Welson Tremura (Musicologist, guitarist and singer) is a native of Brazil and a Ph.D. in musicology-ethnomusicology from Florida State University. Dr. Tremura also holds a Master’s Degree in Voice Performance from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. Combining classical guitar and voice to interpret the most acclaimed bossa nova songs and his own guitar compositions, Dr. Tremura maintains an active performance and academic schedule and has been involved in concerts, presentations, and interdisciplinary projects in in Brazil, China, Mexico, Guatemala, United States, India, Spain, Italy, Germany, and New Zealand. Some of these events include the International Double Reed Convention (Rotterdam, Holland), Festival de Inverno (Campos do Jordão, Brazil), Nashville Opry Theatre Christmas Concert with Barbara Mandrel, and a benefit Concert with Bernadette Peters (Tallahassee). Dr. Tremura is currently an Associate Professor with a joint appointment in the School of Music and the Center for Latin American Studies at the University of Florida where his research focuses on music and religion of folk Catholicism of the folia de reis (Three Kings celebration) and other Brazilian folk and popular music. Additional research areas include the usage of digital technology in performance, global technology, and the inclusion of world music as a core discipline and collaborative method for teaching. Dr. Tremura directs the Brazilian Music Institute (BMI) and is the co-director for the University’s Brazilian music ensemble Jacaré Brazil. He actively performs with the Alachua Guitar Quartet (AGQ) and has performed with the renowned Ahn Trio and the California Guitar Trio. His most recent academic publication: Brazilian Folia de Reis: With an Open Heart: A Spiritual Journey Through Song is available in paperback throughout several publishing sites. For additional information on Welson Tremura, please visit www.welsontremura.com .
Larry Crook is Professor of Ethnomusicology at the University of Florida where he teaches courses on music of Latin America, the Caribbean, and Africa. A percussionist, Dr. Crook began performing professionally while in high school and then studied orchestral percussion with George Frock at the University of Texas at Austin. In Austin he began specializing in drum set and hand percussion while performing in numerous groups. He performs on a wide variety of percussion instruments including pandeiro, cuíca, cajón, reco-reco, atabaque, congas, and berimbau. He has studied with and performed alongside many outstanding musicians including Godwin Agbeli, Abou Sylla, Augustin Frisner, Carlinhos Pandeiro de Ouro, Oscar Bolão, Jorge Martins, João do Pífano, and Hamza El Din. Dr. Crook is founder and co-director of the Jacaré Brazil music ensemble at UF and area head for Musicology/Ethnomusicology. His research focuses on Brazilian music, the African Diaspora, and popular music, and he has numerous publications to his name. He also invents, designs, and builds many of the percussion instruments he plays.
Vadim Arsky (saxophonist, conductor, and arranger) received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Brasilia - Brazil (1987) and his master’s from University of Louisville (1990), both in saxophone performance. From 1990 to 1994, was the coordinator of the wind instruments department at the CLAM, Centro Livre de Aprendizagem Musical, a Brazilian music school in São Paulo directed by the Zimbo Trio specialized in teaching bossa nova. Since 1994, Vadim has been the saxophone professor of the University of Brasília where also teaches chamber music, theory, jazz and bossa nova studies and started popular music program and a jazz band. He was the winner of the Eldorado Prize (1991), the most important award for classical music performance in Brazil, in which all instrumentalists compete for the overall prize. Mr. Arsky was also the semifinalist of the East and West Competition at the Carnegie Hall (1995). As a saxophone player, he performs as a soloist and chamber musician and is a member of the Com Domínio do Sax, one of the first saxophone quartets in Brazil. He also performs a wide variety of popular music styles including jazz, bossa nova, and choro. From 2006 to 2013 Vadim served as the director of bands at the American School of Brasilia, where he taught some 600 middle and high school students through the program. In 2015 he moved to Florida to pursue his Ph.D. degree in Music Education at University of Florida where he performs and arranges for the UF Brazilian music ensemble Jacaré Brazil.
Beatriz Malnic is Co-Founder and Musical Director of Brazilian Voices, Inc., in operation since 2001. Beatriz received her BA in Music from the University of São Paulo and came to the US in 1996, where she was immediately in demand performing and recording as a singer, teacher, arranger, conductor and choir director. As a music educator, Beatriz teaches piano and vocal master classes. She has recently coached vocalists at the University of Florida in Gainesville, the L’Auditori in Barcelona, the Conservatory of Music in São Paulo, the Ignacio de Loyola Church in the Vatican, and the Brazilian Music Workshop with Antonio Adolfo in Hollywood, FL. As an arranger, she has produced most of the vocal arrangements performed by Brazilian Voices. As a vocalist, she has performed and recorded with music icons such as Al Di Meola, Nestor Torres, Chico Buarque, and Toquinho, among others. Beatriz is the featured vocalist on several CDs. Her CD Bossa Nova and Samba (Warner Music of Brazil) was directed by Nelson Motta and produced by Roberto Menescal. Released in 2006, her CD Estrada do Sol features bass player Don Wilner, drummer Duduka da Fonseca, pianist Mike Orta, and jazz saxophonists Felipe Lamoglia and Harry Allen. Two of her latest CDs, Bossa n’ Blues (2009) and Chico Buarque by Beatriz Malnic (2012) have won Brazilian International Press Awards for the best CD by a Brazilian artist in the US; Beatriz also received the prestigious Brazilian Press Award as the best singer in 2009. In 2014 Beatriz won another Brazilian Press Award for her bossa nova performance “Girl from Ipanema” at the Aventura Arts and Cultural Center, Florida.
