Maria is a Boston-born singer and actress who moved to Ireland around 1996/97 and began performing in Europe not long after. She began her musical work in Ireland as lead singer and percussionist with members of Irish fiddle player and composer Charlie Lennon's music family, Sean and Ailish Lennon, in the Lennon Quintet and performed around Ireland and on television with them for a year or so. She then based herself in Galway and formed 'The Blow-Ins' with ex-Waterboys saxophonist and mandolin player Anto Thistlethwaite, a local band playing mainly acoustic folk and blues in and around Galway. Going more electric, Maria formed 'Ruby Blue' not long after, a jazzy, bluesy, R&B band playing at Galway venues and festivals. Maria began incorporating jazz into her music around this time and it became increasingly prominent in her sets. She put together The Jazz Exiles in 1999 with ex-Pat Dublin-based musicians and the five-piece band began playing small jazz venues around Dublin. In 2002, Maria landed on her feet in Dublin while still being based in Galway and began gigs in Dublin and the rest of Ireland as she performed with top Irish musicians, like Ritchie, Hugh, and Michael Buckley, and at the prestigious Guinness Cork Jazz Festival, who have invited her back 3 years running. Maria quickly became a regular on the jazz scene and considered by many to be Ireland's most respected and promising female vocalist and jazz performer. Not long after, Maria began chasing gigs at larger venues around Dublin and support slots for visiting international artists, such as the likes of Dionne Warwicke, began to come up regularly for her. Maria was fast becoming a bright and fiery star on the cabaret scene in Ireland as well and her one-woman jazz/cabaret shows have been lauded by critics and entrancing audiences in Europe. Maria wrote 'All About Love' for the Dublin Fringe Festival 2002 and was invited to create 'Lush Life' especially for the opulent 'Spiegeltent' during the Dublin Theatre Festival 2003. Both shows played to packed houses and marry three of Maria's skills as a performer â€" acting, singing, and playing, and most impressive is the fact that Maria writes, designs, and produces all her shows herself. Other one-woman shows quickly followed, 'Once Upon A Christmas' (2004), 'Torch Song' (2004), and 'Night & the City' (2005), and her cabaret shows and straight jazz gigs have now headlined venues in Ireland, UK, Europe, and USA, packing venues and receiving rave reviews wherever she goes. This tour-du-force performer has shared the stage with such diverse names as Dionne Warwicke and the Irish legend Ronnie Drew of 'The Dubliners' fame and these daysn and launched her first album 'All About Love' in April 2003. In September 2006, Maria celebrates the launch of her new album, 'Torch Song'. Maria performs an originals/acoustic gig as well which is folk and blues based, reaching back to her own musical roots in the U.S.. Live in-studio versions of two of Maria's original songs, 'Go Back Home' and 'This Love Is Through', are included on separate CD compilations featuring Grammy Award Winners John Prine, Bella Fleck, and Bruce Mathiske and Irish artists such as Juliet Turner, Damien Rice, David Kitt, Jack L., The 4 Of Us, Kila, and Mary Coughlan. Maria also has a passion for folk songs of other countries in their original languages and has a repertoire of Spanish, Italian, French, and Polish songs that she adds to and performs regularly; her fluency in Spanish definitely helps. (She's working on her Italian and Polishâ€¦) Voice is Maria's first instrument now but it wasn't always. She was a choral accompanist on piano for 3 years, a concert flautist in Boston for 5 years, and has played guitar since she was a child. She also played saxophone in a jazz swing band for 2 years, and plays a plethora of percussion instruments.