching and her dancing are based on deep expressions of emotions, the strength and rhythm of the feet and control of the body.
To find out more about Hedi, visit her website at www.mektoubflamenco.com
Une danseuse établie à Montréal depuis plusieurs années, suit sa passion pour le Flamenco depuis une quinzaine d’années. Elle a acquis une solide formation de plusieurs années en Espagne auprès de grands maîtres du Flamenco tels la Chiqui de Jerez, Javier Cruz, Javier Latorre, Eva La Yerbabuena, Concha Vargas, La Castano, Curro Sendra, El Torombo et Los Farrucos.
A cela s’ajoute sa rencontre avec la grande Angelita Vargas qui fut déterminante dans son parcours artistique. Ayant affiné son expérience de la scène et l’enseignement en Espagne, en France et en Suisse, elle fonde Mektoub Flamenco où elle développe son art en tant que professeur et interprète.
Elle se produit sur diverses scènes montréalaises et a mis sur pied des spectacles à guichet fermé. Elle a également fait partie du Fringe Festival aux côtés du virtuose de la guitare Ricardo Garcia a Toronto et à Ottawa. Son enseignement tout comme sa danse sont basés sur l’expression profonde des sentiments et des émotions, la force et la rythmique du jeu de pieds et la sobriété du corps.
Pour en savoir plus sur Hedi, svp visitez son site web à www.mektoubflamenco.com
El Pachuco discovered music in his teenage years playing his guitar in the popular Latin parties. In 2000, he took his first trip to Spain to learn to play the flamenco guitar. He found his true passion for this art form in Andalucía, where its essence was passed down to him from the gypsies of Cadiz, Sevilla, Grenada and Jerez. In 2002, he studied classical guitar at the Cégep St-Laurent when he stopped after one year to fully dedicate himself to the study of the Flamenco guitar. In 2006, he collaborated with a recording of a “maquette” with Gabi Macaluso then organizes a guitar recital in parallel with this project. From 2006 to 2008, he has had the opportunity to accompany dancers like Rae Bowhay, Hedi Arquillieres, Marie Deschênes, and to collaborate with musicians like Zal Idrissa Sissohko and Hassan El Hadi. El Pachuco regularly self produces on the Montreal Flamenco stages in addition to accompanying dance school recitals. In 2008, he created a monthly event, called “Le Cabaret Flamenco” that has as its goal to promote local flamenco in all its forms.
El Pachuco découvre la musique au travers de sa guitare à l’adolescence lors des fêtes populaires latines. En 2000 il entreprend un premier voyage en Espagne afin d’apprendre à jouer de la guitare flamenca. Arrivé en Andalousie, il se découvre une vraie passion pour cette forme d’art dont l’essence lui a été révélée par le peuple gitan de Cadix, Séville, Grenade et Jerez. En 2002, il entreprend une formation en guitare classique au Cégep St-Laurent qu’il interrompt après une année afin de se dédier à temps plein à l’étude de la guitare flamenca. Il collabore en 2006 à l’enregistrement d’une maquette avec Gabi Macaluso puis organise un récital de guitare parallèlement à ce projet. De 2006 à 2008, il a la chance d’accompagner des danseuses telles que Rae Bowhay, Hedi Arquillieres, Marie Deschênes et de collaborer avec des musiciens tels que Zal Idrissa Sissohko et Hassan El Hadi. El Pachuco se produit régulièrement sur la scène montréalaise de flamenco en plus d’accompagner les spectacles de fin d’années de certaines écoles de danse. En 2008, il crée un évènement mensuel, Le Cabaret Flamenco, qui vise à promouvoir le flamenco local sous toutes ses formes