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Irene Shams

Area Representative: Spain

Born in Madrid, Spain, Irene has loved music since she was a child. She is a singer, arranger and composer, teacher, music conductor, and an Area Representative and Instructor III Certified IVA Teacher. She specializes in jazz fusion and Latin music, and she is the founder and director of Mix Voice Studio in Madrid.

Growing up, Irene studied with the Cuban composer and pianist Clara Zayas (piano, accordion, harmony, and folk music). Irene enhanced her training in classical music with several studies in analysis, pedagogy, conducting, etc., with teachers like Charles Rosen, Joel Lester, Dough Gooking, Violeta Hemzy de Gainza, Enrique García Asensio, and others.

She earned a degree in Solfeggio, Counterpoint, and Musical Theory at the Superior Conservatory of Music in Madrid, where she graduated as a piano teacher and composing teacher. She also studied Ethnomusicology for two years at Salamanca Music College. She has worked as a teacher at several schools of music in Spain.

Irene received specialized training in jazz with Deborah J. Carter (Amsterdam) and with Horacio Icasto (jazz piano). She also received Speech Level Singing™ classes directly from Miguel Manzo.

In the summer of 2007, Irene traveled to Boston to study with Bob Stoloff (Berklee College of Music). She also studied jazz and scat singing with Anita Wardell, Bobby McFerrin and Voicestra (Rhiannon, Joey Blake, Dave Worm, etc.), Kurt Elling, Roberta Gambarini, Barry Harris, and Michelle Weir, among others. Irene has sung with her jazz project in several jazz festivals in Spain.

She has studied world music and dances with Tzvetanka Varimezova (Bulgarian); Martha Mavroidi (Greek); Evgenia Damavoliti (Cretan); Arabic, Andalusian, and Persian with Amin Chaachoo; Madame Fatma Serhan, Khamis Henkesh, Wael el Naggar, Haki Kilic, Maher Kamal, etc. (Morocco, Egypt, Spain); Gnawa music with Arafa Chaara (Morocco); Sahrawi music with Marien Hassan and her troupe; Cuban music with Clara Zayas; and flamenco with Pedro Ojesto.

Irene is the composer, arranger, conductor, and singer in “Muwashahat,” directed by international dancer Nesma, making a fusion with jazz and Classical Arabic and Andalussian music. Irene is also a world pioneer in teaching music to oriental dancers since 2003.

Aware of the importance of personal development, especially with performing artists and teachers, Irene works from a holistic level for which she has taken courses and holistic health sessions in NLP, mindfulness, EFT, The Work, Diphthonic chant, etc.