Gustavo collaborates with a diverse selection of artists and performers. See below for individual artist profiles.
ERIN LAU – VOICE
Erin Lau is a singer whose background is diverse and unique. She started singing at the age of 19, and began studying cante flamenco (flamenco singing) in 2007. She has studied with several teachers in Spain and the United States, including Jesús Montoya, Rubina Carmona, and Stephanie Pedraza, amongst others. She has performed with various groups and artists, including Barrio Flamenco and La Peña Flamenca de Seattle. In addition to Spanish flamenco, Erin has delved into the music of India, studying and performing Hindustani vocals, a classical form from northern India. Her Hindustani instructors include Prabha Devi Prasad, in Seattle, and Dhani Ram, in Varanasi, India.
In 2010 and 2011, Erin composed and recorded an album of original music entitled The Graciela Project: Mujer De La Luna. This unique, personal album draws on her various interests and influences, and was funded in part by Kickstarter and a grant from 4-Culture, a Seattle-based arts organization. Gustavo co-wrote the music to four of these songs with Erin, and participated in recording and performing them.
Erin is influenced by Carmen Linares, Estrella Morente, La Tana, Farida Khanum, Radio Tarifa, as well as Qawwali and Sufi music. In addition to her musical work, Erin is a talented visual artist and landscape designer, and is actively engaged in the worlds of art and design.
DAVID LEVIN – PERCUSSION
David Levin is a life-long flamenco percussionist and has performed professionally in the Seattle area for many years. He is the son of Marcos and Rubina Carmona and is a permanent member of Carmona Flamenco, one of North America’s principal flamenco companies. His skills extend beyond flamenco through a variety of genres, and he brings a lifetime of performance experience and enthusiasm. David’s principal instruments are the drum set and the cajón.
Amidst a vigorous performance schedule, David studied extensively with master drummer Brian Kirk from 2002-2004. During his studies with Professor Kirk, he solidified his jazz, Latin, and fusion playing and continued developing his passion for rock and flamenco. While at the University of Washington studying Spanish, he was involved in the UW jazz ensembles and studied with John Bishop.
Some of David’s local performance highlights include the following: McCall Hall Grand Opening Ceremony, Seattle International Children’s Festival, Northwest Folklife Festival, Kirkland Performance Center, The Triple Door, Hempfest, and numerous engagements at Neumos, Nectar, The Tractor Tavern, The Crocodile, and The Columbia City Theater. David also performed at the Royale (formerly the Roxy) in Boston with eminent rap MC Elemental Zazen and was a featured flamenco cajón instructor during Vancouver, B.C.’s International Dance Festival.
In addition to David’s extensive experience as a performer, he enjoys teaching and has worked as an instructor for many years.
AHMAD YOUSEFBEIGI – PERCUSSION
Ahmad Yousefbeigi is an inspired and sought-after Kurdish-Iranian percussionist. Born in Sanandaj, Iran, his passion for rhythm was fostered by the musical nature of Kurdish community life and his brother’s guidance. Since moving to Seattle in 1998, Ahmad has captivated audiences in the Pacific Northwest with the energetic, nomadic folk songs of his native Kurdistan and the delicate, lyrical rhythms of Persian classical music and poetry.
Ahmad’s versatility, love of cultural exchange and collaboration has led him to perform with many musicians and bands outside of traditional Iranian and Kurdish music. His most recent acoustic, ambient, improvisational collaboration, YESOD , began in September 2010 with composer Bill Wolford. He is a current member of Middle-Eastern band, Shoruk. Ahmad is a former founding member of pan-Middle Eastern music ensemble, Mashriq. He has performed multiple times as a guest percussionist playing Daf with the Seattle Peace Choir —in an interpretation of Seattle Peace Choir Mozart’s Requiem. Ahmad is a former member of Sin Fronteras, a South American folk band in which he played Argentine Bombo, Arabic Darabuka and Charchas. He has also collaborated with many artists and dancers.
Performance highlights include appearances on Seattle Public Radio Stations KUOW and KBCS; on Big Night Out on the Seattle Channel; at Benaroya Hall; Seattle City Hall; Kirkland Performance Center; Bellevue Community College; South Seattle Community College; UW Meany Hall, and Classical Tuesdays in Old Town Tacoma. Ahmad has also performed with Kamand for Rick Steve’s Iran: Yesterday and Today presentation.
BRIAN CHIN – TRUMPET
Dr. Brian Chin is an Associate Professor of Music at Seattle Pacific University. He is also the Founder and Artistic Director of Common Tone Arts. As an international trumpet soloist with the Yamaha Corporation and advocate for new music, Brian has commissioned and premiered many works for trumpet and is the creator of the Universal Language Project, a concert series creating new music and multi-arts programs. Brian is an executive leader with the UNITY Arts Alliance, a national collective of non-profit organizations dedicated to social justice and to demonstrating an alternative model for working artists. His two solo recordings, entitled Universal Language and Eventide, are available on Origin Classical.
Brian studied music in the New York and New Jersey areas under the tutelage of Peter Bond and James Pandolfi of the New York Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. He has a Masters Degree in Orchestral Trumpet from the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University, where he graduated with Highest Honors in addition to a earning a double Bachelors Degree in Performance and Education. Former faculty positions include professor of trumpet at The Westminster Conservatory in Princeton, NJ, and The Pingry School, NJ. In addition to being an active orchestral trumpet player, Chin was recently conductor-in-residence with the Rutgers Alumni Wind Symphony, was a founding member of the New Jersey Chamber Brass, and is a sought-after teacher and clinician in the Puget Sound Area
VERONICA “LA VERO” BARRERA-KOLB – DANCE
Veronica Barrera-Kolb has been dancing flamenco for over 25 years, while taking occasional breaks to earn four academic degrees and have three daughters. She has studied the art form from notable flamencos like Ciro, La Tania, Belén Maya, Timo Lozano, and María Bermudez. For the past 17 years she has studied under Maestra Sara De Luis in Seattle, who she considers her biggest influence.
