Berto Boyd began his musical training on the piano at age 5 and has been playing guitar for over 30 years. A rigorous musician and a careful researcher, Berto has studied in Spain and performed throughout the United States with some of the world’s finest Flamenco, Classical and Jazz artists. Born into a family of artists, which includes famed lead singer, Brandon Boyd of the multi-platinum band Incubus, he is one of the rare and few Americans who has dedicated his musical dreams to mastering the art of the Spanish guitar and composing original Flamenco music.
He currently resides in Portland, Oregon where he is musical director for Flamenco Pacifico, artistic director of the Corvallis Guitar Society and the owner of the international guitar instruction series, Flamenco Guitar Class. His first original solo publication “12 Flamenco Etudes” was recently released in February 2018. Berto has artist endorsements by Hannabach Strings, MiniFlex Mics, and Shelton-Farretta guitars.
Berto’s debut album “Esmeralda” was released in 2003 featuring all original Flamenco compositions. In 2018 he was a featured soloist with the Salem Philharmonia Orchestra with his virtuosic interpretation of the Concierto en Re Op.99 by Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco. In 2017, he released the debut album “Convivencia” with his group Flamenco Pacifico which was nominated for “Best World/Global Fusion Album of 2017” by One World Music Awards. Additionally in 2017, he performed in the finale concert of Chintimini Chamber Music Festival Classical works by Castelnuovo-Tedesco and Boccherini with a string quartet. In 2015, he was commissioned to transcribe the monumental guitar score for Avalon – Suite for Flamenco guitar and Chamber Orchestra by Jose Luis de la Paz, which he performed during its’ debut at the Miami Dade Auditorium.
Other performance credits highlights include: Opening for the Gypsy Kings at Britt Fest with Flamenco Pacifico in 2015 as well as performances at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and Oregon Country Fair 2015 and 2016, SOU Recital Hall and Pistol River Concert Series, “Flamenco Guitar – Past * Present * and Future” with Ben Woods at the Jewelbox Theater in Seattle, WA 2014, “An Evening of Guitar” with Berto Flamenco y Ritmo Gitano at PCPA Theaterfest in Santa Maria, CA 2008, Co-Musical Director/Guitarist for “Calle Flamenca” with Bailes Ferrer in Miami 2006, Musical Director/Guitarist for “Flamenco en Concierto” and “Tarde Flamenca” at the Fountain Theater in Hollywood, CA 2006, and Musical Director for “Arte y Pasion” with award winning Flamenco dancer Timo Nuñez at the Center Stage Theater Santa Barbara, CA 2004.
The son of a bebop saxophonist, Grant Ruiz has played classical guitar since he was 10 years old. After studying flamenco in Spain and with several renowned artists in the U.S., he became an active performer and teacher in Southern Oregon. Aside from classical music and flamenco, Grant has been influenced by jazz and rock music and Native American flute, which he studied with R. Carlos Nakai.
Grant has performed in several productions at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, including the 2003 world premiere of Lorca in a Green Dress by Nilo Cruz where he acted as composer, arranger, pianist and guitarist. Other engagements with the festival included the 2008 production of Othello and eight seasons of the festival’s outdoor Green Show.
Aside from being a soloist, Grant has collaborated in productions with larger groups. In 2016 he was the guitarist joining the Rogue Valley Chorale in the Oregon premiere of Misa Azteca by Joseph Julian Gonzales at the Collier Center in Medford. In 2004 he performed with the Curry/Del Norte Orchestra of southern Oregon in a production of Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5 by Heitor Villa-Lobos.
He has been a member of several ensembles, including Amor Flamenco, Alba Flamenca, the Dark Rose Trio with classical guitarists Joseph Thompson and Steve Berman, Dúo Flamenco with percussionist Terry Longshore, Djamenco with jazz guitarist Dan Fellman, and currently Flamenco Pacifico with Berto Boyd. In 2015 Flamenco Pacifico performed at the Britt Music and Arts Festival in Jacksonville, Oregon, on the same bill as the Gipsy Kings.
Grant’s recording credits include the 2001 release of Grant Ruiz on Guitar, the 2007 release of the self-titled CD Dark Rose Trio, the 2009 release of 12 Prayers by James Twyman, and the 2011 release of Verde with Dúo Flamenco. He also provided the soundtrack for the DVD A Guitar Maker’s Path by Les Stansell in 2011.
