Choro: The Sweet Lament of Brazilian Music

April 19-23, 2023

2023 registration now open. 

In-person and Online Versions

Our popular Choro workshop celebrates its 12th anniversary! This year we’ll be offering the in-person version as well as an online version featuring part of each day’s offerings (schedule below).  The in-person version will include all the features which have made it a favorite. Dudu Maia continues to improve the schedule with an eye towards maximizing what you will learn AND the fun you’ll have playing. The faculty will explore current and historical players and styles, in addition to master classes, group sessions and, of course, lots of playing. The online version will offer selected sessions live streamed, plus access to these sessions for a month following.

We are excited to announce that the extraordinary clarinetist Anat Cohen will rejoin us this year along with Artistic Director Dudu Maia, (bandolim); clarinetist Anat Cohen, Trio Brasileiro members Douglas Lora, 7-string guitar; and Alexandre Lora, pandeiro/percussion; saxophonist/flutist Daniela Spielmann;  and the incomparable Jovino Santos Neto. 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 this facet of their playing. This workshop is limited to 60 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

Some of the most delightful moments of the weekend happen after dinner, when faculty and participants gather and jam to their hearts’ content. This year all the housing will be in the beautiful, large Victorian “officer’s houses”. Two of these will be designated as roda houses, where you can play as late as you like. Other houses will be quieter—it’s your choice. Either way you’ll have a private room and shared bath. All units are spacious and have full kitchens.

Participants will once again be using The Choro Handbook, written by Dudu and former faculty member Henrique Santos Neto. If you don’t have a copy we can provide you with a e-copy.

What Are the Costs?

Tuition: $475

Online only: $150

Room/board: $525 (Officer’s houses)

Meals only: $200

Who Should Attend?

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.

What 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 19th  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. (Read more about Choro).

What Does Choro Sound Like?

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


2023 Choro In-Person Workshop Schedule

Wednesday, 4/19

4:00 – 5:30pm    Check-in, Centrum office

6 – 7:00              Dinner

7:15 – 9:30         First session

9:30                    Welcome reception and Roda


Thursday, 4/20

8:00 – 9:00am    Breakfast

9:00 – 10:30       Group session with all faculty.

10:30 – 11:00     Coffee break

11:00 – 12:25     Master Classes by all faculty

12:30 – 1:30       Lunch

2:00 – 3:30         Group session with all faculty

3:45 – 5:15         Ensemble rehearsals with faculty

6:00                    Dinner

8:00                    Rodas


Friday, 4/21

8:00 – 9:00am    Breakfast

9:00 – 10:30       Group session with all faculty

10:30 – 11:00     Coffee break

11:00 – 12:25     Ensemble rehearsal with faculty

12:30 – 1:30       Lunch

2:00 – 3:30         Master Classes by all faculty

4:00 – 5:30         Ensemble rehearsals without faculty

4:00 – 6:00         Faculty rehearsal (Wheeler)

6:00                    Dinner

8:00                    Rodas


Saturday, 4/22

8:00 – 9:00am    Breakfast

9:00 – 10:00       Group Session with all faculty.

10:15 – 11:00     Coffee break and faculty CD sales

11:00 – 12:25     Ensemble rehearsal with faculty

12:30 – 1:30       Lunch

1:30 – 2:45         Master Classes by all faculty

3:00 – 4:30         Ensemble rehearsal without faculty

6:00                    Dinner

7:30pm               Concert by Faculty

Evening              Reception and rodas


Sunday, 4/23

8:00 – 9:00am    Breakfast

9:00 – 10:30        Final session, participant performances

11:00                  Checkout