Throughout the past decade, La Vero has performed with numerous local and international artists and appeared in the Seattle Opera’s production of Carmen in 2004. In Seattle she has performed with Savannah Fuentes, Carmona Flamenco, and La Peña Flamenca de Seattle. With this extensive experience, Veronica has shared the stage with some of the best flamenco artists in the western United States, including Jesús Montoya, Vicente Griego, and Ricardo Díaz, amongst others. In addition, she enjoys collaborating with her husband Markus Barrera-Kolb, a Seattle-based flamenco guitarist.
La Vero’s talents and interests extend beyond flamenco. In her other life, she teaches courses in the social sciences, addressing topics such as human rights in Latin America. She is also a documentary filmmaker and human rights activist. Veronica is a native of Chile, and has lived in the Pacific Northwest for many years.
SARAH KING – DANCE
Sarah King began dancing at an early age studying ballet, modern, Graham technique, and other styles into her early twenties. She then started studying flamenco with Veronica Barrera and Maestra Sara De Luis while attending Cornish College of the Arts, in Seattle. She eventually moved to Madrid, Spain, where she studied with Antonio Reyes, Ciro, and Tomás de Madrid. She has performed, choreographed, taught, and studied on the East and West coasts of the United States, in Spain, and in Pakistan. Additionally, she has taught flamenco both independently and in public and private schools in Washington State and New York City. She is proud to see that the first students she taught in Olympia in 2003 are still dancing and expanding their experience with national and international instructors.
In 2006, Sarah co-founded and produced the debut production of From Persia to Andalucía in Washington, a collaborative music and dance project combining flamenco dance and Persian music. In 2007, she collaborated with Veronica Barrera, Joel Kabakov and Eric Roskso to produce An Evening of Flamenco Music, Dance and Poetry. On the East Coast she performed in numerous tablaos, and with Tango Flamenco of Massachusetts, Boston Flamenco Ballet, and Atrévete Flamenco Dance Theater of New York.
Sarah took a seven year hiatus from dancing in order to gain a degree from Columbia University and start a family with her unconditionally supportive husband, Austin. Sarah returns recently to flamenco and is grateful to encounter such a gracious and supportive community in Seattle.
NATHAN SEDER – SAXOPHONE
In 2010, Gustavo started playing with local saxophonist, Nathan Seder. The music they play mixes several elements, including flamenco, jazz, classical, Spanish folk music, and original composition. Nathan started playing music at the age of five, and has studied piano and guitar in addition to the saxophone. In 2008, he graduated from Bard College, in New York State. At Bard he earned a Bachelor of Arts with a major in jazz performance and composition, and studied with Erica Lindsay, John Esposito, Bruce Williams, and Thurman Barker. He has performed in a variety of genres, including jazz, classical, flamenco, gospel, funk, and rock. Nathan draws inspiration from the works of John Coltrane, Wayne Shorter, Eric Dolphy, and McCoy Tyner, amongst others.
In addition to being a versatile performer, Nathan is also a gifted composer. Most recently, he produced and recorded an impressive, 45-minute composition for modern dance. The score was created in close collaboration with local dancer and choreographer Victoria Jacobs, of the Sapience Dance Collective. This show, entitled While We Are Human, includes both pre-recorded and live music, and was performed in June and July of 2012 in Seattle. To learn more about the work of Sapience, please visit Sapience Dance Collective
MÓNICA MOTA – DANCE
In 2010 and 2011, Gustavo worked with Mónica Mota, a talented and experienced dancer who always connects powerfully with audiences. Mónica has danced for over 25 years, starting as a ballet and modern dancer, but eventually finding her heart in flamenco. She has studied flamenco in Granada, Spain, and throughout the western United States. Her studies include work with many renowned Spanish performers, including Manuela Carrasco, Olga Pericet, Concha Jareño, El Torombo, Pastora Galván, Domingo Ortega, and Maria Bermudez. Prior to her studies in Spain, she studied flamenco with Pablo Rodarte, and Marisol and Joaquin Encinias of the National Institute of Flamenco in Albuquerque, NM.
Mónica has performed in a variety of different groups, including Oleaje Flamenco in Seattle, Solo Flamenco in Portland, Denver Flamenco, and was co-founder of Chicas Patas, a small Flamenco/Latin dance group in Spokane, WA. She has performed ballet as a demi-soloist with the New Mexico Ballet Company and as a modern dancer with the Bill Evans Dance Company. Her creative work also includes original choreography, some of which she performed at On the Boards in Seattle, WA.
While living in Seattle, Mónica trained under Maestra Sara de Luis of the Pacific Northwest Ballet, where she had the opportunity to coach dancers for the Seattle Opera, teach on occasion at PNB, and she also taught briefly for the Seattle Civic Dance Theater. Mónica holds a Bachelor of Arts in Dance from the University of New Mexico, and a Masters in Teaching from Whitworth University. She is originally from El Paso, Texas, has lived throughout the western United States, and currently resides in Spokane, WA.