Grant is a founding member of the Jefferson Classical Guitar Society based in Ashland, Oregon, having served alternatively as president, secretary, and treasurer, and is also on the Board of Directors. He is currently an adjunct professor of guitar at Southern Oregon University. He is also a member of the faculty of the Britt Festival’s annual guitar workshop. Official Website
Terry Longshore is a percussionist based in Ashland, Oregon whose genre-crossing work exhibits the artistry of the concert stage, the spontaneity of jazz, and the energy of a rock club. He performs nationally and internationally as a soloist and ensemble member, and can be heard on numerous CD and motion picture recordings. He has premiered and recorded countless works by a variety of composers, and collaborates with many artists working in diverse media. Longshore is a Yamaha Performing Artist and an artist endorser for Zildjian Cymbals, Vic Firth Sticks and Mallets, Remo Drumheads, Gon Bops Percussion, and Beato Bags, and is a member of the Black Swamp Percussion Education Network. He holds bachelor’s degrees in business administration from California State University at Fresno and percussion performance from California State University Sacramento, and earned the master’s and doctoral degrees in contemporary music performance from the University of California, San Diego. He is Professor of Music at the Oregon Center for the Arts at Southern Oregon University. Official Website
Born and raised in Santa Barbara, Randy Tico took to music early, learning bass and studying classical piano. Out of school, he honed his wares in numerous local club bands, learning jazz, latin and rock techniques that he would later draw upon as the bassist for the internationally acclaimed jazz group Matrix. Tico’s involvement with Matrix began in 1978, and included touring and three albums–“Wizard” and “Tale of the Whale” for Warner Brothers and “Harvest” for Pablo. Tico’s distinctive, melodic bass style, incorporating unusual techniques with harmonics, was a cornerstone of the Matrix sound.
In 1981, Tico’s connection and affinity with Brazilian music took a step forward when he began working with Flora Purim and Airto. He has toured the globe and recorded many albums with the famous Brazilian couple. Tico’s involvement with the music of Brazil has continued to grow with artists such as Ivan Lins, Kleber Jorge (singer w/ Sergio Mendes), Dori Caymmi, Cesar Camargo Mariano and Teka. In addition, he has recorded and toured with the Grammy award winning, world music group “Strunz and Farah” and appeared with them on the PBS television show “Sound Festival”. He is currently touring with Jeff Bridges.
Elena Villa is an award-winning dancer whose passion for improvising to live music began with her first public belly dance performance as a young girl in the late 1970s. After being inspired by flamenco shows while traveling in France and Spain as a student, Elena began her flamenco training in Santa Cruz, CA in 1991. She later returned to Spain to study in Sevilla, one of the centers of flamenco. In her lifelong dedication to flamenco and Middle Eastern dance, Elena has pursued both cultural research and regular intensive study with master teachers from Europe, North Africa, the Middle East and North America. Since 1996, she has taught weekly dance classes and frequent workshops in flamenco, classic belly dance, and Spanish Arabic fusion. Elena holds a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature and has taught literature, film and cultural studies at the university level. She has also given lectures on flamenco and belly dance at UO, OSU, and SOU and has presented papers on these topics at academic conferences. An active performing artist and arts advocate in her adopted state of Oregon, Elena is the current Performance Coordinator (since 2007) and a principal dancer for the acclaimed Gypsy Caravan Stage at the Oregon Country Fair, one of the West Coast’s legendary belly dance venues. She also serves on the board of directors for La Peña Flamenca de Portland and appears in their productions as a featured soloist. Her recent work includes performances at the World Beat Festival (Salem) and The Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s Green Show (Ashland) in collaboration with Dúo Flamenco (Ashland), Shabava (Portland), Berto Boyd and Flamenco Pacifico. Official Website
Melissa Cruz is a Bay Area-based flamenco professional and has been a full-time flamenco artist and instructor for the past 14 years. After being exposed to flamenco while studying Spanish at UC Berkeley, she began dancing with Rosa Montoya and soon thereafter, joined Ms. Montoya’s professional company. Apart from frequently performing in theatrical presentations, she teaches a full weekly schedule of flamenco dance classes and presents consistently in the local flamenco cabaret circuit. Melissa is also the dancer and percussionist for the band, LoCura, with who she performs and tours. Recently, she served as Adjunct Dance Faculty at The University of San Francisco, as a guest instructor at the world dance youth program, Danceversity, and currently presents her own apprentice dance repertory group. Melissa has performed as a soloist in the San Francisco International Arts Festival in 2012 and 2016 and has presented in eight San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festivals; in 2010 and 2011, as a featured soloist. She was commissioned to present a solo representing the genre of flamenco in the 2013 San Francisco Isadora Duncan Awards Ceremony and was a featured artist in the 2014 Tucson Flamenco Festival. Currently, she is principal dancer and choreographer for the San Francisco Flamenco Dance Company which debuted the show, “Mares” in September 2016. As described by Rachel Howard of the SF Chronicle: “Any dancer could make pained faces. But Cruz is clearly possessed by the duende — the spirit that drives this deeply introspective art.” Official Website
Born and raised in Santa Barbara, Ryan began his dance training with Robert Amaral in Los Angeles at a very early age and started dancing professionally by the time he was 10. He is one of the rare individuals who not only is a footwork virtuoso and a master at improvisation within the vast realms of Flamenco, but also knows jazz music theory and can communicate with musicians unlike any other dancer. He has studied in Spain with Manuel Reyes and extensively in the U.S. with one of the most coveted modern Flamenco dancers in the world, Domingo Ortega. He has performed in many concerts and festivals throughout the U.S., most recently at the Ford Theater in Los Angeles with the award winning Bay Area group Caminos Flamencos. His passionate love for all dance, especially the freedoms of Flamenco have excelled him in incorporating modern dance, ballet, and jazz into his Flamenco. He currently lives with his wife Alex and their daughter Sofia in Atlanta, GA and runs Casita Flamenca.