ZAMBRA BIOS (below photo)

L to R top: Nancy Niles, Ann Louise Wagner, John Hopkins (accompanist);
L to R middle: Jennie Siegmund, Kathryn Veditz, Connie Hernandez, Kathleen Loveless,
Kathy Hopkins;
L to R bottom: Janet Herman, Susan Krivin, Laura Reeve
Not pictured: Audrey Nickel
Photo by Hank Niles.

Janet Herman first sang with the L.A. school district's all-city children's choir at the age of 10. A bit later she got a Ph.D. in Folklore & Ethnomusicology from UCLA specializing in shape-note singing and American folk music. The vocalist and tenor banjo/mandolin player in the Irish band Dance Around Molly, she has studied Irish Gaelic singing at the Joe Mooney School in Ireland. She is also the artistic director of Redwood Dulcimer Day and co-author of Music of the World for Mountain Dulcimer. Janet co-founded and is a writer for the Music of Bhutan Research Center based in Thimphu, Bhutan.

Connie Hernandez, a charter member of the alto section, had never sung in public before joining Zambra. Growing up listening to country-western music, she did however play violin, performing on occasion with her little brother, who played steel guitar.

Kathy Hopkins can't remember a day without music in her life. She has been an all-around church musician and cantor since her youth, and has sung with the San Jose Symphonic Choir, the Irish choir Cor Aingli, ensembles of Gavilan College, and the Celtic Christian group Kingsbard. Kathy also plays several instruments including guitar, Celtic harp, recorder, flute, clarinet, harmonica, and English Handbells.

Susan Krivin's love of singing runs in her family, going back many generations. She began harmonizing with cousins as a child, while receiving formal musical training in various choral groups, and on piano and guitar. As an adult, she has enjoyed singing with friends, mostly informally, but found her musical home with Zambra in 1994. Susan's skills as a professional seamstress and designer are sometimes applied to Zambra's stagewear.

Kathleen Loveless, who arranges much of our repertoire, has been a part of Zambra since the conceptual phase. Katie grew up in a home filled with music. She remembers her parents teaching her to pick out horn lines in orchestral band recordings, and she silently practiced those harmonizing skills to pass the time during many a math class. She studied music theory at Cabrillo College where she sang in the Chorus and Chamber Singers. She served as cantor of Valley Catholic Church of Watsonville for 10 years and as conductor of Mary Mc Laughlin's Cor Aingli (Irish Gaelic choir) from 2008-2011.

Nancy Niles has enjoyed participating in the magic of vocal harmony since childhood. She attended voice classes with Michelle Rivard and Katherine Adkins at Cabrillo College, performed three seasons with the Bay Shore Lyric Opera, and most recently sang with the women's a cappella group, Windham Voices.

Laura Reeve grew up in a house where folk music and three part harmonies in many languages were a regular occurrence. At UCSC she sang in the Concert Choir while getting her first of two theater degrees. She learned bodhran drumming and traditional singing at Celtic jam sessions, and found her Zambra family one night at a local pub. Family background also led Laura to explore Sephardic music, which Zambra has since taken up enthusiastically. She recently participated in Mary McLaughlin's Cor Angli and as part of several productions by dance choreographer Sharon Took-Zozaya.

Jennie Siegmund began her singing career in her bedroom. She shocked friends by quietly singing backup vocals one day while someone was playing guitar and singing. From then on, she was fast tracked into her high school's two choirs and its small elite singing group, and ultimately majored in vocal music in college. She has performed in a local rock dance band and was also a member of Mary Mc Laughlin's Irish Gaelic Choir, Cor Aingli.

Kathryn Veditz sang with the So Cal Vocal Association Honor Choir in high school and went on to perform at UCLA with the A Capella Choir, Concert Choir and Women's Glee Club. Kathryn has enjoyed writing original songs on piano and guitar since her teens, and is now studying the modern and Irish flute. She is especially drawn to music of the Baroque and the Renaissance as well as Celtic and Scandinavian folk music. She believes that nothing is better for the soul than making music with friends, so she does that every chance she gets.

Ann Louise Wagner has been part of Zambra from its planning stages. She credits an excellent high school choir director with inspiring her, and also her sisters, with whom she harmonizes at every opportunity. She has studied several romance languages and is fascinated by fado, qwaali, Balkan, and bluegrass vocal forms.

Zambra would also like to acknowledge Therese Hall Johannesson, our talented, inspiring founder, who led the group for its first few years before stepping back to focus on her family, and who subsequently continued on as a member for many years. Therese is currently the director of the Alternative Family Education Madrigal Singers of Santa Cruz.