Aaron Colverson is a unique violinist, with performance skill sets including a diverse number of genres and styles. Aaron has played violin for 23 years with substantive training in Western European classical techniques. However, his heart is in improvisation and creative music making. After completing his BA in Professional Music at Berklee College of Music, Boston, MA, Aaron moved to East Africa’s bustling hub, Nairobi, Kenya. Global Youth Groove, an initially informal exchange program founded by Sam Lutomia, was Aaron’s introduction to the beauty of this country. While in Kenya, Aaron met and performed with musicians from around the East African region, learning rhythms and performance techniques that continue to influence his musical spirit. Kenya’s cultural diversity includes Arab and European influence, providing a melting pot of rich musical traditions. Through the SAMOSA festival, Aaron primarily met several Indian musicians and gratefully performed for the previous president of Kenya, Mwai Kibaki. Furthermore, Aaron was offered the opportunity to perform for the current challenger to President Uhuru Kenyatta, Raila Odinga. Lastly, due to Nairobi’s youth cultures’ interests in contemporary music of the United State, Aaron performed with numerous musicians studying jazz, blues, rock, funk, and soul music for dignitaries and ambassadors of Nairobi’s branch of the United Nations, as well as Kenya’s Tusker Project Fame. Aaron is currently working on his MA thesis at the University of Florida, studying ethnomusicology and neuroscience. He recently attended the 2017 International Conference for the Neuroscience of Art and Creativity in Valencia, Spain, where he and his team received 3rd place overall for the IEEE Brain hackathon. His passion for music is strong and he believes that its presence in everyone’s lives will promote empathy and trust, to which he has devoted his career.
Tabajara Belo is one of the outstanding Brazilian musicians of his generation. He has made a name for himself as a virtuoso guitar soloist, composer and arranger. He blends his concert programs with classical, Brazilian popular/folk and jazz music. Along with his solo career, Tabajara has colaborated with several prestigious artists throughout Brazil, including Wagner Tiso, Claudio Nucci, Paulo Bellinati, Marina Machado, Déa Trancoso, Marcus Viana, Vander Lee, Paula Santoro and Amaranto trio. He has appeared on numerous recordings including Tavinho Moura & Orquestra Sinfônica de Minas Gerais, in which he performs as a guest soloist with the orchestra. While in the United States, he worked as a Teacher Assistant at the University of Arizona in Tucson, AZ, where he completed his Master of Music degree in guitar, before returning to Brazil. Mr.Belo is a faculty member at the Universidade Federal de Ouro Preto and has been constantly performing throughout Brazil. He made, in 2009, his first tour in Europe, playing concerts in Italy, France and Portugal. His first solo album, released in 2007, presents arrangements for Brazilian popular themes and alternates guitar solo tracks and pieces for a trio format – guitar, bass and percussion. With flutist Bruno Pimenta he conceived his second CD – Suite Brasil - an interesting blend of improvised and written-out textures through Brazilian various genres. In 2011, was awarded by Guitar International Magazine as one of the featured guitarists of that year. Also in 2011, made a tour around the U.S. – Arizona, New Mexico, Illinois, Kentucky and New York -, playing concerts and giving lectures and workshops regarding Improvisation in Brazilian Music, guitar technique and various approaches on guitar arrangements. He was recently awarded with 2nd. place at the prestigious National Prize for Guitar Composition “Novas 3”. Presently, Mr. Belo is a PhD student and Teacher Assistant at the Composition Program at the University of Florida.
Jim Gasior is a pianist, jazz educator, and arranger based in South Florida.He has performed and/or recorded with international pop artists and groups – Ricky Martin, Kelly Clarkson, Alih Jey, Chayanne, Jose Feliciano, Little Richard, Michael Bolton, Smokey Robinson, as well as jazz artists - Benny Golson, Slide Hampton, Freddie Hubbard, Terell Stafford, Patti Austin, John Fedchock, Duffy Jackson, Jason Marsalis, Donald Harrison, Robin Eubanks, Jeremy Pelt, Jay Leonhart and the Jaco Pastorius Reunion Big Band. Jim performs regularly in South Florida with Wendy Pedersen, Ed Calle, The Fernando Ulibarri Quartet, Melton Mustafa, and others.Jim is the Associate Professor of Jazz and Instrumental Studies at the New World School of the Arts in Miami, Florida where he serves as the director of the national award-winning NWSA High School Jazz Ensemble. His students regularly receive top honors and recognition such as Downbeat Student Music Awards, GRAMMY High School Jazz Band, and admission into the nation’s top college jazz programs.Jazz at Lincoln Center frequently sends Jim to conduct clinics and master classes for high school students and band directors throughout the United States.Jim holds a Bachelor’s degree in Studio Music and Jazz Performance, a Master’s degree in Jazz Pedagogy - both from University of Miami’s Frost School of Music.