Ruben Dario Mejia
Maestro Ruben Dario Mejia was born in the town of Anserma Caldas. He is a Colombian folklorist dedicated to spreading Colombian dance, emphasizing the Andean region. He studied dance in Colombia with masters Julian Bueno Rodrigues and Octavio Marulanda Morales, graduating with a degree in Colombian dance. In 1982, he founded the music and dance company “Aires de Colombia” in Manizales. He is a researcher of traditional dances of their region and has won several national awards for dance. In 1994,1997 and 2002, he won the national prize for research on the “Pasillo Colombiano”, in Aguadas, Caldas, Colombia. Ruben lives in New York with his dance partner and wife Paola and founded “Los Viajeros de la Danza”, a Colombian dance company.
Caribbean and Pacific coast rhythms
Nestor Gomez is a virtuoso percussionist born in Barranquilla, Colombia. A master of Atlantic coastal drumming, Nestor has played with numerous groups that showcase traditional Colombian music since the early age of 8. Since moving to New York City he has been part of distinguished groups such as Los Macondos de Colombia, Grupo Chonta and Diego Obregon, Folklore Urbano, and Alejandro Zuleta’s Vallenato Collective. He has performed with artists including Arturo Farril, Carlos Vives, Maria Mulata, and Colombian vallenato legends Alfredo Gutierrez and Anibal Velasquez. In addition, he participates in various educational projects that seek to teach both children and adults about traditional Colombian music. He currently leads his own band, “Parada Vallenata,” which is part of the Music Under New York program sponsored by the NYC MTA, and his latest project includes experimenting with traditional music and new beats with “Los Cumpleanos.”
As a bilingual Spanish-English family with two young children, Blanca González and Jesse Elder make learning engaging and enjoyable. Sharing their own experiences in a relaxed and supportive environment, Blanca and Jesse present easy ways to incorporate other cultures into your family's everyday life. Musiquita primarily focuses on Colombian, Spanish and English tunes, but will also include glimpses into other world cultures.
BLANCA GONZÁLEZ and JESSE ELDER
Jorge Arévalo Mateus Ph.D.
Paula Andrea Toro Velez
Program & OutreachAdministrator
Jonathan Roja Torres
Media, Marketing, and Communications Coordinator