Flamenco is a very soulful, passionate art form influenced by various cultures and peoples as they made their travels throughout Spain. It is believed that the roots of flamenco lie in northern India with the nomadic tribes who left their country and began traveling westward. At times, the music and dance is very haunting and dramatic. At other times, it is joyous and celebratory. From the intricate falsetas and powerful strums on the guitars to the rhythmic heelwork and castanets of the dancers, often counter playing the syncopated beats with palmas, flamenco is undeniably unique and expressive – a truly fascinating experience for all. (Lisa Montes)
Co-producer, for more info continue below
Larry Fratangelo (perc.)
Michael Shimmin (d)
Takashi Iio (b)
Performed for Felipe VI, King of Spain.
Travels Internationally performing with her husband Marcos Palometa..
Featured vocalist at Venta El Gallo. Cueva Flamenco in Granada, Spain.
Started his training under master Antonin Vallejo in the Reina Sofia Municipal School of Flamenco at the age of 9 and has been consolidating himself during his career giving classes along with masters such as Antonio Canales, Juan Andrés maya, Eva Yerbabuena, Juana Amaya or Andrés Peña.
After winning a Fuensanta “La Moneta” prize for Scenic Arts at just 11 years old he started working in the various “tablaos” and caves in Sacromonte. At 14, he won the First Prize to the Young Flamencoes of Granada as a dancer.
He is a multidisciplinary artist, mastering dancing as well as percussion. He has performed in a variety of relevant festivals, such as the Museumsuferfest Frankfurt and has collaborated as a dancer and percussionist in shows, along with the likes of Antonio Canales, Juana Maya, Andrés Peña, etc…
He collaborates with different styles of artists and musicians in jazz or folk music.
He has been a dance teacher, nowadays in the Reina Sofia Municipal School and has also taught “cajon” (rectangular percussion instrument used in flamenco) and compass in different international flamenco schools (Reja Flamenca Rivelsaltes in France and Barquisimeto in Venezuela).
He starts playing the guitar at the age of ten with his father. He was later taught by other guitarists of his neighbourhood such as Jorge Gómez. He later goes to Madrid to take classes from the master guitarists “El Viejín”. He continues to learn to this day, with courses like the one he took with Manolo Sanlúcar in Córdoba in 2005. In 2003 he participated in the performance “Un, Dos, tres. Faa…” by Mario Maya, presented in the Festival de Jerez 2004. He has performed in many countries such as Germany, Italy, France, Morocco, Mexico or Russia among others. .
Nowadays he combines his flamenco performances with collaborations with artist of other genres like jazz, pop, blues or house. He works in several tablaos and peñas in Granada and Tarragona. He has accompanied great artists such as Patricia Guerrero, Juan Ramírez, Marina Heredia, el Tortas, Parrita or Belén López among others. He has been on stage with artists like Antonio Canales, Conchi Heredia, el Pele, Calixto Sánchez, Potito, Diego Amador or Tomatito. In 2003 he received the Manuel Cano award and in 2010 the Club Costa award in Granada. In Carmen de las Cuevas he sporadically gives guitar courses and he artfully accompanies the advanced and intermediate dance classes." (carmencuevas)
as with most artists who break with convention started out learning and working within rigid structures, and after studying under the Master Flamenco Guitarist, Juan Serrano for several years, Garialan began to compose his own compositions and develop his own unique personal style.
The art of Flamenco guitar is just now coming into it's own, and Garialan Blugraye has taken it a step further by creating
a new sound dimension for the Flamenco guitar he calls Progressive Flamenco.
Garialan's compositions are a remarkable adventure into that wonderful new world that combines experiment with known
forms and styles that show reverence for traditional flamenco while using it as a catalyst for new creation.
Born in Santa Fe de Bogotá, Colombia, Daniel Sánchez has a
MS in Mechanical Engineering and an MBA. The son of a civil engineer, Daniel traveled with his family while living overseas, becoming exposed to many folkloric musical styles. During his temporary residence in Britain, he learned to play the Scottish bagpipes, and is a member of the Detroit St. Andrew's Pipe
Band since 1989. He taught himself to play the Galician bagpipes which are part of the
traditional music of NW Spain. At the age of 18, Daniel was initiated on the guitar by his father Carlos Sanchez and uncle Ramiro Puerta, and then took up flamenco, largely self-taught. His greatest
influences in flamenco are Paco Peña and Juan Serrano, and he is lately continuing studies with the Chicago-based guitarist Diego Alonso. He had the opportunity to play alongside Juan Serrano during a concert with Dame Maria del Carmen Grupo España. Daniel was a guitarist, vocalist and Galician bagpiper for the legendary Dame Maria del Carmen Grupo España for over 10 years. He continues to perform with former members of Grupo España, who subsequently formed the group El Alma Española.
Beatrice Hilado began her musical studies at the age of 5, specializing in piano and winning awards in both performance and composition. Not only does she teach private piano lessons at a music school in Dearborn Heights, but her love for music extended into a variety of instruments, including percussion. Beatrice performs as a percussionist for the metro-Detroit Spanish dance company, El Alma Española, where she originally began as a dance student under co-founder Victoria Lara.
