Fabiola Méndez, B.M is a Puerto Rican cuatro player, educator, and composer. Her artistic vision and original music focus on the exploration of her culture, her ancestry, and her identities.
Native to Caguas, PR, Fabiola Méndez began playing the cuatro, a 5-double string traditional guitar of Puerto Rico, when she was 6 years old.
She was a student at the Hogar del Cuatro Puertorriqueño, the Humacao Musical Institute, the Antonio Paoli School of Music in Caguas, the Conservatorio de Artes del Caribe, and Berklee College of Music, where in 2018 she graduated as the first student to play the Puerto Rican cuatro as principal instrument.
She has worked with organizations such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Celebrity Series of Boston, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Puerto Rican Arts Alliance in Chicago, Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña, among others. She has collaborated with artists such as the Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra, Totó La Momposina, Pedro Capó, Victoria Sanabria, Cucco Peña, Decimanía de Puerto Rico, Danny Rivera, Chicago Philharmonic, and the Boston Landmarks Orchestra.
Her list of recordings include: the Banco Popular Special Eco (2008), Fabiola Méndez and Herencia Criolla (2009), Ready for Departure (2014), Cuatro Sinfónico (2019), Al Otro Lado Del Charco (2019), and Afrorriqueña (2021), the last three being cataloged as part of the best 20 productions of 2019 and 2021 consecutively, according to the National Foundation for Popular Culture. In 2022, she produced her first documentary "Negrura", showcasing Afro-Latinx stories in topics around colorism and discrimination within our own communities.
In recent years, she’s had the honor of receiving recognition such as the Quincy Jones Award, ambassador for the Puerto Rican Day Parade in NYC, a motion from the PR House of Representatives as the first cuatro player to graduate from Berklee, the Brother Thomas Fellowship 2021, the Whippoorwill Arts Fellowship 2022, and the ASCAP Foundation Lucille and Jack Yellen Award 2022.
Currently, Fabiola and her trio present her original music nationally and internationally. She is an artist in residence for the Boston Landmarks Orchestra, a fellow for Whippoorwill Arts, and a composer for children's animated series, including PBS Kids shows Alma's Way and Work It Out Wombats, and HBO Max's Mecha Builders, produced by Sesame Street.