A New York native with Puerto Rican heritage, New York City has been my home since 2016 after spending a decade in Midwest cities. As a violist, I have performed in symphonic and operatic settings throughout my career, as well as off-Broadway musical theater productions. This career also includes performances on The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon, to Lincoln Center Out of Doors concert series, to outdoor Brooklyn stages, to Rockwood Music Hall, to Carnegie Hall. Normally, can be found traversing the NYC region with my viola, and, most likely, a bagel. For the 2018-2019 season, I have the privilege of joining the Southwest Florida Symphony in Ft. Myers, Florida. I will join the fellow snowbirds and perform wonderful music with a wonderful ensemble.
Trained in viola performance at Carnegie Mellon University, followed by the Cleveland Institute of Music, I was eager to hit and to join the Civic Orchestra of Chicago in 2011. While there, I was spoiled with the amazing halls of Symphony Center, colleagues, and world-renowned conductors, composers, and soloists. With the precious few minutes I had in a one-on-one discussion with Yo Yo Ma, we laughed and talked about Sesame Street, cookies, and how to stir up new audiences to classical repertoire. “A little of this, a little of that” laughs, jokes, a little less serious, coupled with “okay, what is the problem and how do we fix it?”
Branching out from performing, I have recently started working as a music educator and teacher through the Harmony Program in New York City. A CUNY partnership, Harmony reaches out to and works with schools in the under served communities. These after-school group classes absolutely require a different set of skills, but it is crucial and vital to the future of not only classical music, but the well-being of these students by exposing them to the comradery and various genres umbrella-ed under “music” is boosted, and there are always smiles involved.
Here in this city, “crossover” and genre-hopping are all part of the fun. As of now, the bulk of my style is still classical. Don’t get me wrong, I still and always will be a #1 fan of laying down the middle voice in a Beethoven symphony, yet this is flipping NYC. Meeting John Kander and performing a new musical of his, Kid Victory, was one of the first things I had the honor of doing here. Working with film composers and sitting in recording studios for bands with the headphones on and getting the “hits” right- incredible! Rocking out performing in a Prince tribute in Brooklyn- downright groovy. Seeing the sea of people at Damrosch Park paying their respects to J Dilla while Miguel Atwood Ferguson led us through his magnificent orchestrations of hip hop classics- priceless. Name dropping aside, I’m here for the music. The “who/what/when/where” all comes from the “why”- the answer is simply from my love and appreciation for music.