Fabiola Méndez, B.M is a Puerto Rican cuatro player, singer, composer, and educator. 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, Celebrity Series of Boston, New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, Fred Rogers Productions, Puerto Rican Arts Alliance of Chicago, Rogue World Music, Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña, among many others. She has collaborated with artists such as the Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra, Totó La Momposina, Pedro Capó, Andy Montañez, 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 recognitions such as: the Quincy Jones Award, ambassador for the Puerto Rican Day Parade in NYC, the Brother Thomas Fellowship 2021, the Whippoorwill Arts Fellowship 2022, and the ASCAP Foundation Lucille and Jack Yellen Award 2022. Her music is featured on the film Beautiful, FL (Disney+), on the tv shows Alma's Way, Work It Out Wombats (PBS Kids), and Mecha Builders (HBO Max), as well as indie films, jingles, and TV commercials.
Currently, Fabiola and her trio present her original music nationally and internationally. She is also a visiting faculty at the Longy School of Music of Bard College and a featured composer for Fred Rogers Productions and Pipeline Studios.