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Samba Cruz is an international band based in Santa Cruz, California, that plays Brazilian Popular Music, as well as original compositions (influenced by Brazilian Music, Jazz, Argentinian folk music, etc.)

The repertoire includes bossa nova, samba, baião, choro and other jazz-inflected Brazilian musical forms in the spirit of Jobim, Vinicius de Moraes, Elis Regina, Caetano Veloso, Chico Buarque, Dorival Caymmi, etc. Included are also some Jazz standards with a unique twist.

They have performed in different formations at many venues including the Capitola Art & Music Festival, First Night Monterey, Cabrillo Music Festival, Mountain View Concerts on the Plaza, Scotts Valley Garden Faire, Special Events at the San Jose Jazz Festival, and San Jose Convention Center. They have also performed at the Santa Cruz Library, the Santa Cruz Museum of Art And History, Street Party opening the Santa Cruz Symphony Annual Pops Concert, Union Square in Bloom Summer Music Series (San Francisco) and at many Bay Area establishments, including Hedley Club at the De Anza Hotel, Big Basin Winery, Silver Mountain Vineyards, Savannah-Chanelle Vineyards, etc.

Band members are Pablo Riviere on guitar and vocals, Vivian Simon on flutes, Patrice Wallace on upright bass, and Joe Mailloux on drums.


Pablo grew up in Argentina, influenced by Brazilian music, but his origins were progressive rock, fusion, and later electronic music composition. He co-founded the Brazilian music quintet Sambosseros in 2001. He played with that group for a decade, and has since been playing with other Brazilian artists for San Francisco Bay Area audiences. Pablo produced Sambosseros' album Gabiroba, as well as the duo album Boa Vida (see below). His local shows have included collaborations with Gary Meek, Brian Rice, Ami Molinelli, Rebecca Kleinmann, Dan Robbins, Steve Robertson, Daniel Steinberg, Peter Spitzer, Zack Pitt-Smith, Adam Astrup, and others.

Vivian is a versatile flutist who plays Brazilian, jazz, salsa, and Classical styles of music. She also plays saxophone, clarinet, and percussion. Trained in classical flute literature, she played with numerous classical ensembles and orchestras, including the opera orchestra Bay Shore Lyric Opera. She later branched into playing jazz, salsa, and musical theater. Musical theater has included playing with Cabrillo Stage, All About Theatre, and Kids on Broadway. Past shows and operas are West Side Story, Night at the Nutcracker, Crazy for You, Anything Goes, La Boheme, Barber of Seville, Marriage of Figaro, Rigoletto, and more.

Joe Mailloux is the newest addition to Samba Cruz. He’s a drummer and percussionist based in Santa Cruz, CA. He earned his Bachelor's degree in music performance from Humboldt State University and a Master's in Music Performance from Long Beach State. Versed in Western and Afrocentric percussion traditions, Joe’s performance and teaching centers around the drum set, hand drums, and a cadre of Brazilian and Afrofolkloric traditions.

Patrice Wallace has performed and recorded in diverse, eclectic settings ranging from small ensembles to big band, and pit/orchestral groups. She's a graduate of CSU Sonoma (emphasis in Jazz Studies, Choral Music, and Composition). Past projects/musicians she has collaborated with: Stan Poplin and Kontra, Catafornia (a joint project in Barcelona, Spain with Jazz arranger and reeds player Richard Fenno), Joan Jeanrenaud (Your Body Is Not A Shark), The Isosceles Trio, All About Theatre's production of In The Heights, playing the music of Lin-Manuel Miranda. Current Projects: Flor de Caña, Sasupake (World Music) Quartet, Ken Koenig Jazz Trio. 

Boa Vida: A musical journey with the sounds of Brazil & Argentina, and a twist of jazz at every turn.

Vivian and Pablo release a duo album of original instrumental music, with special guests on percussion/drums, double bass, piano, saxophone, clarinet, and harmonica. Brazilian, Argentinean, and jazz styles with rhythms of baião, marcha rancho, chacarera, milonga, choro, and a jazzy samba. Additional surprises of crystal bowls and a batucada. 


Who and What

Vivian occasionally plays woodwinds for Cabrillo Stage's productions. Last time she played at Lunch: A Modern Musical Myth and at La Cage aux Folles


Patrice is also part of the local group Cuarteto Leon, Playing Salsa, Son, Jaracho and more.

Pablo also plays with Neil Adler, Zack Pitt-Smith, Rebecca Kleinmann, Daniel Steinberg,  Kurt Stockdale (r.i.p.), Peter Spitzer, and others
Other groups featuring us:
Concert on the Plaza - City of Mountain View
2017 Concert on the Plaza Mountain View.

Samba Cruz Quartet recently played at the Concerts on the Plaza series sponsored by the City of Mountain View


Samba Cruz Quartet at Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History

Capitola Art and Music at the Beach
Capitola 2017 cropped.jpeg

Last time we played with Will Bates-Minou on drums. On past events we have played with Kevin Di Noto and Jason Lewis on drums. and Dan Robbins on bass + Phil Thompson on drums. Here's a clip from a past event:

The Garden Faire is an annual a free-admission, educational event focusing on benefits of organic gardening and sustainable, healthy living.

 This year we played with Gary Kehoe on drums (Sambadá)

In past events, we have played with Kevin Di Noto and Phil Thomson on drums.




We have also played under the name Trio Amanhã, with Steve Robertson on percussion and special guests Bill Cawthorne on kuhlohorn and David Cantoni on saxophone, visiting us from Argentina.

Garden Faire -Scotts Valley, California


Benefit Show at Aptos Park
Solar-powered Samba Cruz Trio!
 This year we played with Gary Kehoe on drums. Last year with Steve Robertson. Here's a clip from then:
Church Street Fair -Santa Cruz


As part of the Cabrillo Music Festival, Samba Cruz Quartet in 2016 included Dan Robbins on bass and Kirk Abe on drums.  In 2015,  Phil Thompson was featured on Drums.


SAMBA CRUZ TRIO (with Brian Rice on percussion) played the Grand Finale at Carleton Hall to a full auditorium. Great way to start the year! We were a featured performer for this year's First Night Monterey

New Music Work's annual Avant Garden Party

We were part of the musical lineup playing at The Garden

We played at the  100 Year celebration of the Santa Cruz Wharf (Jazz on  the Wharf)

We played as Trio Amanhã, with Steve Robertson on percussion. The fundraiser took place at the Shadowbrook (Capitola)
Begonia Festival Fundraiser


Past  Events
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