Musical Director, Batalá San Francisco
Sonia D. Pina
Born in Havana, Cuba, Sonia D. Pina has been involved with music and percussion her entire life. Under the tutelage of her father, a professional musician, Sonia began her studies at music conservatories in Cuba at a very young age. When she immigrated to the United States in 2002, she continued to study percussion, but her professional focus veered toward production and sound engineering. Since graduating from Ex’pression College for Digital Arts, Sonia has worked as Audio Engineer and Producer and is currently Production Manager for Worlds Arts West/Ethnic Dance Festival.
Sonia is a skilled percussionist on instruments ranging from timpani to timbales, and some years ago became interested in Brazilian music. Sonia began playing with Batalá San Francisco from its inception, and as Musical Director brings her extensive knowledge of music and skills in percussion to the company.
Artistic Director/Co-Founder, Batalá San Francisco
A native of the San Francisco Bay Area, Deborah Valoma is an artist, weaver, and professor in the Textiles Program at California College of the Arts, where her specialized field of research and teaching is the cultural history of textiles as a global aesthetic practice. In addition to teaching courses on textile history and theory, she exhibits her work, curates exhibitions, writes articles on related topics. In 2014, she published the book Scrape the Willow Until It Sings: The Words and Work of Basket Maker Julia Parker, which won the Commonwealth Club’s Gold Award for Publishing Excellence.
As the Artistic Director and co-founder of Batalá San Francisco, Deborah is responsible for all visual and written elements related to the company, including website and graphic design. As a trained dancer with fifteen years of performance experience dancing with several Bay Area ethnic dance companies, she is also responsible for teaching choreography and refining movement and styling.