Flamenco Viñedo

Flamenco Music and Dance in the California Wine Country

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Melissa Cruz

Melissa Cruz is a Bay Area-based flamenco professional and has been a full-time flamenco artist and instructor for the past 12 years. Originally from New Orleans, Louisiana, she came to the Bay Area to pursue a law career. After being exposed to flamenco while studying Spanish at UC Berkeley, she began dancing with Rosa Montoya and soon thereafter, joined Ms. Montoya's professional company. Since then, she has built a career dancing, mentoring new dancers and choreographing flamenco across the United States. Garnering years of experience as a company dancer and soloist, she presented her own production in 2007, La Vida Flamenca, in both San Francisco and Houston, Texas. She regularly performs in the local flamenco cabaret circuit, allowing her to develop renown improvisation and responsiveness skills. A versatile artist growing up studying piano, guitar and drums has made her a much sought-after guest performer in many musical projects, including local bands Alta California, LaRuya, and LoCura. She can often be seen performing at the most prestigious theaters, including the San Francisco Opera House and the Hollywood Bowl, as well as at smaller local venues like Yoshi's Jazz Club and the Elbo Room. Recently, she served as Adjunct Dance Faculty at The University of San Francisco, as a guest instructor at the world dance youth program, Danceversity, and is currently, regularly presenting her apprentice dance group. Melissa performed as a soloist in the 2012 San Francisco International Arts Festival and has presented in seven San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festivals, in 2010 and 2011, as a featured soloist. She was commissioned to present a solo representing the genre of flamenco for the 2013 San Francisco Isadora Duncan Awards Ceremony and this year was a featured artist in the 2014 Festival de Flamenco in San Francisco and in the 6th Annual Tucson Flamenco Festival. As described by Rachel Howard of the SF Chronicle: "Any dancer could make pained faces. But Cruz is clearly possessed by the duende -- the spirit that drives this deeply introspective art."
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Daniel Fríes

Daniel Fríes is one of the premier flamenco guitarists in California, both as an accompanist for flamenco song and dance, and as a soloist. He has performed with many world class and local flamenco artists as La Tania, Andrés Marín, Cristo Cortés, and Manuel Gutierrez, Caminos Flamencos, Carola Zertuche, Arte y Compás, and Carolina Lugo's Brisas de España, for which he has been musical director. While in Italy, he performed with two of the country's top dancers, Juana Cala, and Maria Jose Soto Leon in venues from Venice to Milan to Sicily. While his playing style remains grounded in the roots of the traditional Spanish flamenco, he also explores new directions in musical composition as well as blending of elements from the various musical traditions around which he grew up in San Francisco; Indian, Middle Eastern, Latin American, and African. He has performed in venues ranging from San Francisco's Palace of Fine Arts and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, to venues in China and in India. He also directed the music for "Zambra Bailar," a company mixing flamenco with Middle Eastern music and belly dance. In 2002, he composed and directed the music for La Tania's ongoing project, "The Passage of The Muse." In 2003, Mr. Fríes took his band Funkiri to Sevilla, Spain. More recently, he has pursued collaborations with a wider range of musicians, including the outstanding persian singer Hamed Nikpay, with whom he produced Mr. Nikpay's 2008 release and subsequent tour "All is Calm." Mr. Fríes has studied in Spain with several flamenco guitar masters, including Manolo Sanlucar, Paco Peña, and Jose Luis Rodriguez. He has also studied Indian Classical music under Ustad Ali Akbar Khan, and Ghanain drumming with C.K. Ladezkpo, and has B.A. in Music from U.C. Berkeley.
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Bianca Rodriguez

