Mara Sanchez Singer-Songwriter-Actress
Mara’s journey as a actress and singer began in New York City appearing in Pedro Pietri’s No More Bingo at the Wake - The Public, Flashback -Theater Row, Calalou by Lord Burgess & Loften Mitchell- Perry Street Theater, Language of the Stars - Repertorio Espanol, Journey to Bernares by Elizabeth Swados, HBO’s ‘Lantic City, The Boxer’s Son-Puerto Rican Traveling Theater and Nine O’clock Soap Opera at Intar.
Mara has appeared in a number of indie films including The Wannabe by Althea Wasow and Why We Wax by Kimberly Wetherall. Her television credits include All My Children and appearing as an entertainment reporter for NJN on PBS. She appears in numerous national commercials such as Edward Jones and metroPCS. Her extensive voice over work includes promos for Frontline, PBS and Revlon.
On the musical front she was selected from hundred of singers to compete in Savannah Music Festival’s McAlister Songbook Competition where she was selected as a quarter finalist. After returning to New York she performed at local events with greats like Stevie Wonder, and was cast by Disney as a featured performer in a tribute to Chita Rivera who personally praised her musical renderings. In musical theater Mara has worked with Graciela Danielle, Michael Dansicker and Kent Gash. She has studied voice with Patsy Rodenberg of the Royal Shakespeare Company and performed with Bill T. Jones and Jacques D’Amboise.
Mara has toured in Spain, France and Japan. In Spain recorded the hit record Madrid, which dominated the Spanish charts. In Japan, she sang and roused the crowds at the Blue Note. After returning to the United States Mara released a solo album which she titled “Ventanas Abiertas-Open Windows. Art and culture journalist Juan Cruz-Barrios review said, “As I listen to her sexy, husky voice, I closed my eyes for a second and let Mara take me to the hippest jazz club in the Village.” Mara’s first solo album mingles the self-assuredness of jazz with joyous bursts of flamenco over a driving pop beat. Like Mara’s city, her sound is fusion, and authentically mixed; bearing the footprints of many lands, she sings the global story of New York. Singing in three languages, Mara retells, celebrates, and blends stories from the streetscape to present a collection of international rhythms that could only be born in New York.
Michael Weeden (Producer/Songwriter/Guitarist) Born in Detroit, Michigan, his parents, Paul Weeden and Terry Pollard and are renowned music professionals. Menace's professional journey began when he was hired by top DJ and producer Mark Kamins and was contracted to play guitar on Madonna's first album, "Everybody.” It was his guitar solo on “Burning up” that made record industry professionals sit up and take notice of his musical talents. He went on to play guitar in Madonna’s band under the direction of Steven Bray. Menace also performed with Prince, Kid Creole & the Coconuts, Lenny Kravitz, Mara Sanchez, George Clinton, Bootsy Collins, Bill Laswell, Liberty-X and Wyclef Jean.
Mario E. Sprouse (Composer, Orchestrations, Arranger) has produced music in theater and film and live performances. He is currently the Musical Director for the blues; jazz and Caribbean band Circular Time that performed at the TanJazz Festival to great accolades. He is currently working with Mara Sanchez and Urban Skies as music director and arranger; adding his musical talents to the spicy mix of Urban Skies’ red hot Latin Jazz sound. For more on Mario, visit: www.circulartime.com
Mark Asche (Keyboardist/Composer) As a keyboardist, vocalist, composer, arranger, and producer, Mark has performed with his modern chamber music ensemble in the Modern American Composer Series with works by Gerry Hemingway, Diane Moser, and David Sampson. While composing multimedia scores in virtually every genre for Fortune 500 companies such as AT&T, Dow Jones, New York Times, Verizon Wireless, Prudential, and Newsweek, he has also enjoyed writing and performing rock and funk with NYC artists such as Michael Weeden, Thursday Habit and Joe Taino. For more on Mark, visit: www.markasch.com
Howard Erskine (Bassist) was born in Jamaica, West Indies and remembers music being “everywhere, in churches, on the street, at the clubs.” He has worked with musicians, Pam Hall (Reggae), Derrick Barnett Kingston (producer, writer), Courtney Panton and producer, writer and arranger Errol Wilson. Howard loves “all types of music,” especially jazz and reggae. He writes and records his own music, and is currently working with rock artist Lisa Bodnar, KonKoction, and BMI Latin Pop artist, Mara Sanchez & Urban Skies.
George Coleman Jr. (Drummer) has toured Australia, Japan and Europe playing Jazz, Funk, R&B and recently at the Jazz Standard in New York to rave reviews. He has played with notables such as Harold Mahbern, George Coleman Sr. For more on George visit: www.rivingtonproject.com
Bendji Allonce (Percussionist) Hails from Montreal, Quebec and is the one of the hottest percussionist on the scene. He plays on an international level and in the U.S. and is an integral part of Urban Skies.