Davide Sampaolo is from Rome, Italy and comes from a family of musicians. He studied music as a child including, piano, classical guitar and drums. His passion soon evolved towards percussion. He studied percussions very young with the Senegalese maestros Badu N'dyae and Sena M'baye, at the “Scuola popolare di Musica di Testaccio” in Rome. He also studied afro-cuban drums (conga, Timbal, Bongò, Batà) at TIMBA drums school in Rome with maestros such as Roberto “mamey” Evangelisti, Paulo La Rosa and Valter Paiola. Davide has travelled around Spain including Sevilla, Cordoba, Granada, Malaga and Barcelona. Davide has worked with great Flamenco artists such as with the flamenco guitarists Manuel Montero Miranda (Sevilla), Rycardo Moreno (Lebrija), Vahagni Turgutyan (Armenia – Los Angeles), Daniel Jurado (Sevilla), Daniele Bonaviri(Italy), Matteo D'agostino (Italy), Riccardo Ascani (Italy), Ernesto Bravo Perez (Cuba), with the flamenco singers David Hornillo (Sevilla) and Alejandro Villaescusa (Albacete), Jose Salguero (Huelva) and the violinist Juan Carlo Abelo Zamora (Cuba).
Dennis Duffin grew up in a musical family playing guitar from a very early age, and was taught flamenco by his father with whom he performed as a teenager. Today, he is a regular in the Canadian Flamenco scene, playing for renowned artists in Spain and in Canada including Flamenco ensembles Fin de Fiesta Flamenco, Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company, Ilse Gudiño's Amigos de Pilar, Flamenco Nomadico, and Flamenguitos del Norte. Dennis has also performed in a wide variety of World Music fusion groups such as Ventanas, the Lemon Bucket Orkestra, Mashregh, Joanna Moon, and even a stint with Jesse Cook. Dennis attended the final year of the Fundacion Cristina Heeren in Sevilla in 2012-2013, with teachers such as Pedro Sierra, Niño de Pura, Paco Cortes, Eduardo Rebollar. In Canada, Dennis studied with Nicolás Hernández, Jose Vega, Rubén Díaz, Oscar Lago, Tino van der Sman and José Valle “Chuscales”. Living in Seville this year, he has had the chance to study with maestros such as Tomatito, Manuel Parilla, Jesus Guerrero and Alfredo Lagos to name a few. Apart from music, Dennis also holds a Ph.D. in astrophysics from McMaster University
Lara Wong is a flamenco flautist with an eclectic style of playing stemming from her jazz and classical roots. Originally from Vancouver, B.C. Lara now spends most of her time in Seville, Spain where she performs with various flamenco groups while she studies flamenco singing. In Canada, Lara is known for her work not only in flamenco but also playing in various Latin and African bands. Outside of her work in Spain and Canada, Lara has toured in Mexico, Armenia, and Japan. She has studied in Spain with Calixto Sanchez, Pedro Sierra, and Jeromo Segura and participated in workshops with Jorge Pardo. She also holds a Performance degree from McGill University where she studied jazz flute with David Gossage. This will be her second tour with Fin De Fiesta Flamenco.
With over 10 years of experience as a professional flamenco dancer, Deborah "La Caramelita" has performed to audiences worldwide. Her work has taken her to countries such as Ecuador, Portugal, Canada, Spain, Malaysia, Russia and Morocco with established artists like Marien Lluevano, Rosario Ancer, Marieno Cruceta, Raul Castro and Juan Manuel Cortes. After living and studying intensely in Andalucia for several years, Deborah returns often to perfect her art with renowned masters of flamenco dance as Carmen Ledesma, Mercedes Ruiz, Juana Amaya, Isabel Bayon, Alicia Marquez, El Oruco, among others. Recent productions with the flamenco/balkan fusion group, "Les Noces Gitanes" at the Winnipeg, Calgary and Vancouver Folk Music Festival reached audiences of over 15,000.
Other productions in which she has participated include: the opening ceremony for the Rolex world cup in Geneva, the Pachu Uchuk festival and socio-cultural initiative in Ecuador, the Mis Hermanas western Canada tour, as well as several international flamenco festivals in Europe.
Lia has been dancing flamenco for the past 14 years. She is based in Seville, Spain. She began her studies in Canada with maestros Oscar Nieto, Kasandra "La China,” Carmen Romero and Esmeralda Enrique. In Seville, Lia trains with masters such as Manuela Rios, Farruquito, Manuel Betanzos, Ursula Lopez, Alicia Marquez and Ramon Martinez. In 2013, Lia was one of just three dancers to be nationally selected to participate in the prestigious "Paso a Paso" mentoring program run by Myriam Allard and Hedi Graja of the dance company La Otra Orilla. She has also danced with Al Mozaico Flamenco Dance Theatre and Flamenguitos del Norte Dance Company, which toured nationally. In Seville, Lia has performed at Flamenqueria in Triana as well as Sala Garufa. She has been a featured soloist in numerous music and dance festivals in North America, including the Montreal Flamenco Festival, the Victoria Flamenco Festival, the Vancouver Jondo Flamenco Festival and the All Over the Map Dance Festival (Vancouver). Lia has received numerous grants from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council and the Toronto Arts Council in the field of dance. As the artistic director of Fin de Fiesta Flamenco, she has managed and performed in four extensive tours, the most recent of which featured 23 theatre and festival performances in cities and towns across the country.
Born in Genoa, Italy, Mauro has lived in Sevilla since 2006. He has been working as a flautist and saxophonist for more than decade, in Spain and beyond (Mexico, Europe, China, Australia). Mauro has collaborated with some of the best flamenco artists in Spain. He has worked with dancers like Manuela Carrasco, Carmelilla Montoya, Pilar Astola, Marco Vargas, and Oruco, and has also accompanied singers such as Calixto Sánchez, José Anillo, Lole Montoya, Laura Vital. In addition, Mauro has performed and recorded with a wide range of musicians, including Carlos Heredia, Jorge Pardo, Juan Parrilla, José Acedo, Rubén Díaz, Ramón Porrina and Paco Vega. Mauro is also a singer, and is currently in his fifth year of study in the Cante Flamenco professional program at the Conservatorio Cristóbal de Morales in Sevilla.
Alejandro Mendía started his flamenco cante studies in 2007 in Sevilla at the renowned flamenco academy of Christina Heeren. After completing intensive study of cante, compas and flamenco history classes, he continued his studies with Esperanza Fernandez, Niño de Elche and Encarna Anillo. After only a few months in Sevilla he was asked to participate in the televised talent series "Tienes Talento" and placed in the semi-finalist category. Alejandro's relocation to Jerez brought a new facet to his singing as he began to accompany dance classes (Manuela Carpio, Ana Maria Lopez, Chiqui de Jerez). In Spain, he has performed in several important locations including Peña Tío Jose de Paula, La Dama Juana, Peña Puerto Lucero, Taberna El Chusco and Peña La Zúa. Alejandro's talent has taken him all over the world. Recent tours include shows in Morocco, Ecuador, Mexico, Canada, Malaysia, France and Switzerland. Alejandro currently lives in Bordeaux and his new album, "La Luna y El Sol", with flamenco/balkan fusion group, "Les Noces Gitanes", has received outstanding reviews.
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