Irma La Paloma - Cante, Founder and Director
photo: Andrea Vasquez
Irma La Paloma - Cante
Irma La Paloma delivers cante with artistic integrity, elegance and sincerity. Her vocal phrasing and rhythmic dexterity display her heritage and understanding of flamenco arts and culture. Her bilingual upbringing and education allow her a wide repertoire inclusive of flamenco, traditional Spanish folk songs, and original compositions. Irma La Paloma is at home in her cante which she projects with joy creating a special rapport with audiences.
Born of Spanish descent in Havana, Cuba Irma began her flamenco education at the Escuela de Baile Monterroso y Antas de Ulla under the direction of María Asela Bermúdez. As a child, Irma performed flamenco and Spanish regional dances in musical productions in Havana’s Centro Gallego and Teatro García Lorca.
In 1970 her family established residence in Madrid, Spain where she was further embraced by her heritage. They later came to the U.S. where she continued to receive dance instruction at the Academia Silvia Medina de Goudié in Miami, Florida. Her father’s love of poetry and her passion for song and lyrics led her to concentrated study of cante and flamenco dance accompaniment.
She attended workshops in Albuquerque’s Annual Festival Flamenco International where she received instruction from cantaores El Veneno and Vicente Griego.
She is co-founder of Solero Flamenco with Jeremías García. They perform continually at varied venues and enjoy collaborating with local and visiting artists to present quality, professional performances. Since 2009 the two have directed, produced and performed in three theater productions as part of the Cultural and Fine Arts Calendar at University of Houston Clear Lake and San Jacinto College South. In 2009 she was an invited artist to the Dallas Flamenco where she first performed with Maestro Timo Lozano.
As a writer and recording artist, Irma recorded original lyrics for “La Lluvia” in García’s Café Khytaro album, “Distancia.” In the works is a compilation of her poetry and original cante pieces for publication and recording.
Drawing on her professional experience and Bachelor’s Degree in International Finance and Marketing, Irma currently serves as Community Coordinator and Co-Director of the “2011 Houston Spanish and Flamenco Festival.” She is working to preserve flamenco through performance and education in collaboration with San Jacinto College and the Consulate General of Spain.
Jeremías García - Toque, Founder and Director
photo: Tommy Barrios
Jeremías García – Toque
Jeremy Garcia holds the distinction as the only guitarist in Houston who, as a trained classical guitarist, has made a successful transition to flamenco. Originally self-taught, Jeremy later earned a Bachelor’s degree in Classical Guitar Performance from Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi and Masters Degree from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX.
While at SMU, Jeremy became the first guitarist to appear with the Southern Methodist University Wind Ensemble in 1997. Furthermore, he was featured as a soloist with The Fort Worth Men's Chorus that same year and appeared at the Southwest Guitar Festival in San Antonio (1998) as a member of the SMU Guitar Quartet.
Jeremy gave his professional debut classical recital on March 26, 1999 at the Texas A&M University campus in Corpus Christi, TX. A portion of that recital was televised on the ABC affiliate in that city. In 2001, while preparing for a concert at the University of Houston, Clear Lake, Jeremy began working with other musicians creating his own music. Drawing from his classical studies, and love for the music of Spain and Latin America, Jeremy developed original works based in improvisation and a marked flamenco influence. As the co-founder of the Garcia y Reyna, Jeremy has performed in California, New Mexico, New York City, the Vail, Colorado International Dance Festival, and Las Vegas. The band also released a CD, "Baile del Sol," in 2004 featuring all original music.
As a soloist, Jeremy has appeared with the Fort Bend Symphony in a performance of Joaquin Rodrigo’s “Concierto de Aranjuez” in the fall of 2006. He was asked by conductor, John Ricarte, to perform the Aranjuez a second time with the Brazosport Symphony in the spring of 2007. On the same concert, Jeremy performed an original concerto that he co-composed for two guitars and orchestra – “Concierto Nuevo Flamenco.”
In the fall of 2007, Jeremy established Café Khytaro, a new musical project and in the spring of 2008, Café Khytaro released “Distancia,” featuring original music and a variety of guest artists.
In addition to his own music, Jeremy has appeared as a guest artist on recordings in the following genres: alternative rock, jazz, and R&B. It is his love and respect of the music of Spain, however, and especially the art of flamenco that led Jeremy to traditional flamenco music. It was here that Jeremy met and began working with Cantaora, Irma La Paloma. Their ability to collaborate on stage, combined with a similar philosophy in the study and approach to flamenco, led them to create Solero Flamenco in 2009. They perform regularly in a variety of venues in the Houston area and have appeared as guest performers in the Dallas Flamenco Festival where they collaborated with some of today’s top flamenco artists. In the flamenco setting, Jeremy is known as, "Jeremias el Valiente."
Since his flamenco career began, Jeremy has performed with many top artists including, Antonio Hidalgo, Pilar Andújar, Antonio Arrebola, Chayito Champion, has accompanied workshops of artists, La Tania, Domingo Ortega, and Omayra Amaya.
