Patricia Schone Vergara studied classical piano from age six, and her early musical education included extensive training in piano, theory, harmony, ear training, and choir conducting. She was later invited to participate in the preparatory program for youth at the University of Rio de Janeiro as a piano major. After performing professionally for years in Brazil and Europe with well-known Brazilian popular music recording artists, she relocated to Boston and received a bachelor’s degree magna cum laude in jazz piano performance from Berklee College of Music.
Vergara received a master’s degree in Ethnomusicology from the University of Maryland College Park, and is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Ethnomusicology there. She has contributed two chapters to a forthcoming publication by Mexico’s Conaculta on Mexican norteña music, and has presented at major conferences in Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, and the U.S. Vergara has led an active career as a music educator and a performing artist with her Latin American music duet Cantaré, active from 2001 to 2012, and as a pianist with several groups in the Washington D.C. area. With Cantaré she recorded three CDs that were nominated for best Latin American recording of the year by WAMA, the Washington D.C. Area Musicians’ Association. In addition to performing at schools, universities, libraries, and community events, some of Vergara’s performance venues include the Rio Free Jazz Festival, the Brotfabrik jazz clubs in Germany, the Montpellier Jazz D’O festival in France, the Auditorium de Lyon, the Smithsonian Institution museums, the Strathmore, the Wolf Trap Foundation’s Theater in the Woods and Filene’s Center, the National Museum for Women in the Arts, and the Berklee Performance Center.
In addition teaching at Towson University, Vergara’s teaching assignments include the University of Maryland and Montgomery College, where she has taught courses on the history of jazz, American and world popular musics, and other selected musical traditions of the world. Her main research interests include the intersections of music with issues of gender, class, race, conflict, and censorship. She was the recipient of the Berklee Achievement Scholarship, the Mary Snouffer Dissertation Fellowship, the Washington D.C. Women in Salsa Award, and was nominated for best Latin instrumentalist by WAMA.