Diana Gameros & Maria José Montijo
(Mexico, Puerto Rico)
Presented by Diana Gameros, Maria José Montijo and Artist Migration (duration 90 minutes)
This performance was made possible in part by the generous support of the Phyllis C. Wattis Foundation.
On this night, Maria José Montijo (harp and vocals) and Diana Gameros (guitar and vocals) will join their voices to bring a unique musical set that will feature original compositions, traditional tunes from Latin America and storytelling.
Maria José Monitjo
María José Montijo’s life changed in 2009 on a beach in her native Puerto Rico, where a friend gave her a used Celtic harp. She began writing hypnotic, haunting songs for harp and voice that incorporate her eclectic musical interests.
María José’s songs grow out of an intuitive process of deep listening and the condition of being fully human in a confusing world. Her lyrics speak of paradoxes: mystery and certainty; doubt and faith; love and solitude; sorrow and connection; exile and feeling at home. Her music is informed by the images and rhythms of the natural world in all its vastness.
María José regularly performs throughout the Bay Area, both as a solo artist and with her band. In 2013, she was a featured new artist at Acción Latina’s 32nd Encuentro del Canto Popular at the Brava Theater. In 2014, on the strength of her song “Estrellas” her band played Oakland’s Mayhem Festival, a juried music competition and performance series at the Awaken Cafe. She has headlined at the Red Poppy Art House, been a consistent presence at the Mission Arts Performance Project (MAPP), and played at venues ranging from the Mission Cultural Center to the Hemlock Tavern to the Art in Nature Festival in the Oakland redwoods.
More recently, she has been working on an acoustic duo project with local Mexican-American singer-songwriter Diana Gameros – performing at such intimate venues as Oakland’s Studio Grand, San Francisco’s Viracocha and Berkeley’s Empress Vintage – and experimenting with both acoustic and electric configurations of her band. Her debut EP, “Estrellas”, was released in September 2014.
Diana Gameros is a Latin singer/songwriter who performs songs of love, longing, and hope. Originally from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico and now living in San Francisco, Gameros creates authentic, inspiring music that reflects the 21st century experiences of a young indie artist at the borderlands between cultures, languages, and genres. San Francisco's 7x7 Magazine regarded Diana as "A Bay Area musician to watch". Whether teasing every ounce of expression from her acoustic guitar in an intimate cafe or bringing people to their feet in a club with her dynamic full band, Gameros transfixes listeners with her soaring vocals and captivating stage presence.
Gameros has opened concerts for Torreblanca, Bebel Gilberto and Latin Grammy-nominee Ximena Sariñana. In October 2014 Gameros received the Emerging Leader Award from the Chicana Latina Foundation for her work in music and social activism.
In March 2015 Gameros performed* alongside the Oakland East Bay Symphony for this year's installment of the ground-breaking "Notes from" series.