Along with Irma La Paloma, his partner in Solero Flamenco, the two have founded and direct the Houston Spanish and Flamenco Festival. This unique festival emphasizes Art, Education, and Culture through the collaboration of Solero Flamenco, San Jacinto College and the Consul General of Spain in Houston. Since 2011, the HSFF has brought a variety of artists to Houston to present unparalleled performances and workshops. Flamenco for Kids and Teens, which began at the festival, has grown into Houston's largest interactive performance/demonstration intended to introduce a whole new generation to this artform.
Presently, he resides in Houston where he directs the guitar program at San Jacinto College South while maintaining a busy performance schedule.
"- masterfully executed guitar work and a relentless Spanish rhythm." - Alexander Dorian, Houstonbands.net
"...incredible finger fire." - Molly Glentzer, Houston Chronicle
"...the group's distinct style and beautiful melodies continue to dazzle Houston audiences." - Deborah Rowe, Houston Arts View
"...great technical skill with a deft sense of style" - David Ragsdale, Kingwood Observer
"...mesmerizing...fiery and passionate..." Jim Shortt - The Scene Magazine
“…9 tracks of flawless perfection...fiery, passionate and virtuoso flamenco performance...CD definitely worth getting..." - Alexander Dorian of houstonmusicreview.com
Solangel "Lali" Calix - Baile, Castanets
Solangel “Lali” Calix - Baile, Castanets
Solangel ”Lali “Calix is a graceful and experienced flamenco and Spanish classical dancer with excellent castanet technique learned from Maria Magdalena, one of Spain’s most prominent players. With over 30 years of performance experience her energetic and joyful dance is the culmination of extensive training in Spain under the guidance of expert flamenco figures.
Lali began studying flamenco as a young girl in her native Honduras. Between 1976 and 1979 she attended the famous Amor de Dios School in Madrid, Spain where she studied Flamenco, Ballet Clásico and Español. She has attended flamenco workshops throughout the United States and abroad as both student and teacher for over 30 years.
In 1994 she established the Alianza Flamenca New Orleans as the co-director with guitarist John Lawrence. From 1994-2005 she taught flamenco in the New Orleans School of Ballet. She maintained an active performance schedule at El Matador as well as at various guest appearances around the country
After Hurricane Katrina, Lali established residence in Houston, TX. From 2006-2008 she returned to Spain periodically to continue her education at Escuela Flamenco with Juan Polvillo in Sevilla. Currently she is the correspondent for the southwest region of the U. S. for the website www.flamencobuzz.net where she writes reviews of flamenco performances and events.
She continues to teach and perform flamenco on a regular basis. As guest dancer with Solero Flamenco Calix adheres to the art of improvisation, making each performance unique in the tradition of flamenco.
photo: Jorge Jimenez
Edith Nino - Baile
Edith Niño - Baile
Edith Niño is a young and articulate flamenco dancer. Her natural talent is complimented with technique, poise and confidence beyond her years. As guest dancer with Solero Flamenco she performs at varied venues in Houston. Her interpretation of the Flamenco Guajira with the accompaniment of Irma La Paloma, cante, and Jeremías García, guitar has captivated and rendered the applause of audiences making this one of her signature dances.
Edith was born in Caracas, Venezuela and was inclined to the arts at an early age. She began her training at Voces Blancas de Elisa Soteldo, Academia de Ballet Fanny Montiel and at the Conservatorio de Música under the direction of María Dolores García. While studying ballet at the English Montessori School in Madrid, where she resided from 1988-1990, she was exposed to flamenco arts and culture. After returning to Caracas she graduated from the Conservatorio de Música and joined La Coral de U. E. Universidad Simón Bolivar. She continued Classical Ballet with Fanny Montiel until 2000.
Following her move to Houston, she studied flamenco at the University of Houston with Antonia Perlacia and performed in Antonia’s companies Aires Flamenco and Soleá Dance.
Although she performs professionally, Edith seeks every opportunity to refine and continue her training through Master Workshops and private lessons with flamenco figures and instructors such as Maestro Timo Lozano, Solangel Lali Calix, Concha Jareño, Fanny Ara and Maria Juncal.
photo: Jorge Jimenez
Chris Howard - Percussion
photo: Pin Lim
Chris Howard - Percussion/Cajon
Chris Howard has been performing as a percussionist in Houston since 1997. He has played with numerous bands and ensembles covering a broad array of traditions including Bulgarian, Turkish, West African, Spanish, Cuban, Brazilian, Funk and Jazz. As well known accompanist, he plays for dance classes and workshops at the Hope Center, Houston Metropolitan Dance Company, University of Houston and the JCC. He has played for musicals at Theatre Lab Houston, HCC, Main St. Theatre and Stages Repertory Theatre. He currently plays with jazz fusion septet Free Radicals. Chris directs children’s classes at the Hope Center and Madhatter Arts Camp.
©2015 Solero Flamenco
3139 W. Holcombe Blvd. PMB #195
Houston, TX 77025