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Classical Flamenco Guitarist Comes to Eastern

Written by Tim Talley

anna maria.jpgWillimantic, Conn. - Anna Maria Cardinalli-Padilla, an internationally known classical flamenco guitarist and opera singer, will share Latino culture through her music as part of Eastern Connecticut State University's University Hour series. Cardinalli-Padilla's presentation will be held at 3 p.m. on April 20 in Eastern's Student Center Theatre. The public is invited. Admission is free.

Cardinalli-Padilla, of Spanish and Sicilian descent, captures her proud heritage in her musical style. She is an 18th-generation Santa Fean, an original link to the Spanish colonial culture. Cardinalli-Padilla recorded her first album and successfully launched her own label, Musica Mundial Productions at the age 15. Her musical talents have brought her international recognition as she has performed at the Kennedy Center, for the Prince of Spain and with the Santa Fe Opera. Cardinalli-Padilla has also provided vocals for an album featuring Kanye West and John Legend, "Good Morning Good Night."  She was awarded the Mother Theresa Award for her artistic efforts.

Cardinalli-Padilla has a great passion for her country. During her doctoral dissertation, Cardinalli-Padilla became an expert in the cultural relationships between Islam, Judaism and Christianity. Following the events of Sept. 11, 2001, she used her expertise to assist U.S. government efforts to improve cultural understanding and aid in combating terrorism.

Cardinalli-Padilla also served as a senior social scientist with the U.S. Army on an Army Human Terrain Team, where she was embedded with the U.S. Marines, and has travelled to Iraq and Afghanistan while working for the FBI. She has received the Joint Service Civilian Commendation Medal and the Secretary of Defense Medal for the Global War on Terrorism for her service to her country. Cardinalli-Padilla's interaction with Afghan communities was filmed by National Geographic Explorer for its opening piece next season.

Cardinalli-Padilla is currently a professor of Intelligence and National Security Studies at American Military University. She completed her bachelor's degree summa cum laude at St. Mary's College of California at age 18. At 20, she completed her master's degree at St. John's College in New Mexico. At age 25, Cardinalli-Padilla also became the youngest person, 25, to receive a Ph.D. from the University of Notre Dame.

            For more information, contact Michelle Delaney, director of student affairs/activities, at (860) 465-0105 or at


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