Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians

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Liska, Eugenia (Maria Eugenia Mendez Liska)

Liska, Eugenia [Maria Eugenia Mendez Liska], pianist and singer; b. Caracas City, Venezuela, 26 September 1967. Her father is Dr. Jorge David Mendez Bonilla, born June 10 1938, in San CristUbal, T'chira state, Venezuela. He graduated as Medical Doctor Anesthesiologist specialist and postgraduate in social Health Care management. In his youth he was a popular music singer, and took part of the "Orquesta T"pica Liras del T'chira" (a typical Venezuelan Andes music orchestra from the T'chira state). He performed as Tenor at the Vocal Choir "La Estudiantina (Students Ensamble) Liuni" from San CristUbal, soloist Tenor for the Guitar trio "Los Yarabios," for the "OrfeUn (Choral society) Liceo SimUn Bol"var de San CristUbal" and Tenor and soloist at the "OrfeUn Universitario de la Universidad Central de Venezuela" (Choral society of the Central University of Venezuela). Recorded as solo singer for the regional label of T'chira; "Probanza,". "La Grita musical" and "Alegr"as del T'chira" are some of these productions. From paternal side there is ancestry of musicians, craftsmen and social fighters: Carmelo Bonilla Vivas was "musical luthier" and used to play lute also for regional music groups and estudiantinas of the T'chira state in Venezuela. Pedro Bonilla Vivas, trombonist of the Municipal Band of Maracaibo city in the 40Ys. Rafael Maria Bonilla Vivas, trumpetist of the Municipal Band of San CristUbal, at the same date.

Her mother is Dr. Mercedes Agnes Liska Klein, daughter of Hungarian fathers with Austrian and German ascendancy, dentist and teacher of primary education, born June the 7th, 1939 in San CristUbal, T'chira state of Venezuelan Andes. Also from her maternal Klein M'ller roots comes musical ancestry (the Hungarian violinist Gizy M'ller, among others musical relatives). Her brother is Jorge Roman Mendez Liska, born in Caracas, Venezuela, November the 3rd, 1963. He is a scuba diving instructor, underwater photographer and videographer. He settles in Caracas, Venezuela. Her other brother is Gustavo Adolfo Mendez Liska, born in December the 17th 1968, in Puerto la Cruz, Anzo'tegui state, Venezuela. He is plastic artist. At the moment he resides in Vienna, Austria.

Liska began her piano studies at the age of 3 in Puerto la Cruz city in the Anzo'tegui state of Venezuela. At the age of 7, during his father postgraduate studies, she went to the U.S.A. with her family for a year and a half. She returned to Caracas, Venezuela, and resumed her formal piano studies at the age of sixteen. In Parallel she dedicated herself formally to singing too. From 1984 to 1986 she performed as soloist in "Coro Academico de Caracas (academia Caracas Coral)", director by the master Emilio Sole y Sempere. This choral group born as a branch of the great "Orquesta FilarmUnica de Caracas (Caracas Philharmonic Orchestra)" founded by the  Master Aldemaro Romero. During this choral stage, she discovered a passion for the gospel and Jazz. She participated during this teenage and choral stage, in many Local and international choral festivals where she was recorded by first time during the Vitoria Festival in Spain.

From 1985, she shared her musical performing as singer and pianist together with many of the best well known Venezuelan Jazz musicians, as Junior Romero, Alberto Lazo, Gonzalo MicU, Jorge Barnet  Miguel Gonzalez , Roberto JirUn, RamUn Garcia, Michel Berti, Roberto Valdes, Carlos Sanoja, Oscar Fanega, Edgar Saume, Oscar Booy, and others. In 1989 she created a jazz and fusion voice-guitar duet with the great guitarist Jorge Barnet. Her formal piano Jazz studies were taken during these years in Ars Nova Academy (Venezuelan academy of Berklee college of Music graduated teachers founded by Maria Eugenia Atilano) and with Austrian Jazz piano master Gerry Weil, and Junior Romero.

Searching for more technical and in depth knowledge, she decided to continue and extend her piano studies in the formal academic area. After prepared by Arnaldo Pizzolante Venezuela academic piano master, in 1990 she went to Vienna- Austria to study with the Piano Master Alejandro Geberovich. In 1992 she was accepted to attend Hochschule f'r Musik und Darstellende Kunst Mannheim-Heidelberg in Germany (Superior School for the Music and Scenic arts in Mannheim-Heidelberg) where she graduated in 1995 with honors as Pianist and piano Pedagogue. Combining her Superior studies at Heidelberg and Mannheim, she continued attending at Vienna conservatory professor and master Alejandro Geberovich piano courses.

During this stage in Europe, singing masters Anegrette Esterh'zy and Alexander Basserman complement her voice studies formation in Mannheim-Heidelberg superior music school. In Europe she performed piano concerts in piano contests. During 1991 she won first place in the annual Vienna Conservatory young pianists contest. Cellist Bianca Breitfeld from Germany and Eugenia formed a duo performing Latino American and European academic masters pieces. During her stay in Europe, she kept her jazz performances in tact by singing in a duet with guitarist Peter Lemberg, and also with Korean pianist, Husan Chun, performing in different jazz clubs in Germany and Austria during those years.

