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TEDxDirigo: RISE State Theatre, Portland, Maine


  • 2011
  • Arts & Culture

Formed in August of 2008, Olas began as a temporary and experimental project between a group of Portland, Maine musicians, dancers and artists. The group was initially assembled to create a flamenco-inspired performance based on a travel-memoir by Lindsey Bourassa as part of her studies at Goddard College, in an attempt to utilize music, dance, and spoken word as forms of storytelling. This initial project quickly morphed into something larger, solidifying as an ensemble who found great joy in creating music and dance together.

The musicians of Olas come from a rich and diverse musical scene based in Portland, Maine. Chriss Sutherland and Tom Kovacevic hail from Cerberus Shoal and Fire on Fire, Dylan Blanchard from Portland’s former salsa band Grupo Esperanza, and Leif Sherman Curtis from Conifer, who has released two records on Important Records. Dancers Lindsey Bourassa and Megan Keogh come from an eclectic dance background that includes flamenco, salsa, ballet, modern, and jazz. Palmistas and background vocalists Molly Angie and Anna Trunzo are local artists from Portland, ME who perform palmas, the percussive clapping inherent to the music of Olas.

Olas is an original, all acoustic ensemble. Heavily inspired by traditional and contemporary Flamenco music and dance, the music of Olas is a unique blend of Arabic, Afro-Cuban, rock and American folk accompanied by original dance choreographies that marry elements of modern dance to a flamenco foundation. Highlights of Olas include songs sung in Spanish, palmas, contemporary choreographies and traditional instruments such as the cajon, oud, ney and guitar. Olas claims no one genre or tradition but strives to honor music and dance as passionate, expressive mediums. We create, congregate and play for the love of playing. That’s it.

Lindsey Bourassa – dance and palmas
Megan Keogh – dance and palmas
Chriss Sutherland – guitar, voice and ney
Dylan Blanchard – cajon, percussion, voice
Tom Kovacevic – oud, ney, voice
Leif Sherman Curtis – guitar, voice
Molly Angie – palmas, voice
Anna Trunzo – palmas, voice