JUAN GOMEZ AGARRADO, guitar
Juan Gomez hails from Cádiz. He first started learning the guitar while still a child and later became a pupil of famous flamenco artists such as Manolo Sanlucar. Since 1984 he has worked professionally with a number of renowned flamenco groups and has taken part in international tours with artists such as Joaquin Grilo und Javier Baron. His sensitive style and expressivity make him an ideal accompanist for both dancers and singers. In recent years he has accompanied well-known flamenco singers such as Pansequito, Nano de Jerez and Mariana Cornejo and has also worked with the travelling dance company Flamencos en route.
BRUNO ASSENMACHER, ethno-percussion
After graduating as an electrical engineer Bruno Assenmacher trained as a group leader on theme-centred interaction and founded an import-export company for musical instruments. He studied various percussion styles In Northern Africa, the United States, Europe and Israel. Concerts, radio, TV, CD and theatre productions gave him insights into the musical practices of Arab and European bands and in particular into Oriental musical culture. This provided the basis for his current work as a percussion teacher with special focus on Oriental music. He also holds refresher courses for school teachers and theoretical and practical rhythm courses for dancers, engages in management training where he holds team-building and anti-stress courses, works as a music journalist and writes, among other, for the Orient Magazin, lectures at the Fachhochschule Düsseldorf and acts as artistic advisor and board member of Tanzhaus NRW, Düsseldorf.
LUIS M. CARMONA BARRIO, piano
Luis M. Carmona Barrio was born in San Sebastián, where he studied piano and composition. He worked as dance accompanist and composer in many parts of Europe, in the USA and Japan with artists such as María de Ávila, Lola de Ávila, Carmen Roche, Victor Ullate, Carmina, Ida Vasilieva, Azari Plizetski, Jean Claude Gallotta, Anne Teresa de Keersmaker, David Zambrano, Susanne Linke, Milton Myers, Wim Vandekeybus, with the José Limón Dance Company and the Jennifer Muller Company, the Institut del Teatre, Barcelona, and Internationale Tanzwochen Wien.
He has composed music for films, dance and theatrical performances and has taken part in most of the major music festivals as a pianist. Carmona Barrio has also recorded a number of CDs and is currently recording his own piano compositions.
FRANÇOIS CECCALDI, percussion
Francois Ceccaldi has been engaged with dance as a musician for the past 15 years. He has composed for various ensembles (Cie de la Mentira, Voie E) and accompanies dance lessons at the Conservatoire de Montpellier, Epse Danse and at various international festivals. He has worked with artists such as Anne Marie Porras, Rita Quaglia, Michèle Rust, Eve Jouret, Yann Lheureux, Jean-Pierre Alvarez and Leonardo Montecchia.
His basic instruments are the traditional percussion instruments (Zarb, Darbuka, Tablas, Jenbé Toms). By combining them with the latest technology Francois has opened a broad new field of sound.
SANDRO CUCCUINI, piano
Sandro Cuccuini graduated as a pianist in 1988 from the Conservatorio G. Verdi, Turin, where he studied under Maestro Sergio Verderame. From 1982 he worked as a répétiteur to opera singers and from 1990 onwards also for classical dance. He served as artistic director and conductor of the company Torino Teatro Operetta from 1998 to 2006. Since 2001 he has been a pianist for the Royal Academy of Dance in London and has collaborated with choreographers and dance tutors. Cuccuini is the composer and arranger of the music on the nine CDs which outline the Modern Dance Academy’s teaching method and also composed and recorded the first classical dance CD Music for Ballet. More recently he has written a musical which has been produced in Turin in a stage design by Fulvio Crivello. Sandro Cuccuini composed and arranged the music for “Valiean”, a musical based on the novel “Les Miserables” by Victor Hugo and directed by Fulvio Crivello. Recently he was invited to Virginia, USA as both pianist and teacher to take part in a music seminar dedicated to dance.
GILSON DE ASSIS, percussion
Gilson de Assis, born in Rio de Janeiro, has been living and working in Europe since 1981. Years of research while still in Brazil have made him a specialist in Brazilian percussion. He gives concerts with various groups, has recorded numerous CDs and written two textbooks. He is co-director of the Blue Planet music courses in Munich and offers further training for teachers and professional musicians. A special focus in his work is on pre-school and school children and social projects for children of the City of Munich. His many years of work as a musician in various dance festivals have given him a great deal of experience in cooperating with dancers. As an accompanist in dance courses he mixes traditional and modern rhythms and uses not only conventional percussion instruments but also other sound sources such as various sound-producing objects, voice, body percussion, creating in this way an exciting and creative atmosphere.
THIERRY GALAND, percussion
He embarked on his percussion education in the environment of African music from Mali (Malinké) with Mamadi Keita “Kargus” in Nancy, Mare Sanogo in Paris and that of West Africa with Christophe Dalaeter. Together with Christian Nicolas in Paris he discovered the Afro-Caribbean percussion art and the world of Lewoz and the Caribbean drums.
During that time he played (djembé, tumba) in a “World Blues” band and in traditional and modern Antillean music groups such as Tamak, Kalagwai and Signuines. He gained more experience as a timbales and conga drum player in salsa orchestras such as “La Onda” and “Chango” in Paris.
Since 2004 he has played in the Difé-Kako Live Orchestra. At the same time he taught percussion for Difé Kako and as visiting professor at various universities (Bobigny, Villetaneuse) and schools.