index.html Mary Flannery




Washington, DC

Growing up in the suburbs of Chicago, I was surrounded by music. My parents blasted bossa nova and Ella Fitzgerald, while my sisters and I played air guitar to The Beatles and later The Monkees.

I started studying piano when I was in 2nd grade. My first teacher, Mr. Sandy, plied me with sheet music and books covering just about every Broadway musical ever made. Then I got serious. I studied classical music with two well known piano teachers, George Banhalmi and Emilio del Rosario, at the Music Center of the North Shore outside of Chicago. At age 11, I spent a summer at National Music Camp in Interlochen, Michigan.

I started playing the guitar in college. I spent hours in the dorm bathroom crooning Joni Mitchell, Antonio Carlos Jobim, and my own originals. Pretty soon I was playing regularly in the campus coffee house. I eventually got a BA in piano performance from Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin.

In Japan in the early 80's I fronted a band called Kyoto de Mondo Agogo. We played the cool clubs in Osaka & Kyoto. While in Japan, I also wrote the music and conducted the pit orchestra for a local production of Bertolt Brecht's "Caucasian Chalk Circle."

After leaving Japan, I went to Varanasi, India, where I studied sitar with Ram Chakravarty and classical vocal music with Bholanath Misra.

In the late 80's/early 90's I studied flamenco guitar with Miguel Perez in Seville, Spain.

When I moved to Washington, DC, I started composing/recording music for documentaries and corporate videos.

My livingroom (aka The Frisco Lounge) became a gathering point for local musicians. Jam sessions went late into the night, covering everything from Burt Bacharach to Bebop to Brazilian standards.

In 2004 we took the jam out of the house and into the clubs.

We call ourselves RIO GARAGE.