Laredo, TX native, Bianca Rodriguez began dancing Ballet and Spanish classical dance at age three. For most of her youth she studied dance, music, and theatre arts. Bianca received a BA in Dance with an emphasis in Flamenco from UNM. While living in New Mexico she studied with La Tati, Karime Amaya, Inmaculada Ortega, Manuel Linan, and Adela Campallo. Upon graduating from college she traveled to Spain and India for several months, studying the music and dance of those cultures. While in Spain Bianca studied with Juana Amaya, El Torombo, Farruquito, Juan Polvillo, and Angelita Vargas. Before leaving Spain she performed with a group in a popular tablao in Sevilla, Spain. Once she returned from her travels, Bianca danced for Juan Siddi and Antonio Granjero at The Lodge in Santa Fe, NM as a core dancer. She toured for New York based company, Carlota Santana’s, performing in a school outreach program in North Carolina. Bianca currently lives in Oakland,CA, collaborating with local artists as well as teaching Yoga and Pilates through out the bay area.
Clara Rodroguez

Clara Rodriguez discovered her love for the artform of Flamenco 25 years ago in her native Santa Barbara, CA. She has since toured the U.S., performing at esteemed venues such as The Palace of Fine Arts, War Memorial Opera House, Yerba Buena Center, Paramount Theater and Greek Theater of Los Angeles amongst many others. She has performed in the flamenco tablaos of Granada, Spain and was invited to perform in India & Portugal. She is a sought after dance soloist and singer and has performed with all of the leading flamenco companies of the Bay Area.
Azriel "El Moreno" Singer

Azriel began studying flamenco dance in with Rafael Martos during the Santa Fe Flamenco Festival. Soon after, he was introduced to the flamenco cante (singing) by New Mexico guitarist Ives Lucero. Under the artistic direction of Ramona Garduno, Azriel began performing as a singer and dancer with group Aire Flamenco in 1998. He studied with many renowned spanish artists such as dancers Joaquin Hidalgo, Joaquin Ruiz, Javier Latorre, Antonio Granjero, Domingo Ortega, Manuel Betanzos, Rafael Campallo and Andres Marin and singers Jesus Montoya, Silverio Heredia, Cristo Cortez, Jose Anillo and Juan Suarez. In 1999 he moved to the San Francisco Bay Area and has since been performing as a singer with many local artists and most regular flamenco venues.
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Roberto Zamora has been a performer of flamenco song and dance for 35 years. He is a well-known and welcome guest at regional festivals in Andalusia, southern Spain, where he has immersed himself for many years in Andalusian culture and its gypsy flamenco heartbeat. Roberto’s style and knowledge has been inspired through close association with flamenco legends “La Fernanda" and "La Bernarda,” Pepe Rios, “Anzonini del Puerto,” “el Funi,” Agustín Rios, and Juan del Gastor and the gypsies of Morón de la Frontera. He has performed in Spain with Juan del Gastor, in Canada and throughout the U.S. with various companies, among them Flamenco Viñedo, La Tania Flamenco Music and Dance, La Monica Pasión Flamenca, Rosa Montoya Bailes Flamencos, and others.
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Trio Paz (Instrumental flamenco music for cocktails, dinner, dancing etc)

"Trio Paz embodies the essence of what is great about live music"

Trio Paz is an infectious musical mix of Flamenco Rumba, Latin, and Brazilian, intricately and virtuosically crafted into the perfect blend of delicious moods for your event. Whether you're planning the perfect romantic moment, a joyous festival celebration, or a sumptuous feast, Trio Paz adds an unparalleled latin flair. Trio Paz's experience, depth, professionalism, and sheer love for music translate into an unforgettably enjoyable experience for everyone.

"Guitarist Daniel Fríes provides the bands flawless rhythm, setting up fellow guitarist JP Boungiorno's impressive leads and sweet mellodies.  All to the while, percussionist Surya Patri lays down masterful beats with a playful tempo that gets your feet moving and won't let them stop. Whether your dancing or watching, Trio Paz keeps it exciting and fun (If you're watching then I would like to see a note from your doctor).  They have an engaging and lighthearted stage presence that embodies the essence of what is great about live music." -Chad Markell, a satisfied Groom.

Let Trio Paz help make your event a success!