Artistic Director

photo: Dan White

Beau Bledsoe

Artistic director, guitars

Beau Bledsoe performs and records classical music, jazz and folkloric music from around the world as he seeks to integrate different musical cultures with diverse audiences. Through his many varied projects and ensembles, Beau has toured extensively throughout Europe, Russia, South America and North America in addition to producing fifteen recordings under his recording label Tzigane. Beau is currently artistic director and founder of Ensemble Iberica which explores the music of Spain, Portugal and other areas of the world connected to the Iberian diaspora

Executive Director

photo: Dan White

Erin McGrane

Executive Director

Erin is a passionate arts advocate, performing artist, author, and mentor. As Executive Director of Ensemble Iberica and Board member for the Heartland Song Network, she champions the role of artists as culture bearers. Since 2011, Erin’s involvement with Artist INC—a business development program for artists—includes roles as a facilitator, content creator, and workshop presenter. In 2018, she co-founded an annual event centered on performance and songwriting. Erin has been awarded grants from the Arts Council of Metropolitan Kansas City and the Mid-America Arts Alliance, and has engaged in multiple artist-in-residencies. Notably, she appeared in the Oscar-nominated film, UP IN THE AIR, alongside George Clooney. Her contributions were celebrated in KC Magazine’s “The 100: People who make Life Better in KC.”

photo: Dan White

Norma Pacheco O’Neil

Youth Outreach Director

Norma has been educating and entertaining students in the Kansas City area for over 30 years.  She is a certified educator from Texas in both General Education and Bilingual Education.  She created & developed educational programs through lectures and demonstrations called Vamos a España -“Introduction to Spain through Music and Dance” and Mexico Lindo – “Introduction to Mexico through Music and Dance”. Over 11,000 students in the greater Kansas City area have attended these programs. She continues to teach and attend flamenco dance classes both locally and internationally.

Artists

photo: Dan White

Ezgi Karakus

cello

Ezgi Karakus is a highly accomplished Turkish cellist whose musical journey began at the age of eleven. Her talents were duly recognized as she won the concerto competition three times during her conservatory education. After moving to the United States, her exceptional skills were awarded first prize in the Belle and Lynum Jackson Balshaw Music Competition. She completed her Doctor of Musical Arts in Cello Performance at the prestigious UMKC Conservatory of Music & Dance. Ezgi has performed internationally with renowned orchestras like the Topeka Symphony, Tulsa Symphony, and Kansas City Symphony. She was also featured as a soloist at the esteemed Springfield Symphony and Yo-Yo Ma’s Master Class at the Kauffman Center of the Performing Arts. 

photo: Dan White

Christine Grossman

viola

Born and raised in New York City to a musical family, Christine Grossman began playing the violin at the age of five, piano at the age of ten, and viola at sixteen. She received both her Bachelors and Masters degrees in viola performance from the Juilliard School. Ms. Grossman served as the Principal Violist with the Kansas City Symphony from 2008 until 2019. She currently teaches violin and viola privately and performs with various chamber ensembles and orchestras across the country.

photo: Jeff Evrard

Amado Espinoza

charango, flutes, percussion

 

 

Amado Espinoza, from Cochabamba, Bolivia, is a unique performing artist that respects his folk traditions of the Andes mountains while creating compositions that are sincere to his musical-wanderlust personality. He specializes in the Bolivian charango, a small ten-stringed guitar, but demonstrates mastery of over 40 instruments, including Latin, African and Arabic percussion, and native flutes from all over the world. A multi-faceted performer, Amado also guides sound meditations, recycled instrument workshops, and is a respected instrument maker in South America and beyond.

photo: Jeff Evrard

John Currey

percussion

John Currey is a freelance percussionist in a broad variety of genres and styles from classical to Afro-Cuban to country, and has toured through­out the US, Mexico, and Western Europe. John specializes in Modern and Flamenco dance ac­companiment, and directs the Mexican ma­rimba quartet, Sol de Chiapas. He has more than 30 years experience as an in-school presenter and clinician, with teaching credits that include at the UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance, Graceland College, and Pittsburg State University.

