Thomas Kimball—guitar and vocals
CMP offers Flamenco dance and music presentations to schools, libraries, colleges, and universities. For over twenty years Raices Gitanas has been educating and entertaining students in the Chicago Public Schools through the International Music Foundation. They have given many presentations in schools and libraries, as well as performing in restaurants and theaters in the Chicago Area.
Pronounced, rye-ée-ses hit-án-as, Raices Gitanas means ”Gypsy Roots” in Spanish. Gypsies are nomads. Starting a thousand years ago, they began to migrate west from India, traveling the length of Asia and across the top of Africa, and some of them settled in Southern Spain. There they are called gitanas and their music and dance is called Flamenco. Flamenco tells the story of their lives: where they travel and the people they meet, the hardships of homeless wandering, their love of family, and the joys of traveling freely. Raices Gitanas tells the story of Flamenco in song, dance, and music. Exploring its history and its place in today’s world, they reveal it to be part of our heritage as Americans, as well.
A native of Chicago with Cuban, Argentinean, and Spanish heritage, Vanesa Roimicher has been dancing Flamenco for 16 years. She holds a minor in Dance from Northeastern Illinois University. In 2006 she joined renowned Spanish dancer, Ms. Azucena Vega’s Soul and Duende Spanish American Dance Theatre company with which she studied and performed for 5 years. With them, she performed in many different venues across the Chicago land area, Indiana, and New York. Venues such as Northeastern Illinois University, College of Lake County, Purdue University, Interamerican Magnet School, Instituto Cervantes in Chicago, just to name a few. Vanesa has also studied with other renowned Spanish dancers such as Carmela Greco, Juan Mata, Ana Gonzalez, Amelia Vega, Celia Fonta, and Vida Peral, just to name a few. Currently she performs around the Chicago area collaborating with different local Flamenco groups.
Thomas Kimball began playing the Spanish Guitar in 1992, following an inspiring trip to Mexico. Based in Chicago, he has been fortunate to be able to study flamenco and Latin American styles with respected local and visiting artists. In addition, he has traveled to Spain, Cuba, New Mexico and California to further his understanding and skills. Thomas performs regularly at restaurants, schools and at special events with other musicians and singers as well as with Flamenco dancers.
Originally from Mexico, Hector Salcedo began studying Flamenco guitar in Guadalajara with renown guitarist Fernando Martínez Peralta who invited him to be part of his group, Andalucia. Hector has traveled to Spain to study with international artists such as Manolo Sanlucar, Manolo Franco, José Antonio Rodríguez, and Gerardo Nuñez, during the Festival de la Guitarra de Córdoba and the the Curso Internacional de Flamenco in Sanlucar de Barrameda. He has also studied with Jesus de Aracely, Anton Jimenez, and Fernando Martinez Macias. Residing in Chicago since 2007, he has performed with groups such as El Payo, Soul and Duende Spanish American Dance Theater, and Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Company, and venues such as the Pritzker Pavilion, Chicago Cultural Center, National Museum of Mexican Art and Old Town School of Folk Music, among others.
Don Skoog is a percussionist who has given presentations and masterclasses at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention, the Illinois PAS Day of Percussion, Millikin University, Northwestern University, University of Wisconsin, Kansas State University, the Nashville Jazz Workshop, College of DuPage, Colorado State University, Elmhurst College, Valparaiso University, the Old Town School of Folk Music, Concordia University, and Vandercook College. He was on faculty at the Sherwood Conservatory of Music, is a presenter for The International Music Foundation, was director of the Gallery 37 Latin Big Band, and is author of Batá Drumming, The Instruments, the Rhythms, and the People Who Play Them. He has performed with many Flamenco groups, including Montaje, and some twenty years with Raices Gitanas.