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Ameena Maria with cello on a street in Croatia



Ameena Maria speaking at an annual gala event with Joanne Taylor

A dedicated advocate for providing arts access to underserved youth, Ameena currently serves as Executive Director of YOSAL (Youth Orchestra Salinas). With a strong passion for educating and mentoring young musicians, she has taught both cello and voice for two decades. For 10 years, Ameena was a Teaching Artist for the Los Angeles Philharmonic, The Harmony Project and the cello and chamber music instructor for YOLA (Youth Orchestra Los Angeles) at EXPO whom she coached for their performance with Coldplay at the Super Bowl 50 Halftime Show. She has given master classes at the Grammy Museum in Hollywood, coached for the Pasadena Youth Symphony Orchestra, and was a staff member at the Pacific Crest Music Festival.

As a cellist and mezzo-soprano, Ameena has been a part of numerous studio recordings and performances. Live shows include supporting Juanes at the Hollywood Bowl, Kamasi Washington at Walt Disney Concert Hall, & Jeff Lynne’s ELO in New York and Los Angeles, as well as headlining acts Billie Eilish, Ariana Grande, and Khalid at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival.

Other artists with whom she has collaborated include: Sia, Coldplay, Jessie J., Mandy Moore, Mary J. Blige, Spacehog, Marc Anthony, Linda Perry, daKah Hip-Hop Orchestra, Switchfoot, Delta Goodrem, Rain Phoenix, Marco Antonio Solís, Trans Siberian Orchestra and many more. Ameena has had the opportunity to perform live at the Grammy Awards, as well as on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, NBC’s The Voice, American Idol, and The Jimmy Kimmel Show. 


Ameena studied and performed musical theatre in San Francisco, improv comedy in Los Angeles, and opera throughout the United States and Europe. She currently resides in Monterey County with her husband, conductor Danko Druško and their 2-year-old son.


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