"From the metro Detroit Michigan area originally, Daniel began his flamenco studies in 1999 while living in San Francisco. Studying with acclaimed flamenco guitarist Jason McGuire, musical director of "Caminos Flamencos".
In 2001 he then bought a one way ticket to Spain, spending an entire year in Sevilla and the surrounding pueblos experiencing and soaking up the rich and intricate art of Flamenco.
Daniel has been fortunate enough to study directly with artists such as Miguel Ángel Cortes, Antonio Moya, Felipe Maya, Juan Del Gastor, and Pepe Maya (son of the great Juan Maya "Marote").
Daniel moved back to Sevilla, Spain in 2008 to continue his flamenco Detroit studies focusing particularly on deepening his understanding of the flamenco "cante" (singing). In July 2010 he relocated to Cairo, Egypt to pursue his interest of learning Arabic and experiencing middle Eastern Culture. He is currently living in Metro Detroit, MI." (heliotricity.)
Elden Kelly is a guitarist originally from Vermont, now living in Lansing. His music, as both singer-songwriter and instrumentalist, is jazz fusion influenced by a variety of classical and world music styles including N. Indian, middle eastern and flamenco. He is also well-known as an educator. For more info check out official WEBSITE
Lisa Montes began studying and performing Spanish dancing at the age of seven with her grandmother, Dame Maria del Carmen. She is highly trained in the classical, regional and flamenco dances of Spain. Highlights of her career include dancing with the Michigan Opera Theater in Bizet’s Carmen and performing with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra in their presentation of the music of Manuel de Falla. In 2016 she performed at the Fox Theater in Detroit for TedEx in a fusion piece created by Lana Mini of Detroit bellydance. Lisa began instructing dance under the direction of her grandmother. She was later invited to perform and teach a master class in the U.K. and then by Henry Ford Community College’s Full Circle Dance Company as a master instructor. She has recorded and performed with flamenco guitarist Garialan Blugraye and Sean Blackman’s highly regarded local ensemble In Transit. In the U.S. and in her annual travels to Spain, Lisa has had the opportunity to study with various masters of Spanish dance including, Paco Alonso, Wendy Clinard, Omayra Amaya, Sonia Olla, Vida Peral, Estefanía Martínez, Raimundo Benítez, Pilar Fajardo, Javier Martos and Judit Cabrera, Kika Quesada, Conchi Maya, Maripaz Lucena and Ana Calí. Although inspired by many of the greats of Spanish dance, her truest inspiration will always be her grandmother.
Victoria Lara started her dance career at the young age of 5. She was trained classically in Ballet, Tap, Jazz and Middle Eastern. She joined the Windsor City Ballet dancing in the Nutcracker in Toronto at the age of 13. She continued training and competing and went on to win 1st place and over all status. DMM and DMA.
Her love for Flamenco started when she seen Grupo España perform in a tablao. Dame Maria Del Carmen then became her mentor, not only learning Flamenco but Spanish Regional Dances. She has danced with Maria’s Grupo España as a principal dancer in many venues, including Detroit Opera House, Meadowbrook w/ DSO, Michigan Theatre, OCC, Cambridge Arts, The Players Club, OU, Wayne State, Detroit Country Day, WCCC and Music Hall. She has also danced at the top Tablao settings in metro Detroit and throughout Michigan. She has taught apprentice classes with Maria Del Carmen and went on to teach workshops all across Michigan. Victoria has trained with other Master Flamenco artists such as Vida Peral, Paco Alonso and Wendy Clinard. Most recently spending time in Granada Spain training at Carmen de Las Cuevas. Her recent work includes dancing in Carmen at the Detroit Opera House, DOT for TED X at the Fox theater and the DIA gala. Victoria is one of the founders of El Alma Española.
The late Dama Maria del Carmen’s career in Spanish dance began at the age of thirteen in New York City. Recognized for her true “Spanish style” and charisma, she performed. throughout the United States, Canada and various South and Central American countries as both a soloist and a choreographer alongside such masters as José Greco, Carlos Montoya, Juan Serrano and Sabicas. Following her marriage, she decided to remain in the Michigan area to teach Spanish Dance.. In 1990, she was awarded the title, “Dame” by King Juan Carlos of Spain in recognition of her work in Spanish art and culture. Dame Maria founded Grupo España, Spanish Dance Theatre, of which she was the director, instructor and choreographer. It was through her artistry, influence and teaching that the Spanish/flamenco dance culture in Detroit was born. Her granddaughters, Lisa and Mari Montes and longtime company member Victoria Lara carried on her legacy with their own Spanish dance ensemble, Alma Española.
Alma Española is a Spanish dance company that features local talent from the metro-Detroit area. Founded by Victoria Lara and Lisa and Mari Montes in 2003 while still principal dancers in the late Dame Maria del Carmen’s Grupo España. Alma Española, or “Spanish Soul,” is dedicated to preserving the traditional art forms as well as the more popular artistry form of Flamenco from Spain. Alma Española performs nearly every facet of Spanish dance from Regional and Classical to Flamenco.
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