Brazilian choro classes at Centrum

ProgramMusicBrazilian Choro

About Brazilian Choro

April 24-28, 2024

Welcome to the 15th year of Centrum’s Brazilian Choro workshop! If you haven’t already discovered the charm, Afro-Brazilian grooves, and irresistible challenge to play this music, then you’re in for a delightful journey. Choro provides a dynamic common ground for classical musicians who like beautifully sculpted melodies, and folk or jazz musicians who like the freedom to improvise on those melodies and their accompaniments.

Led by our Artistic Director, Dudu Maia, our world-class faculty will inspire you to learn choro repertoire, stylistic characteristics, and historical background to this uniquely Brazilian music. Join us and experience the infectious joy of playing choro with others in ensembles, masterclasses, and jam sessions called roda’s.

Check out the details below and sign up soon. We can accept 60 participants and we always fill up to the brim! 

Daniela Spielman choro class

Registration is Now Open!

Brazilian Choro Workshops

Brazilian Choro Facts

  • Artistic Director: Dudu Maia
  • Established in 2010
  • Explore current and historical styles through master classes, group sessions
  • Instrumentation: strings, woodwinds, accordion, piano and hand percussion

Experience Brazilian Choro

Centrum’s Choro workshop is one of only a few of its kind in North America, and the longest established, since 2010. Our faculty members, Dudu Maia, bandolim; Anat Cohen, clarinet; Daniela Spielmann, sax and flute; Douglas Lora, guitar; Jovino Santos Neto, piano; and Alexandre Lora, percussion, are all Grammy or Latin Grammy nominees, and masters of other veins of music such as jazz, classical and composition. 

The almost five-day workshop schedule features group sessions with special topics, ensemble rehearsals with faculty coaching, masterclasses per instrument, the fabulous faculty concert, and new this year, a second concert featuring both the faculty and our participant Bandaõ, big band!  

A list of choro tunes to learn, with sheet music, will be sent out in advance to participants.  

You need to be over 18 years old to attend this workshop. 

Choro Faculty

Photo of Anat Cohen

Anat Cohen


Clarinet & Saxophone

Ever charismatic, prolific and inspired, Grammy-nominated clarinetist-saxophonist Anat Cohen has won hearts and minds the world over with her expressive virtuosity and delightful stage presence. The New York Times writes, “Ms. Cohen on the clarinet was a revelation. Using the clarinet’s upper register, she could evoke infectious joy.…

Photo of Alexandre Lora

Alexandre Lora



Alexandre Lora moves easily within different styles of Brazilian popular music, performing as a drummer and percussionist. He has been on the faculty of Centrum’s Choro Workshop since 2012. He has performed extensively in Europe including Amsterdam, Rotterdam and a tour of 33 cities in Spain. With Trio Brasileiro he has performed in major US cities such as New York, Chicago, Boston, Seattle, Miami and Portland.…

Photo of Douglas Lora

Douglas Lora



Three time Grammy nominee guitarist and composer Douglas Lora moves with versatility through the worlds of Classical and Popular Music, and has established himself as one of the most prominent artists of his generation.

With his wide musical repertoire, Douglas has collaborated with renowned artists such as YoYo Ma, Paquito d’Rivera, Assad Brothers, Anat Cohen, Marco Pereira, Jovino Santos Neto, Ney Rosauro, Marina Piccinini, Paulo Bellinati, among others.…

Photo of Dudu Maia

Dudu Maia

Artistic Director, Faculty


Dudu Maia brings a lifetime of research and study of Brazil’s greatest musical traditions to his work. A virtuoso of the bandolim (a Portuguese version of the mandolin), Dudu served for five years as the bandolim professor of Brazil’s most respected Choro school, the Escola Brasileira de Choro Raphael Rabello in Brasília. He is known for his soulful style, unique touch and his mastery of the 10-stringed bandolim, which has two more strings than the standard bandolim, expanding its musical range and harmonic possibilities.…

Photo of Jovino Santos Neto

Jovino Santos Neto



Three-time Latin Grammy nominee Jovino Santos Neto is a master pianist, flutist, composer, arranger, conductor and educator from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. After 15 years as a member of the legendary Hermeto Pascoal Group, he moved to Seattle in 1993. Since then, Jovino has established himself as a charismatic performer, whether playing solo piano, leading his Trio, his award-winning Quinteto, or in guest appearances with ensembles and orchestras worldwide.…

