Soledad Giménez: One of Spain’s best known singer-songwriters and performers, Giménez has developed her career as a multi-talented vocalist and composer and has recorded fourteen CDs with Presuntos Implicados featuring songs such as “Alma de Blues” and “Mi Pequeño Tesoro” as well as the well-known hit “Cómo Hemos Cambiado.” Giménez has also released four solo albums, “Pequeñas Cosas” being her latest. During her career she has collaborated with artists such as Joan Manuel Serrat, Herbie Hancock, Milton Nascimento, Randy Crawford, Armando Manzanero, Pancho Céspedes, Ana Torroja, Miguel Ríos, Ana Belén, Revólver, and Los Piratas.
Livingston Taylor – Stage Performance: Composer and performer of Top 40 hit “I Will Be in Love with You”; author of Stage Performance Workshop and instructional DVD Livingston’s Excellent Guitar Lesson; recordings include There You Are Again, Livingston Taylor, Liv, Over the Rainbow, and Life Is Good, as well as City Lights, with James Taylor; composer of network television themes and nationally broadcast commercials.
Sally Taylor – Lyric Writing and Self Promotion: Sally Taylor was bred into the thick of it all, thanks to her singer-songwriter parents James Taylor and Carly Simon. Reluctant to attach herself to a major label, she formed her own record company, Blue Elbow Music. She and her four-piece band jumped on the music bandwagon in 1998 to promote her debut album, Tomboy Bride. That same year, she embarked on three nationwide tours, playing over 150 shows, which included dates with her parents and brother Ben Taylor. In September 2000 Taylor released her sophomore effort, Apt. #6S, named for the old apartment she shared with her mom. This album reflects Taylor’s rich songwriting skills and witty vocals. Her latest CD, Shotgun, is self-produced and the most intimate and reflective of her records. Since moving to Boston in 2007, she has been involved with Berklee, teaching lyric writing and music business clinics as well as participating in Berklee’s summer performance and songwriting programs.
Donna McElroy – Vocal Technique/Performance: B.M., Fisk University; arranger/background vocalist on gold and platinum releases by Reba McEntire, Garth Brooks, BeBe and CeCe Winans, and Amy Grant; recipient of a Grammy nomination, a Dove Award, and a 1993 Best Actress Award; missionary with International Christian Artists Reaching the Earth, Ghana.
Israel Suárez, Piraña – Percussion: Israel Suárez, known as “Piraña”, was born on April 28, 1982, the grandson of Porrina de Badajoz and son of Ramón “El Portugués.” He began his career by filling in for his brother, Ramón “Porrina,” in Niña Pastori’s first record, then joined the group. He continued working with artists such as Sara Baras, Tomatito, Vicente Amigo, Giovanni Hidalgo, Horacio “El Negro” Hernandez, Ketama, La Barbería del Sur, Antonio Carmona, Rosario Flores, Chano Domínguez, Jerry González, Wynton Marsalis, Montse Cortés, La Tana, Joaquín Cortés, Javier Limón, Niño Josele, Alain Pérez, Concha Buika, Ricky Martin, Alejandro Fernández, and Lenny Kravitz. He has collaborated in films such as Fernando Trueba’s Calle 54 and Antonio Canales’s Vengo. He currently works with Berklee honorary doctorate recipient and flamenco guitar legend Paco de Lucía.
Antonio Sánchez – Guitar: Born in Madrid in 1984, Antonio Sánchez was exposed to the flamenco guitar at a very young age with his uncles Paco de Lucía and Ramón de Algeciras and his cousin José María Bandera. His first guitar lessons were with Juan Manuel Cañizares. He began his career as a guitarist by playing at tablaos in Madrid and continuing with the flamenco ballet of Antonio Márquez. He worked in Japan for six months with Domingo Ortega at the tablao El Flamenco in Tokyo. He then worked at Tablao Cordobés in Barcelona, considered the most important tablao in the world, sharing the stage with great artists such as La Tana, Maria Vizarraga, Oscar de los Reyes, Pol Vaquero, and Luis de Luis, among others. Recently he toured for a year with Paco de Lucía’s septet.
Sandra Carrasco – Vocals: Sandra Carrasco was born in 1981 in Almonte, Huelva. She studied music education while taking flamenco courses at the University of Huelva. She has won numerous flamenco awards, including an award from the Association of Nerva in Seville and the Antonio Rengel Best Interpretation Award, and received several scholarships that gave her the opportunity to study with Paco Taranto, José de la Tomasa, and Adelita Domingo, among others. She has taken her flamenco singing to such places as Mexico; Croatia; Germany; Nicaragua; Guatemala; Ecuador; Washington, D.C.; Rome; the Seville Biennial; the Madrid Auditórium; and the most important flamenco tablaos of Madrid. She has collaborated on the records of artists such as Estrella Morente, Arcángel, El Pelé, Manolo Sanlúcar, Carmen Linares, José Mercé, Pepe de Lucía, Javier Limón, and Anoushka Shankar and participated in a Haiti benefit recording with Alejandro Sanz, Bebe, and Carlos Jean. Top of Form, her first album, with the collaboration of Avishai Cohen, Kudsi Erguner, Josemi Carmona, and Pepe Habichuela, is about to be released by EMI.