Guitarist and Richmond native Leah Kruszewski currently resides in Seville, Spain, where she accompanies flamenco dancing and singing and teaches classical and flamenco guitar lessons to local and international students. Leah studied on scholarship the Fundación Cristina Heeren, one of Spain's most renowned and rigorous professional flamenco schools, and regularly returns to the USA for festivals and performances.
Sueños Gitanos was Richmond's source of flamenco-inspired music from 2010 to 2013. Leah founded the group with classical guitarist Denver Walker, and the group expanded to include percussionists CJ Alicea and CJ Wolfe, trumpet player Mary Lawrence Hicks, and bassist Brian Cruse.
Leah arranged music for the group with flamenco song forms as inspiration, and the group interpreted them with their classical and jazz perspectives for a lively and fluid sound.
Sueños Gitanos performed in VCU´s 2012 and 2013 Flamenco Festivals and in the VMFA's First Friday's concert series. The group recorded its self-titled album in 2013, right before Leah moved to Seville.
In Richmond, Virginia (USA), Leah studied classical guitar at Virginia Commonwealth University (2010) and performed extensively as a soloist and in local classical and world music ensembles. She founded and led the flamenco-inspired ensemble Sueños Gitanos, which performed in VCU's Flamenco Festivals and released their debut album in 2013. Leah accompanied singer Bernadette Stephens in the Portuguese fado group Fado Nosso. She joined the Richmond Guitar Quartet (classical guitar) for their 2013 performing season, which featured works by by Piazzola, Bach, Beethoven. In addition to performing, Leah taught flamenco and classical guitar lessons for six years to students of all ages at Richmond's local music academy, Key Signatures.
Leah has been co-organizing and performing in VCU's Flamenco Festivals since the first in 2009. The festivals happen every year and a half and feature performances and master classes by Washington D.C. artists and local RVA flamenco musicians. The seventh festival is scheduled for March 20th-22nd, 2018, and will feature the Latin Ballet of Virginia, invited artist 'El Nano' from Seville, as well guitarists Ricardo Marlow and Torcuato Zamora.
Leah is currently devoted to further developing her musical voice in the context of flamenco, and to sharing her musical insights with students from all over the world via classical and flamenco guitar lessons online and in Seville.
Musicians Andrew McEvoy, Ron Alig, and Nathan Aldhizer of the Richmond Guitar Quartet have been sharing their love of classical guitar with RVA for nearly ten years. Leah joined the quartet for their 2012-2013 performing season, which featured works by Beethoven, Bach, Piazolla, Bizet in concerts at Virginia Commonwealth University and Randolph Macon.
Leah accompanied singer Bernadette Stephens in the Portuguese Fado group Fado Nosso from the group's inception in 2011 until her move to Spain in 2013. Fado Nosso is still going strong and gaining an admiring following in Richmond, VA with its current members Brian Cruse, Ron Alig, and James Beard. Keep up with Fado Nosso's latest news and performances on their Facebook Page.
flamenco and classical guitarist
Leah most recently traveled to the USA in November 2016 to perform with Ana King, the Latin Ballet, and Antonio Hidalgo in VCU's Sixth Flamenco Festival. The festival also featured concerts by guitarists Miguelito and Ricardo Marlow, and a master class by Ricardo Marlow which was well attended by local guitar students. Leah has been co-organizing the festival since it's beginning in 2009.