Photo of Daniela Spielman

Daniela Spielman


Saxophone & Flute

Daniela Spielmann has been part of the Brazilian Choro scene since 1998 as a saxophonist, flutist, composer and arranger. Her music is current and at the same time respectful of the great Brazilian composers of the past. Her first CD as a member of the Choro ensemble Rabo de Lagartixa (Gecko´s Tail) was given a critics’ award for the best instrumental CD of the year and in 2002 her first solo album, Brazilian Breath, was nominated for a Latin Grammy.…

Tuition: $500  

Attending our workshop includes all classes and concerts held at Fort Worden in Port Townsend WA. There is a $325 non-refundable deposit to register; final payment is due March 1, 2024. 

Optional Room and Meals: 

We provide rooms at the workshop for $325. 

Add a meal plan for an additional $240.  

What is Choro music?
Pronounced sho-ro (with a slightly rolled r), Brazilian choro originated in Rio de Janeiro from a combination of Afro-Brazilian and Portuguese late-Baroque influences. Evolving from the late 19th century for decades, choro reached a height of popularity by the mid-20th century. Composer/performers such as Ernesto Nazareth, Jacob do Bandolim, and Pixinguinha were prominent influencers in its development and growth as a unique popular music of Brazil. The word choro in Portuguese means “cry” or “lament,” which seems contrary to the mood of so many of the playful, fast-paced choros In the slow tempo choros however, one hears the element of saudade, or nostalgic longing.  

Read more about Choro.

What does Choro sound like?
Here are some YouTube links featuring our faculty playing typical Choro tunes:

Meals are served at Fort Worden Commons. The first meal is dinner on April 24; the last meal is breakfast on April 28.

Cancellation/Refund Policy
Full payment is due by March 1, 2024. If your full payment is not made by March 1, 2024, your registration will be canceled; $325 of your deposit is nonrefundable.

Find more answers - Centrum FAQs

Who should attend?

Classical, jazz and music-reading folk musicians will feel comfortable in this workshop and will enjoy expanding their skills through this genre. You need to be proficient on your instrument, i.e. comfortable with the mechanics of playing. We always have a range of people with different backgrounds and abilities, but we try to balance the ensembles to be supportive of everyone. 

The standard choro instruments are usually mandolin, clarinet, flute, sax, cavaquinho, guitar, piano, and pandeiro (hand percussion rather than drum set) Other string players such as violinists, cellists and bass players are welcome as well. Some other instruments are also accepted. If you have any questions, please contact Gwen Franz at 306-385-3102 x109 or  

You need to be 18 years or older to attend this workshop. 

Here is how you’ll spend your time:

Wednesday, April 24 
4–5:30pm – Check-in, Centrum office 
6–7:00pm – Dinner 
7:15–9:30pm – First session 
9:30pm – Welcome reception and Roda 

Thursday, April 25 
8–9am – Breakfast 
9–10:30am – Group session with all faculty. 
10:30–11am – Coffee break 
11am–12:25pm – Master Classes by all faculty 
12:30–1:30pm – Lunch 
2–3:30pm – Group session with all faculty 
3:45–5:15pm – Ensemble rehearsals with faculty 
6pm – Dinner 
8pm – Rodas 

Friday, April 26 
8–9am – Breakfast 
9–10:30am – Group session with all faculty 
10:30–11am – Coffee break 
11am–12:25pm – Ensemble rehearsal with faculty 
12:30-1:30 – Lunch 
2–3:30pm – Master Classes by all faculty 
4–5:30pm – TBA 
4–6pm – Faculty rehearsal 
6pm – Dinner 
7:30pm – Faculty Concert 

Saturday, April 27 
8-9am – Breakfast 
9–10am – Group Session with all faculty 
10:15–11am – Coffee break and faculty, CD sales 
11am–12:25pm –Ensemble rehearsal with faculty 
12:30–1:30pm – Lunch 
1:30–2:45pm – Master Classes by all faculty 
3–4:30pm – TBA 
6pm – Dinner 
7:30pm – Concert with Faculty and participant Bandaõ 
Evening – Reception and rodas 

Sunday, April 28 
8–9am – Breakfast 
9-10:30am – Final session, voluntary ensemble masterclass 
11am – Checkout 

Any online offerings will be announced by February 2024. 

Douglas Lora Choro class

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