Mafer Bandola: (Maria F. Gonzalez Olivo)
Originally from Venezuela, is one of the few women who play bandola and electric bandola professionally.
She is a Venezuelan bandola llanera (a traditional Venezuelan instrument of four strings) player, community organizer,
self-thought composer, and educator. With a grounded understanding of the bandola llanera (male-dominated) traditions,
she focuses on bringing the instrument to a new artistic path through improvisation, performance, and composition.
In her music, she is constantly stretching and innovating within her tradition by incorporating jazz, blues,
Brazilian influences, as she experiments with genres, sounds, and cross-cultural collaboration.
As co-founder of LADAMA, a collective of four female musicians from four different countries,
Mafer combines her oral traditions and musical approaches to create collectively original music
in their albums: LADAMA (2017 ) and Oye Mujer (2020).As an educator, she has worked with El Sistema in Venezuela, has developed open-sourced,
culturally-responsive curriculum in partnership with TeachRock for American students, and has
taught at multiple American Universities; she also is currently working as a teaching artist with
The Afro-Latin Jazz Alliance (ALJA) and for Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute.
She is the creator of Pipiris Nights, a gathering community focus event where to play and
dances Venezuelan Joropos in New York.