Yuli Sayuri (Director/Singer/Dancer)
Yuli Norrish was born in Tokyo, Japan, and grew up with classical music. Inspired by La Tania's performance in 1999, she started studying Flamenco (baile) and later expanded her study to Flamenco singing (cante) and cajon, which made her unite to her original root, music. She has studied with local and visiting artists from Spain, such as La Tania, Clara Rodriguez, Roberto Zamora, Jose Cortes to name a few. She has also collaborated with a variety of local artists, groups and organizations. She runs Matiz Flamenco and works as an artistic director of San Jose Nuevo Flamenco. She performs and teaches in San Francisco Bay Area.
Aldo Ruiz (Dancer)
Dancer, Aldo Ruiz, started flamenco and classical Spanish dance with Patricia Nader Capitola in CA. Soon after his first performances with the Flamenco Society of San Jose in early 90’s, he performed classical pieces with Tulare County Symphony and Cupertino Symphony. He has been studying Flamenco further mainly from his professional performances with various companies, such as Theatre Flamenco, Navidad Flamenca, San Francisco Opera (La Traviata in 1995, 2001, and 2014 seasons). He’s also performed with leading artists in US, including La Tania, la Monica, Yaelisa, Virginia Iglesias, Pablo Rodarte, Miguel Santos, and Carolina Lugo.
Damien Alvarez (Dancer)
Inspired by Carlos Saura’s film, “Carmen”, Damien began his training with La Monica at age 7. His first performance was at age 12 for Rosa Montoya's annual student production in 1992 and continued to perform through her final show in 2003. He has lived in Spain and studied extensively at Amor de Dios. He has danced with Virginia Iglesias’ flamenco dance company, “Alma Flamenca”, Theater Flamenco, and Yaelisa's Caminos Flamenco II. He has performed under the artistic direction of La Tania, Melissa Cruz, Fanny Ara, and Yaelisa. He taught flamenco at San Francisco State University and currently teaches at DSG studio in SF on Saturday.
Gopal Slavonic (Guitarist)
Gopal Slavonic trained at the prestigious 'Fundacion de Arte Flamenco Cristina Heeren' in Sevilla, Spain where he studied with Miguel Angel Cortez, Jose Postigo, Antonio Carmona, Eduardo Rollabar, Tino Van Der Sman, and Joselito Galvez. He has performed with Cerro Negro, La Fibi, Mark Taylor, Melissa Cruz, La Carola, Roberto Zamora, Pilar Moreno, Zahara, and Jose Galvez.He is regularly performing and teaching flamenco guitar. More info at http://www.flamencodeloro.com/
Chris Cucuzza (Guitarist)
Chris Cucuzza, accomplished soloist, ensemble artist and composer, has been performing flamenco guitar for over fifteen years. He has played extensively in Montreal, Quebec and locally in the San Francisco Bay Area, where he currently directs guitar instruction for The Flamenco Society of San Jose. His music, while rooted in traditional flamenco, is always original, spontaneous, and alive.
Yeshe Wingerd (Guitarist)
Guitarist, Yeshe "Yeshito" Wingerd, was born to a mother from Hakodate, Japan and an American father. He began playing Flamenco guitar at age 19 and studied it as a scholarship student at Fundacion de Arte Flamenco Cristina Heeren in Sevilla, Spain after received BA in Music from Colorado College.
Yukie Takahashi (Dancer)
Yukie Takahashi started to perform flamenco dance from 2002 as a member of Virginia Iglesias flamenco company Alma Flamenca. She has studied and performed with leading local artists such as Yaelisa and La Tania. In Jerez, Spain, she studied with Rafaela Carrasco, Mercedes Ruiz and Isabel Bayon to name a few. She has also studied with visiting artists such as Concha Vargas and José Galván. Currently She is a member of Yaelisa's Caminos II and a local cuadro group Matiz flamenco to perform regularly in the San Francisco and around Bay Area.
Melina Berkov-Rojas (Dancer/Singer)
Hailing Costa Rican roots on her mother’s side, Melina Berkov-Rojas grew up surrounded by music, rhythm, and dance. Her father, an accomplished Flamenco guitarist and luthier, brought Flamenco into her heart. Over the years, she has studied with many renowned artists, including: Rosa Montoya, La Tania, Carola Zertuche, Linda Andrade, Roberto Amaral, and Cihtli Ocampo. More recently, she has focused her Flamenco studies on cante, and has pursued guidance from many singers including: Roberto Zamora, Paco Albiac, Martha Rodriguez-Salazar, Cristo Cortes, and intensive classes with Ethan Margolis. She has performed at various theaters, restaurants, and other venues throughout the Los Angeles and San Francisco areas over the years.
Wakana Iversen (Dancer)
Flamenco Dancer and a pianist, Wakana Iversen, was born in Tokyo, Japan and hold BA in Music (piano) from Musashino Acadmia Musicae. She began studying flamenco dancing at Naoko Iyeki’s Flamenco school in Tokyo in 1995 and later worked as an assistant teacher of the school. She has studied Flamenco with various artists in Tokyo and Jerez, Spain, such as Milagros Mengibar, Matilde Coral, Antonio el Pipa, and Manolete. She performed at a flamenco tablao, “Sala Andaluza”, in Tokyo. She is a core member of Matiz Flamenco and performs in Bay Area.
Andrea la Canela (Dancer)
Andrea La Canela dances throughout California, having recently returned from living & dancing in Spain. Flamenco studies include Diana Alejandra, La Tania, Juana Amaya, Jose Galvan & Belen Maya, to name a few. She left Santa Cruz on a sailboat after 33 years of making a career with flamenco teaching & performing. Her time in Andalusia was very inspiring, especially Bulerias with the gypsies. More info at http://www.andrealacanela.com/
Valerie Pintado (Singer/Dancer)
Singer, Valerie Pintado Hernandez was born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico. She started cante classes with Roberto Zamora in 2009 and is studying with Jose Cortes, Kina Mendez, and Clara Rodriguez. She sang "Fumando Espero" in HBO movie, Hemingway and Gellhorn. She is a core member of Matiz Flamenco.