Based in Santa Cruz, California, we are Vivian Simon on flutes, Pablo Riviere on guitar and vocals, Patrice Wallace on contrabass, and either Jeffrey Hanson on drums & percussion or Sylvia Cuenca on drums.
We play Brazilian Popular Music as well as our original compositions (influenced by Brazilian Music, Jazz, Argentinean folk music, etc.) We have performed at many venues including the Capitola Art & Music Festival, First Night Monterey, Cabrillo Music Festival, Scotts Valley Garden Faire, and more. We have also performed as a duo at many Bay Area establishments, including Hedley Club at the De Anza Hotel, Vino Locale, Cinnabar, M4, CooperVino, Silver Mountain, Testarossa, Cooper Garrod, as well as private events. We take different forms under the name Samba Cruz, depending on the occasion (duo, trio, quartet, etc. for larger events).
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.
Pablo grew up in Argentina, influenced by Brazilian music, but his origins were progressive rock, fusion, and later electronic music composition. He cofounded 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 Brian Rice, Ami Molinelli, Rebecca Kleinmann, Dan Robbins, Steve Robertson, Daniel Steinberg, Peter Spitzer, Zack Pitt-Smith, 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.
Sylvia Cuenca is an active drummer on the New York jazz scene who is contributing outstanding performances in a variety of situations. She has had the honor of sharing the bandstand with saxophone legend Joe Henderson for 4 years and trumpet legend Clark Terry for 17 years. The Joe Henderson quartet toured frequently in European countries Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Austria, Belgium, England, Switzerland, France, Italy and Germany and venues across the U.S. In a trio setting she performed with Joe Henderson and Charlie Haden in 1989 and with George Mraz in 1994. She performed with the Clark Terry Quintet and Big Band at Village Vanguard, Birdland, Blue Note, Queen Elizabeth 2, Royal Viking, S.S. Norway jazz cruises and clubs, concerts and festivals in the U.S, Europe, the Caribbean and South America. While working with the Clark Terry quintet she had the opportunity to perform with guest artists Al Grey, Red Holloway, Jimmy Heath, Frank Wess, Marian McPartland, Dianne Reeves, Joe Williams and Lou Donaldson to name a few.
Jeff Hanson is a resourceful musician who is well-versed in many styles. He comes from the jazz tradition, having toured with the Glenn Miller Band on the East Coast, and played all over the world on cruise ships in the past. Jeff loves playing Brazilian music -he’s been to Manaus, Recife, Bahia, and Rio during Carnaval. He has also led a few local escolas do samba.
Jeff is a Bay Area native who also works as an audio engineer and sound designer. Jeff currently teaches music production and recording arts at Santa Clara University and West Valley College.
Patrice Wallace has performed and recorded in diverse and 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). As a freelance musician, Patrice has worked with a myriad of esteemed musicians in many projects: Stan Poplin and Kontra, Catafornia (a joint project in Barcelona, Spain with arranger and reeds player Richard Fenno), Joan Jeanrenaud (Your Body Is Not A Shark), Song Nelson, The Isosceles Trio with John Donaldson, Karlton Hester (UCSC), Jim Ferguson (Duo Sumi), and pre-pandemic completed run with All About Theatre's production of In The Heights, playing the music of Lin-Manuel Miranda. Current Projects: Flor de Caña; Quarteto Leon; Igam-Ogam Trio; 2+2 Jazz Quartet; Zelenka Chamber Ensemble.
Boa Vida: A musical journey with the sounds of Brazil & Argentina, and a twist of jazz at every turn.
Vivian and Pablo recently release an 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
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
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