Passion for her culture and passion for educating herself and others about its richness and beauty define AnnaMaria's life. This intensity of dedication has led AnnaMaria into possession of a truly unique combination of accomplishments and youth.
AnnaMaria identifies herself first as a musician. As a classical and flamenco guitarist, her style speaks of her proud heritage as an eighteenth-generation Santa Fean, a link to the world's best-preserved enclave of Spanish colonial culture. As a singer, her voice reveals all the warmth of her Mediterranean ancestry. Her talent has brought her concert and recital engagements worldwide, but pursuing this goal took her on a most unusual and remarkable path.
At thirteen, AnnaMaria completed high school in order to begin a professional career with the guitar. She recorded her first album at fifteen and began her own label, Musica Mundial Productions. The success of that first album both launched her career and brought national recognition of her entrepreneurial creativity.
When AnnaMaria's first CD was featured on QVC, it met with astounding sales, but more importantly, the exposure introduced AnnaMaria to an audience much wider than her native Santa Fe. It was at that point that her national and international performance schedule truly began to soar. Some of the appearances she is most proud of were a recital at the Kennedy Center, performances for the Prince of Spain and numerous concerts with full orchestra of her favorite work, Rodrigo's profoundly moving Concierto de Aranjuez. Many albums have since been produced by AnnaMaria on Musica Mundial Productions and other labels.
Success with the guitar however, was not AnnaMaria's only musical goal. With the same determination, AnnaMaria began to develop her voice as an equally important instrument. Perhaps early experiences at the Santa Fe Opera or her half-Sicilian genes instilled her deep love of opera, and her vocal performances, whether accompanied by anything from her own guitar to full orchestra, have met with the greatest response.
All of this represented dreams realized, but AnnaMaria possessed a profound sense of responsibility to continue her education, especially as it related to the culture and music she so loved. While maintaining her performance schedule, consistently producing successful recordings and running Musica Mundial, AnnaMaria completed her BA summa cum laude at St. Mary's College of California at age eighteen. At twenty, she completed her MA at St. John's College in Santa Fe. These Philosophy/Theology-oriented Liberal Arts degrees were a step toward her real research interest.
Before the age of 25, AnnaMaria completed her doctoral dissertation at the University of Notre Dame. Her Ph.D. was awarded in Theology with an emphasis in Latino Studies. The topic of her dissertation, however, reflected a lifetime of interdisciplinary study. AnnaMaria carefully researched the early roots of today's Spanish flamenco as they are preserved in the liturgical tradition of the New Mexican Penitentes--a society whose worship presents a time-capsule of medieval Spanish spirituality.
Her research yielded surprising revelations about a historically unique time and place where Islam, Judaism and Christianity flourished in community. Her work speaks both of the tragedy of the destruction of this delicately beautiful balance and the triumph of its continued survival in the arts. Surprisingly enough, AnnaMaria's interest in her culture's ancient roots revealed a message of cooperation of terribly timely relevance to today's troubled world.
AnnaMaria's background puts her in a unique position to speak and perform in the university context, especially for the college age group. Firstly, students are her peers, and she speaks to them as such. Her Latin temperament never to be squelched, her performances and lectures are not dryly academic but are instead highly dramatic, deeply engaging and imbued with all the excitement of the Spanish guitar and the sensuality of the mezzo-soprano voice.
For university and college bookings, please contact Wally Saukerson at 1-800-476-0442.
For all other inquiries, contact Musica Mundial Productions at 1-877-983-6237.