October 10, 2018

Our Instructors

Valeria Montes

Valeria Montes has been described as “mesmerizing” by the Detroit Free Press and “beauty in motion” by the Metro Times. She is known as La Chispa (the Spark) for her passionate and vibrant interpretation of Cante Flamenco (flamenco song) and for her complex rhythmic zapateado.

Born in Mapimi, Dgo., Mexico, Montes began her dance studies at the age of five in her native Mexico studying ballet, baile folklorico, and gymnastics. At age of 20, she moved to Michigan, USA where she started dancing Spanish classical dance with local instructor, Maria Del Carmen Montes. Eventually, Montes moved to Spain to immerse herself in the world of flamenco and was very fortunate to study with legendary families and artists of flamenco: Farruco Family, Carmen Ledesma, Concha Vargas, and Miguel Vargas. She has also studied cante flamenco with Esperanza Fernandez, which she feels is vital for dancers to do in order to understand the art form in a more profound way.

In 2010, Montes won the prestigious Kresge artist fellowship for Performing Arts. She is co-founder of the Center of Music and Performing Arts Southwest (COMPAS) where she continues to teach community workshops in Michigan. Valeria now serves as Executive and Artistic Director of Casa Flamenca in Albuquerque, NM where she is also a full-time instructor.

Juani de la Isla

Juan Francisco Gonzalez Caballero (Juani de la Isla) is a highly respected and world-renowned ‪flamenco guitarist from the island of San Fernando near the port city of Cádiz, in southern Spain. He began his musical education studying with the great ‪flamenco singer Rafael Romero and has been a student of the celebrated ‪flamenco guitarist ‪Manolo Sanlúcar. Juani de la Isla has also been trained in the gypsy ‪flamenco style of “Morón” – a small pueblo in the heart of Andalucia’s ‪flamenco country.

Throughout his illustrious career, he has accompanied some of the finest ‪flamenco artists of this century: singers ‪Jose Mercé, Chato de la Isla, Juan Villar, ‪Rancapino, Pansequito and Aguilar de Vejer; and dancers Javier Barón, Sara Baras and Manuela Carrasco. He has composed music for the ‪flamenco dance company of Cristina Hoyos and for over a decade has been the musical director for the popular ‪flamenco singer “El Barrio.”

Juani de la Isla’s recording career includes participation on more than 100 albums with some of Spain’s finest ‪flamenco artists including ‪Jose Mercé, ‪Joaquin Sabína, ‪Paco Ortega, El Barrio and David de María. In 2015, he released his first solo CD “Libertad en Mis Manos.”

As a performer and teacher, Juani de la Isla has toured internationally. He has taught at universities worldwide in:

Japan: Tokyo and Osaka

Germany: Musikmesse for the university of Frankfurt

Spain: Santiago de La compostela International Jazz Festiva for the Escuela – Taller de Músicos.

La Isla Ciudad Flamenca

as well as in many other music schools around the world.

Juani de la Isla is also sponsored by:

Instituo Andaluz del Flamenco de la Junta de Andalucia

El Flamenco Patrimonio Inmaterial de La Humanidad

Guitarras Bros

Brilliant Sounds Experts

La Isla Ciudad Flamenca

All Flamenco

Venta de Vargas

Casa Flamenca and

The City of Albuquerque- UETF Urban Enhancement Trust Fund.

Dicografía Juani de la Isla:

1997- El Barrio- Yo Sueno Flamenco

1997- Diego Gallego-Diego Gallego

1998- El Barrio- Mi Secreto

1999- El Barrio- Mal de Amores

2000- El Barrio- La Fuente del Deseo

2001- Carmen de la Jara- Arco del Pay Pay

2001- Aguilar de Vejer- Rosas de Colores

2001-Joaquin El Canastero- Se Busca

2002- Tijeritas- Yo Tijeritas

2002- El Barrio- Me Voy al Mundo

2003- Paco Ortega- Calaito Hasta Los Huesos

2003- El Barrio – Angel Malherido

2003- Maita Vende Ca – Amor, Amor

2003- Maria Jose Santiago- Al Compas del Tiempo

2004- Maria Jose Santiago- Navidad en Jerez

2004- Diego Magallanes- Diego Magallanes

2004- Alicia Gil- Alicia Gil

2004- David de Maria- Barcos de Papel

2004- Angel Pastor- Todos Hablaran de Mi

2005- Joaquin Sabina- Alivio de Luto

2005- Josė Mercė- Lo Que No Se Da

2005- El Barrio- Las Playas de Invierno

2006- Maita Vende Ca- Agua Viva

2006- Dr. Rockit/Paco Ortega – Vida y Color

2006- Maria Jimenez- Vamonos

2007- Calixto Sanchez- Andando El Camino

2007- Angel Pastor- Llama de Candela Viva

2007- El Barrio- La Voz De Mi Silencio

2007- Calle Feria- Mariposas de Colores

2007- Manuel Aranda- Por Que El Corazón Me lleva

2008- Sandra Carrasco- Sangre Nueva

2008- Lucia Montoya- El Sur Suena

2008- Antonio Mata- El Arte de Vivir

2008- Eduardo Palencia- Eduardo Palencia

2009- Manuel Amaya- desde El Fondo de Mi Alma

2009- El Barrio- Duermevela

2009- Maria Carrasco- Pequeño Deseo

2009- Pansequito- Un Canto a la Libertad

2010- Andy y Lucas y Diana Navarro – Pido la Palabra

2010- Canelita- Vuelvo

2011- El Barrio- Espejos

2013- Ana Reverte- de Ida y Vuelta

2013- Raul Galvez- A Quemaropa

2013 Fran Ocaña- Llego La Hora

2015- Juani de la Isla- Libertad en Mis Manos

2015- Fran Ocaña- Un Nuevo Día

2016- Raul Galvez- Cantiñas del Majareta

2016- Trini de la Isla- Mi Sueño

2016 Cañejo de Barbate- La Luz Que Me Guía

2016- Fran Ocaña- Amor por Ti

2017- Canelita- Divino

2017- Ana Polanco- El Rincón de la Alegria