The G.R.I.N.D. Spotlight
As an actor, Maria is best known for her role in the movie, "The Color Purple", as the choir soloist. She has appeared in hit TV shows such as Lifetime's, “Army Wives” and in Marc Cherry's, "Devious Maids" (as Atty Ida Hayes). Eric Kripke and J.J. Abrams' NBC apocalyptic, "Revolution" (as Grace Beaumont).
She has also appeared in MTV's "Finding Carter" and ABC's "Aquarius", starring X-Files' David Duchovny. Film credits include, “The Blind Side”, “What To Expect When You’re Expecting”, “Addicted”, starring Sharon Leal and Boris Kodjoe, “Hunger Games: Catching Fire” (as “Seeder”) and "Christmas Wedding Baby", (as Miranda) by Award-Winning Writer/Director Kiara C. Jones. She also co-stars in Writer/Director, Shea Sizemore's "The Next Day" and Lionsgate's third installment of the Divergent series, "Allegiant".
Recent projects include the blockbuster feature film, "Hidden Figures", starring Tariji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, and Kevin Costner. She also has a reoccuring role as Lt. Hawkins, on Bounce TV/Swirl Films,' hit TV show, "Saints & Sinners" as a song stylist, Maria has shared the musical stage with such legendary artists as Ray Charles, Nancy Wilson, George Benson, and Earl Klugh.
After a very successful 6 year stint in Asia, Maria relocated back to the U.S. and performed at Sambuca Jazz Café for 9 consecutive years…2002 to its closing in December 2010. She and pianist Bill Wilson (son of legendary jazz pianist Teddy Wilson), held the distinction of being the longest running act at the Atlanta location. She performs regularly in Downtown LA at the legendary Los Angeles Athletic Club, Hilton Head Island, SC, at the infamous Jazz Corner, annual performances at the beautiful Bechtler Museum of Modern Art for its "Jazz at The Bechtler" series in Charlotte, NC, in addition to other well-known jazz/supper clubs and festivals across the U.S.
Maria is not only an actor and singer, but a very devoted supporter of her charity of choice, Students Without Mothers, where she has served as a board member for over 5 years, and Co-chair of its annual holiday benefit concert, which features her brainchild, Girls in Gowns.