ZAMBRA BIOS (below photo)

L to R top: Kathryn Veditz, Jennie Siegmund, Ann Louise Wagner, Audrey Nickel;
L to R middle: Janet Herman, Kathleen Loveless, Susan Krivin, John Hopkins (accompanist);
L to R bottom: Laura Reeve, Nancy Niles, Kathy Hopkins;
Photo by Hank Niles.

Janet Herman sang as a child with her mother and with the L.A. school district's all-city children's choir. She has a Ph.D. in Folklore & Ethnomusicology from UCLA specializing in shape-note singing and American folk music. The vocalist and tenor banjo player in the Irish band Dance Around Molly, she has studied Irish Gaelic singing in Ireland and sang with the Irish Gaelic choir Cór Ainglí. She is also the artistic co-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.

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 Cór Ainglí , 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 Cór Ainglí (Irish Gaelic choir) from 2008-2011.

Audrey Nickel fell in love with Irish traditional music, American and British Isles folk music, and Renaissance polyphony more or less simultaneously, and her life has been a cheerful mix of musical styles ever since - a fact that she credits in large part to her mother, who loved to sing everything from gospel and church hymns to show tunes and doo wop. Harmony is her first love, and she has sung in choirs for as long as she can remember, most recently Mary Mc Laughlin's Cór Ainglí Irish choir and the traditional Anglican choir at Calvary Episcopal Church in Santa Cruz.

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 Cór Ainglí 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, Cór Ainglí .

Kathryn Veditz began singing in junior high school and went on to perform at UCLA with the A Capella Choir, Concert Choir and Women's Glee Club. She is especially drawn to the music of the Baroque and the Renaissance as well as Celtic and Scandinavian folk music. She has created several song arrangements for Zambra and produced Zambra’s video of the Ukrainian lullaby, Oy Khodyt Son Kolo Vikon. Kathryn is a composer and a singer-songwriter who plays piano, guitar, and the Irish and Baroque flute. Her first album of original piano music, Caribou Lane, was released in 2021.

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, qawwali, 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.