Choro: The Sweet Lament of Brazilian Music


Faculty: Dudu Maia, Anat Cohen, Jovino Santos Neto, Douglas Lora and Alexandre Lora, with guest faculty Eduardo Neves
Workshop: April 22 – 26, 2015
Concert: 7:30pm Saturday, April 25, 2015


Our popular Choro workshop is back and better than ever with new offerings and a new faculty member. Dudu Maia is coordinating an expansion of the schedule which will allow the faculty more time to explore current and historical players and styles in addition to master classes, group sessions and, of course, lots of playing. Whether you’re new to the workshop or have attended several, you’ll get lots of new information.

We’re particularly excited to announce the addition of guest faculty member Eduardo Neves. He’ll join returning faculty members Dudu Maia, (bandolim); the extraordinary clarinetist, Anat Cohen; master teacher and performer Jovino Santos Neto on piano, accordion and flute; and Trio Brasileiro members Douglas Lora, 7-string guitar; and Alexandre Lora, pandeiro/percussion. All are master teachers and outstanding performers who will show you first hand how much fun it is to play Choro.

Choro is a great way for both jazz and classically oriented musicians to meet on common ground. There are written charts with lovely and lively melodies accessible to any competent player. There’s also room for improvisation, and in a vein that’s a great way for classical musicians to expand their skills in this. This workshop is limited to forty-five people and is open to strings, woodwinds, accordion/piano and hand percussion (rather than drum set). Some others are also accepted; call if you have a question about your instrument.

“I found the entire workshop a highlight. A very amazing, wonderful group of people.
Within 15 minutes of settling into our room we were playing tunes in the living room with
our new house mates.”  – Workshop Participant

Housing is in beautiful, large Victorian “officer’s houses” at Fort Worden State Park. Some of the most delightful moments of the weekend happen after dinner, when faculty and participants gather in the large living room and jam to their hearts’ content.

Participants will receive free admission to the April 25, 2014 performance in the Joseph F. Wheeler Theater.

Who should attend the workshop?

Both classical and jazz musicians will feel comfortable in this workshop, and will enjoy expanding their skills through this style. You should be proficient on your instrument, i.e. comfortable with the mechanics of playing. There will be people of different backgrounds and abilities and we’ll be sure to match you up.

class-choro-concertWhat is Choro music?

The Brazilian musical style of Choro represents the coming together of European melodic and harmonic traditions with African rhythms and sensibilities. Emerging in Brazil in the middle of the nineteenth century, Choro is a cousin of jazz, with a sense of yearning that is often described as a “sweet lament.” Many ethnomusicologists believe that the name Choro comes from the Portuguese verb chorar—that is, to weep or to cry. It often seems bright and happy on the surface, but if you dig deeper you’ll find a kind of sadness, a longing that Brazilians call saudade.

Something about the combination of Portuguese and Italian influences resulted in melodies with a strong romantic feeling. When joined with its African influences, Choro has an irresistible groove and rhythmic momentum that is uniquely Brazilian. (Click Here to read more about Choro).

What does Choro sound like?

Here are some YouTube links featuring our faculty playing typical Choro tunes:

choro-classHow do I register?

Choro 2015 Workshop Schedule

Wednesday, 4/22

  • 3:30 – 5:30pm Check-in, Centrum office
  • 6 – 7:00 Dinner
  • 7:00 – 9:30 First session
  • 9:30 Welcome reception

Thursday, 4/23

  • 8:00 – 9:00am Breakfast for those who registered for it
  • 9:00 – 10:30 Group session: “Pixinguinha and the History of Choro”
  • 11 – 12:25 Master classes
  • 12:30 – 1:30pm Lunch
  • 2:00 – 3:30 Group session: “Brazilian Rhythms”
  • 3:45 – 5:15 Ensemble rehearsals
  • 6:00 Dinner
  • Evening: Open for jamming

Friday, 4/24

  • 8:00 – 9:00am Breakfast
  • 9:00 – 10:30 Group sessions: “Choro Harmony and Melody”
  • 11:00 – 12:25 Master classes
  • 12:30 – 1:30pm Lunch
  • 2:15 – 5:00pm Rehearsals
  • 6:00 Dinner
  • Evening: Open for jamming

Saturday, 4/25

  • 8:00 – 9:00am Breakfast
  • 9:00 – 10:30 Group session
  • 11:00 – 12:25
  • 12:30 – 1:30pm Lunch
  • 1:30 – 5:00 Rehearsals
  • 5:30 Dinner
  • 7:30pm Concert by Faculty in Wheeler Theater
  • 9:30pm Reception, open for jamming

Sunday, 4/26

  • 8:00 – 9:00am Breakfast
  • 9:00 – 10:30am Final session, participant performances
  • 11:00am Checkout

What are the costs?

Tuition: $405

Room/board: $490