(Left) Aly and her twin sister Annie – 1982 (in Cuba); (Right) Aly and her twin sister Annie – 2009 (in the U.S.)
Aly Tejas – 4 years old and playing to a stadium audience!
…when I was given a small toy guitar as a present. Without any idea how to play, I would accompany my twin sister while she sang. We played in many different places and wherever we went people took notice because of how young we were and yet how musical our performances were. We played in carnivals, children’s festivals, stadiums, on television programs, and in children’s competitions. For me, performing before such large crowds was one of the most beautiful experiences I had ever had, and I found that I did not possess the characteristic shyness of most children at that age.
At 7 I began studying at Raúl Gómez García School of Arts in Holguín, my home town. Thanks to my mother, I began piano studies and found that I loved music more with each day that passed. My only desire was to play, create, and express myself and all my energy through music. Those years of schooling were very good as I gained experience from everyone around me at the time.
At 15, after years of having eavesdropped on the classical music that could be heard coming from the ballet classrooms, I worked up the courage to accompany a ballet class, and found it inspired me like never before. There began my passion for classical ballet. I accompanied prominent ballet companies such as the Alicia Alonso Ballet Company and the Ballet Company of Camagüey. I also performed in many different ballet events, represented the arts school as a ballet accompanist, and participated in international competitions.
At the age of 20 I had to leave my country without knowing when, if ever, I would be able to return. My mother, sister and I came to the U.S. to start a new life. These were hard times, times when I often found myself wondering what on God’s earth I was doing here, times when I felt that all my years of studies and experience were lost, especially in this country of seemingly unlimited opportunities. Devoting myself to my music seemed impossible. I thought all was lost when two years later new opportunities came, new faces, new experiences. I was finally able to play traditional Cuban music with a band, and the doors were opened. Soon thereafter I found work as a ballet accompanist. It wasn’t all lost! Since then, I have been once again performing, composing, and reaching for my music goals. These CD releases so far represent only one of many genres of music that live within me. I hope you enjoy them, and I invite you to accompany me on my journey while I continue to find ways to express myself through my piano.
Aly Tejas, or “Aliucha” to her friends and family, is much more than a gifted piano accompanist. She comes from a family of musicians: older brother Robin is an accomplished saxophonist, and sister Annie is a concert pianist, to name just a few. Aly’s musicality is deeply rooted in her traditional Cuban music, music that is known for being not only rhythmically intricate but also melodically contagious. She has performed with well-known artists such as Latin Grammy® nominated singer-songwriter Victor Romero and Cuban songstress Mirtha Medina, as well as with numerous other Latin and variety bands.
As a piano accompanist, Aly has worked in several ballet and dance schools in the South Florida area, including the esteemed New World School of the Arts, the prestigious Conchita Espinosa Academy and the world renowned Miami City Ballet. Aly is now at the Boston Ballet accompanying ballet and modern dance classes for students as well as the company. For those of you who don’t know what’s involved in accompanying ballet classes, it is important understand that there is a relationship between pianist and dancer that should be both technical and musical. The grace of the notes played helps the dancer express, through his moves, the beauty of classical ballet. The pianist must know the rhythm and style of each exercise in order to help the class accomplish its goals. Add to all that an attempt to produce beautiful music both melodically and harmonically so as to inspire the dancers, and voila! You’ve got Aly’s first CD.
Although Aly’s first recorded musical productions are music for ballet classes, expect to see other types of recordings in the future, as well as a follow ups to these. Whether you are a classical, jazz, or timba fan, you are guaranteed to get lost in this talented pianist’s sweeping melodies and emotional performance.
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