photo: Jeff Evrard

Melinda Hedgecorth

dance

Now residing in Kansas City, Melinda Hedgecorth has been living the last 14 years in one of the capital cities of flamenco dance: Sevilla, Spain. Surrounded by artists and experts, she has studied, performed and taught flamenco, gaining experience onstage with local musicians in performances at flamenco clubs such as Peña Flamenca Pies de Plomo or cultural centers such as the Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo. She has been especially influenced by studies with flamenco prodigies of our day such as Israel Galván, Mercedes Ruíz, Belén Maya, Isabel Bayón and La Moneta among many others.

photo: Jeff Evrard

Bruno Bessa

vocals

Bruno has performed in many Jazz venues in Kansas City. Alongside guitarist Michael McClintock, he is one of the vocalists of the Cubanisms project in Kansas City. He has also worked with many local Jazz musicians including Mark Lowrey, Rod Fleeman, Doug Auwater. Current member of Arara Azul Band where he shares the stage with vocalists Shay Estes and Angelique Staggs. Bruno has been greatly influenced by artists from his native Brazil such as Lenine, Ednardo, Caetano Veloso and Gal Costa. His vocals blend the old and the new sounds of the Lusophone World.

photo: Dan White

Fedra Cooper Barrera

vocalist

From Vera Cruz, Mexico, Fedra began her professional career at sixteen in as a model and actress with Televisa under the tutelage of Ernesto Alonso and the great actress Aurora Molina. She later graduated from the school of Miguel Angel Valles with honors at the age of eighteen. Fedra was soon employed by the popular Mexican vocalist Luis Miguel as his principal backing vocalist where she toured Europe, South America and Asia extensively for eight years. Soon after, she recorded her first single with producer Alan Coelho that received airplay in the U.S. and Mexico and later recorded her first solo record produced by Pablo Ortiz. She currently resides in Kansas City and is a vocalist for Cuban musical ensemble, Cubanisms.

Board of Directors

photo: Dan White

photo: Dan White

Shelly Rodriguez

President

Raised in the Imperial Valley, Southern California, Shelly Rodriguez has spent much of her career dedicated to medical society management. Her medical association roles have included oversight for residency and continuing medical education, leadership and strategic planning, communications, membership, grant and program development, public health, and technology. After 38 years in the association management world, in 2021 Shelly, a KU BS and MS grad, retired, moved from California to Kansas City, and became a founding principal in a new consulting partnership called Mosaica Solutions, LLC. Mosaica focuses on bringing people, ideas, and resources together to create innovative solutions. Shelly hopes to bring Mosaica’s focus and her years of association management experience to Ensemble Iberica.

photo: Dan White

Lynda Rodriguez

Secretary

The Scoular Company

Lynda has lived in the KC area for over 25 years. Raised in Colombia, South America, she comes from a large musical family and has been a semi-professional singer for many years in the Kansas City area. A graduate of UMKC from the School of Business, she has nearly 15 years of experience as an International Sales Manager working for The Scoular Company in the grain industry, where she works with the commodities market, mainly exporting into Mexico. Through her many International business ties within Latin America, she has helped Ensemble Iberica attain a more significant presence internationally.

photo: Dan White

Neil Battrum

Board of Historic Downtown Liberty Inc.

Developing thriving historic business and residential districts on/around the historic Liberty Square. Works directly with the City of Liberty and the Missouri Dept. of Conservation to gain the approval of multiuse trails at Stocksdale Park/Walnut Woods. Business owner Orange Technologies LCC, an IT Support business in Kansas City founded in 2003 while finishing a degree in Computer Science and Telecommunications at UMKC (BS 2003). Neil has also studied flamenco guitar for many years in Spain.

photo: Dan White

Ed Reyes

Treasurer

Born and raised in Kansas City, Missouri, Edward Reyes has been involved in Hispanic media in some form for over 40 years. His family business, Dos Mundos, gave him a unique perspective on Kansas City media from an early age. As a young boy, he helped deliver newspapers door to door from the back of his father’s pickup truck or van. Now he oversees their multi-channel media and marketing group. Ed is passionate about helping businesses achieve their goals through effective Hispanic media and marketing strategies. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the table and is always looking for new ways to help his clients reach the growing Hispanic market. With a wealth of knowledge and experience in the Kansas City market, Ed is a valuable resource for businesses looking to reach Hispanic consumers. He understands the culture and the community and knows how to translate that into effective media and marketing plans.

0
    0
    Your Cart
    Your cart is emptyReturn to Shop