... Brisas do Brasil...


upcoming performances


Monday May 4th
(original compositions and arrangements)
with vocalist Masha Campagne
and drummer/percussionist Zach Mondlick
Snow Elementary School, Newark


". . . exquisitely ear-stretching music,
BRISAS do BRASIL wrapped us in immersed us
in sweet lilting melodies and unique interpretations
of samba and jazz. The versatility and musical mastery
of the performers was remarkable. I have rarely
come away from a concert having felt so enriched."

— John Steere, 
host of the Webster Haven House Concert Series,
following their March 11th, 2017 performance


"... the trio's vocalist took us on a magical,
lyrical journey through samba.
She was supported by an amazing percussionist
and impressive keyboard work by Michael Smolens,
who also arranged the songs."

—Anne W. Emerick, 
producer of Wisteria Ways House Concert Series
following the group's October 8th, 2016 performance


"Incredible, just incredible.  Very high level of
creativity and musicianship..."

Andy Robbins,
Music Coordinator of Oakland Center for Spiritual Living

“Our residents loved the music provided by
Brisas do Brasil, and many a toe were tapping
as they played. The music is so smooth and jazzy,
and can easily take the listener away to the sounds
and shores of Brazil. It’s bossa nova at its very best.”

—Susan Codeglia,
Wellness Coordinator
Bryon Park, Walnut Creek

"I got very positive feedback from your trio's performance.

—Amanda Kerr,
Life Enrichment Manager
Stoneridge Creek Retirement Community, Pleasanton


  "Your recent performance with Brisas was just great.  
Very well received by my residents!"

Melanie Bazan, Personal Expressions Manager
Carlton Plaza of Fremont


Brisas do Brasil creates an exciting and tropical environment, serving up intricate original arrangements of Bossa Nova and Samba, refreshing the listener with its constantly shifting textures. The trio features sublime compositions by the Brazilian master Antonio Carlos Jobim (The Girl From Ipanema, Desafinado), along with gems by Sergio Mendez, Toninho Horta, Milton Nascimento, Edu Lubo, Guniga, and Aecio Flavio, plus evocative original works.

Vocalist Mary D'Orazi effortlessly traverses between English and Portuguese, often within the same song.  Percussionist Greg German combines traditional Brazilian and jazz percussion with verve and romantic sweetness. Keyboardist/arranger Michael Smolens magically imitates a nylon-string guitar and acoustic bass with uncanny accuracy while adding alto flute, melodica, and voice to the mix.


audio samples

Wave (A.C. Jobim / samba in 7) 1:39
Mary - voice; Michael - keyboard; Greg - drum set

Rio Rescue (M. Smolens / samba in 3) 2:02
Mary - voice; Michael - keyboard; Greg - drum set

O Morro Nao Tem Vez (A.C. Jobim / samba in 4) 2:09
Mary - voice; Michael - alto flute; Greg - cajon & tambourin

The Look Of Love (B. Bacharach / pop ballad) 1:33
Mary - voice; Michael - keyboard; Greg - drum set

[all arrangements by M. Smolens]


history of performances


Monday April 16th


Thursday July 13th
Carton Senior Living, Fremont
Summer Concert Series

Sunday June 25th
Wisteria Ways House Concert Series, Oakland
Double-Trio House Concert with Bal du Kor

Saturday March 11th
Webster Haven House Concert Series, Oakland
Double-Trio House Concert with Bal du Kor


Saturday October 8th
Wisteria Ways House Concert Series, Oakland

Tuesday August 30th
Oakmont of Concord, Concord

Monday February 8th
Piedmont Gardens


Sunday October 25th
Oakland Center For Spiritual Living

Thursday July 16th
Carlton Senior Living, Fremont
Summer Concert Series

Wednesday June 24
Rossmoor Concert Series, Lafayette


Saturday June 26th
Carlton Senior Living, Fremont
Summer Concert Series

Saturday, May 31st
Varenna Center, Santa Rosa

Saturday, March 8th
Stoneridge Creek, Pleasanton


Sunday June 23rd
Byron Park, Walnut Creek
Brazil Party


school outreach

Our Ensemble members are not only compelling performers,
but also highly experienced teachers in both private
and classroom settings. We will guide your students
through Brazilian music, from the classic bossa-novas
of Antonio Carlos Jobim (1960s) to more contemporary
sambas along with original songs utilizing that tradition.
(The Music Director has been teaching since 1974)
For K-9 presentations in a typical 50-minute time block,
we have found that performing four pieces works best.
Because each member of our ensemble plays
different instruments we allot ample time
to demonstrate and explain each one:
Keyboard — nylon-string guitar & bass, electric pianos,
alto flute and voice
Voice & Percussion — shaker, panderio
Percussion — drum set, cajon
We also field questions from the students,
drawing from each of our performers' rich backgrounds.
For our music-specific high school and college presentations,
we present a detailed overview of different approaches
to arranging and composing, including our choice
of instrumentation and the music.



Michael Smolens (arranger/composer, keyboard, alto flute, voice)

Michael Smolens has been accompanying and arranging for many leading Bay Area vocalists, including: Raz Kennedy, David Worm, Bryan Dyer, Ernie Shelton, Rhiannon, Shea Breaux-Wells, Katy Stephan, Biaja Solomon, Karen Blixt, along with Pragmavision recording and touring icon, Claudia Schmidt. His original works have been recorded by Stefon Harris (vibes), Paul McCandless & Gene Burkert (reeds/flutes), David Balakrishnan & Evan Price (jazz violin), Zakir Hussain (tabla), and has been commissioned by Meet The Composer, Bernard Osher Foundation, the Occidental Choir, Unity Church, and numerous artists in the Bay Area and New York.

Michael leads other ensembles that feature his compositions and arrangements: Project Vox, New American Songbook Project, earPlay Jazzquintet, NUVO Jazz Quartet, and West-African trio Bal du Kor. He has been teaching a wide variety of instruments

Masha Campagne
 (voice, percussion) 

Zach Mondlick
 (drum set, cajon)