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The Lee Shaw Scholarship Fund

At our next concert (January 8, 2017):


Maria Zemantauski is one of the world’s few heralded female flamenco-style guitarists, and one of even fewer female flamenco composers. She has performed in Spain, Italy and across the continental United States to great acclaim. Her albums, Mrs. Laughinghouse (1997), Seeing Red (2000), Under the Lemon Tree (2005) and Petty Feet & Mistletoe (2010), have received stellar reviews from music critics around the world.

Maria’s programs are a dynamic blend of artistic freedom, innovation and tradition. This is not surprising considering that as a child, she resisted guitar lessons, telling her encouraging parents that she wanted to “discover the instrument on her own without being told what to do.” As one reviewer wrote, “Zemantauski has continually pushed the boundaries of the possible with her trusty 6-string, blending genres that have little or no business appearing on the same bill, much less in the same song. It's rarely less than electrifying to watch her do it." She believes that the expressive possibilities of the guitar are limitless and pursues her music with passion, confidence and grace.

With a master's degree in cultural anthropology, she is a relentless promoter of the arts as a vital educational component and an integral part of society. She is highly regarded for combining both performance and sociocultural analysis and is a frequent guest lecturer at colleges and universities nationwide, including the University of San Francisco, University of California at Santa Cruz, Eastman School of Music, Ithaca College School of Music, St. Lawrence University, California State University at San Marcos and The University of Kentucky at Lexington. Her music can also be heard in the award-winning documentary, “Radical Harmonies,” an historical perspective of Women’s Music Festivals and “The Heretics,” a documentary film about the Women’s Art Movement of the 1970’s in the USA.

Maria performs extensively as a soloist or with her ensemble, "Alegria," which has been described as an “elegantly understated global music ensemble.” She is also a founding member of "GX3+" trio. Maria has been the coordinator of cultural affairs at Hudson Valley Community College since 2004 and is also on the faculty in the college's Department of Fine Art, Theater Art & Digital Media.

Monica Wilson-Roach has been playing cello and bass for over thirty-five years. She was on faculty at the Juilliard School and has performed in the Texaco New York Jazz Festival, the Documenta X in Kessel, Germany, the Jazz and Bluesfest – Live from Wolftrap, and the Brooklyn Academy of Music performances of Donald Byrd's Jazztrain with Grammy Award winning artist, Vernon Reid. She has also written and recorded string arrangements for films including "Free Angela Davis and All Political Prisoners," "The Main," and "Though A Lens Darkly," featured at Sundance and recipient of the NAACP award. Ms. Wilson-Roach was a featured speaker on the WMHT program "WMHT Talks Education Special," in addition to her band, TEN27, performing pieces from their multimedia concert “The Black Book Project” live on the show. Most recently, she was commissioned to compose a three-movement piece for The Northeast Ballet Company’s new dance suite “The Beach." Monica has performed at Carnegie Hall, the Knitting Factory, Merkin Hall, Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center out-of-doors, and The Egg. Currently, she conducts the Empire State Youth Orchestra CHIME in School educational outreach program, TuttiCelli cello choirs, and the Macedonia Chamber Orchestra. In addition to recording on over 25 CDs for various artists, she has also performed with the Lawrence Butch Morris Conduction Project, the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Albany Symphony Orchestra and the Glens Falls Symphony Orchestra.

José Miralles, a life-long Capital District resident and a graduate of Union College, has been playing guitar and writing songs since the mid-1970s. In 2003 he released a CD, Reflections, a collection of 13 original songs and instrumentals in a wide variety of styles ranging from folk and pop, to rock and classical.

José was introduced to Flamenco at a young age during a visit to Spain, where his uncle handed him a Paco de Lucia cassette tape and said (loosely translated), “You should hear this, he can really play!” José has been a student of Flamenco guitar since 2001, and has performed at a variety of venues, including the Turning Stone Casino and Caffé Lena, as well as numerous area establishments, festivals and private functions.

Most recently he has been performing with Maria Zemantauski and Alegria.  The group's diverse repertoire also offers a unique opportunity for José to pursue his passion for arranging music.

Brian Melick is a percussive treasure who is known for his unique "hybrid" sound, built from his incredible collection of world music instruments. His sensitivity, musicality, and adaptability lend an eclecticism to Heard (with whom he performed for SJS in 2014), and his playfulness is irresistible to watch and be a part of! He tours regularly with a diverse range of groups ranging musically from Flamenco to Celtic. uduboy.com