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Brazilian Songbird - 2009



Sambatuque is an exciting quintet fronted by singer/dancer Mikaela Romero and performing a vibrant and eclectic blend of music from Brazil and the Caribbean. Romero's strikingly pure and rhythmically precise vocal delivery gives listeners the sense that she's been singing samba her entire life. Her uncanny aptitude for Portuguese and Spanish lyrics has led her to perform with Seattle's top Cuban and Brazilian bands, including: Grupo Ashe, led by Cuban drummer Pedro Vargas, and Banda Alecrim, led by Brazilian pianist Jovino Santos Neto.

Sambatuque also features drummer/percussionist/composer/arranger Jeff Busch, whose work with Jovino Santos Neto Quinteto saw them nominated for a Latin Jazz Grammy in 2004. In 2007, two of his original jazz compositions were selected to the semi-finals and finals of the International Songwriters Competition, jazz category.

Pianist Alex Chadsey has studied and performed with Puerto Rican master bassist, Joe Santiago and Cuban drummer, Pedro Vargas in addition to performing in a variety of settings ranging from accompanying opera singers to salsa bands to acoustic jazz combos. Alex adds beautiful elements of Afro-Cuban and Puerto Rican flavor to the band's Brazilian blend.

Bassist Tim carey, and extremely versatile player and outstanding soloist, performs regularly with Reptet, Hardcortet, and Jovino Santos Neto to name a few. An accomplished guitarist, Tim adds highly rhythmic and lyrical dimensions to the Sambatuque sound.

Conga Player/percussionist Denny Stern has been working with Brazilian, Cuban, and West African drum and dance ensembles for over 30 years. His creativity, and spontaneity add a raw, roots feel to the band's groove. Stern, who studied with Pello el Afrikan, has accompanied numerous artists, including: Etienne, Freestyle Candela, Won-Idy Pye, Bakra Bata, Sonando, and Bochinche.