About Us

San Diego is lucky - it's one of the few cities in the state to boast its own Brazilian Choro group.

Halysson da Silva - São Paulo - Brazil

Brazilian musician and percussionist, born in São Paulo, Brazil, with samba roots family, been at Rodas de Samba with friends and learn play Repique de mão with his friends from Grupo Feitiço no Ar, and expend his carnaval on Samba Schools rehearsal, like Vai-Vai, Nenê de Vila Matilde and Camisa Verde e Branco.


In 2002 he moved to New York City where he was exposed to many styles of Brazilian music in addition to samba. He learned northeastern rhythms under Nanny Assis, pandeiro drum technique under Zé Maurício, and samba techniques under Caco Oliveira, the founder of New York Samba School. While living in New York he also discovered a love for Brazilian choro music.


Halysson moved to San Diego, California, where he was invited by Stefanie Schmitz to play with Choro Sotaque in 2009.

Marcus Alcantarilla - São Paulo - Brazil

Marcus is a seasoned musician.  He obtained a degree in music at the University of Ribeirao Preto, São Paulo and a second degree in music technology at the Conservatory of Art and Sound in Ribeirao Preto, São Paulo.


For 15 years he has taught private and group lessons to children, teens, adults, and elders with a focus on Brazilian music.  While living in Brazil he spent time working as a music director with theatrical groups, composing soundtracks, and playing live musical performances. While in Brazil he volunteered his time teaching music to impoverished children through social programs. Marcus specializes in the Brazilian musical art forms of choro, samba, Bossa nova, Baiao, Brazilian jazz, and popular Brazilian music (MPB).

Stefanie Schmitz - Milpitas - California

Currently a full time musician and music teacher, Stefanie has a BA in Music Performance and French Language Studies from UC San Diego. She plays the clarinet, tenor saxophone, and Brazilian percussion.​


After college, Stefanie's love affair with Brazilian music began when she took a samba drumming class. She started San Diego's first choro group called Choro Sotaque in 2009, performing traditional Brazilian folk music on clarinet. In 2013 Stefanie went on a six month musical odyssey to Brazil where she lived in Rio, São Paulo, and Recife studying various styles of music.


Stefanie currently performs around San Diego while maintaining a full teaching schedule. She teaches private lessons as well as group classes including Brazilian samba percussion for adults, rhythm exploration for kids, and jazz for beginners.

Gabriel Arce - São Paulo - Brazil

Bio coming!