She returned to Venezuela in 1995. She was dedicated to teach piano to children, in charge of the piano studies in el "Taller Experimental de M?sica Integral (Integral Music Experimental School), directed by the professor Annelly Keller. She performed in different solo and duo (cello, with Bianca Breitfeld) academic concerts in Venezuela, as the 1996 Festival Internacional de m?sica de C'mara de la Colonia Tovar. During 1998 and 1999 she performed too in Corp-Banca concert hall, and in Quinta Anauco concert hall repertories for piano and cello-piano duet, included masters such as Bach, Mozart, Scriabin, Piazzola, Ginastera, Romero, Moleiro, and others. During 1999 Venezuelan opera star Margot Pares Reyna, continued guiding her vocal training.

From 1996 she re-took the jazz duets with Jorge Barnet and continued singing and appearing in different Jazz clubs and events. She shares with other great Venezuelan jazz masters as Gustavo Caruc", Andres BriceOo, Carlos Rodriguez, Julio Mendoza, between others. Finishing 1999, she prepared and arranged special corporate concerts, combining academia and jazz repertories (academic piano pieces from Moises Moleiro, Alfonso Montes, Alberto Ginastera, Scriabin, Bach, Debussy, and jazz quintet standards by Duke Ellingtong, Cole Porter, and others jazz masters). In the 2001 she was singer invited in the production of the Venezuelan composers Ra?l Jimenez, Gilberto Rebolledo and Ra?l Delgado Estevez "Adventure in Caracas". During this year she was invited to the jazz festival "Panorama del Jazz" in Mexico City and in November she sang with Roberto Aymes Trio in the "Jazz Festival of Trujillo City" in Venezuela.

During year 2002 she was dedicated to her second record production, besides to make diverse presentations in New York, Vienna and Venezuela. In December 2002, was invited by the Yamaha Venezuela for the Opening Concert of "La Fiesta del Piano" (The Piano Party), which is celebrated every two years for classical, jazz and popular music in Caracas. Recently she has been invited to sing in the CD production of the Venezuelan jazz composer and drummer Marcel Fuenmayor. 

Recordings:
Afinidades (2000); Inner Rhythms (2003)
Radio broadcasts:
During years 2000 to 2002 in: Publicijazz, Jazz95.5FM (Caracas-Venezuela), with the journalist Carolina Fuenmayor
En Control, Jazz95.5FM, with the producer Leila Leal
La cuarta noche, Jazz95.5FM, with the producer and art manager Roberto Obesso
Sin Formato, Jazz95.5FM, with the producer and singer Rosalba LeUn
El Idioma del Jazz, Jazz95.5 and Radio Nacional de Venezuela, with the producer Jaques Braunstein
Sunday night, Jazz95.5FM, with the producer Federico Pacanins.
La vida por un huequito, Radio Capital 710AM, with the announcer Yajaira N?Oez
El Mundo del Disco, Radio Nacional de Venezuela, With the journalist Alfredo ChuriUn
El Sonido de la Industria, Radio Caracas Radio, with the announcer Eduardo Troconis.
Panorama del Jazz, Radio UNAM 96.1 mhtz FM, with the musician, producer and announcer Roberto Aymes (Mexico City-Mexico)
La voz de Harlem, W.H.C.R 90.3 FM (New York-USA), with the journalist William Camacaro
Some of her music of "Afinidades" was part of a special latinamerican program for The London BBC in January 2002
Television broadcasts:
1986: "Talentos venezolanos" (Venezuelan Talents) VTV Chanel in Venezuela
1987 and 1997: "Jazz", VTV Chanel in Venezuela
2002: De GeneraciUn, special musicians program for PUMA TV (internacional cable televisiUn)

Bibliography:
Venezuelan National Press El Nacional, Julio 27th 2001, "Pare de sufrir" by Alejandro Calzadilla  (www.el-nacional.com)
Primicia Magazine (edited by "El Nacional" press) March 13th 2001, "Al Oido, Eugenia Mendez"  by Xabiel Sarabia
El Mundo (Venezuelan national press) , April 7th 2001, "Verdadero Hallazgo" (Real Discovery) in the column "El Mundo del Disco" by Alfredo ChuriUn ("http://www.cadenaglobal.com, www.cadenaglobal.com)
Bigott Magazine (art  and cultur magazine from the FundaciUn Bigott, of Venezuela), 1st. Trimester 2002, "Eugenia Mendez and Afinidades" by Alejandro Calzadilla.
Sound Check Magazine, march 2002, "Detr's del micrUfono conO (behind the microphone with) Eugenia Mendez" by Victor Baldovinos

Websites:
http://www.mp3.com
www.sincopa.com
www.alljazzandmore.com

Contact information:
Executive and artist Manager: Samuel A. Villegas
e-mail: sville@cantv.net
Eugenia Mendez e-mail and web site:
eugeniamen@hotmail.com
eugeniamen@cantv.net
http://www.eugeniamendez.com

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