SmJ is dedicated to promoting the study and appreciation of Jazz, Brazilian Music and World Rhythms — and to creating opportunities for musical exchange across cultures. Over the past six years, Samba Meets Jazz Workshops has developed a reputation for providing instrumental and vocal instruction of the highest caliber, personalized attention, and a FUN approach to learning.  



Multi-Grammy nominee / virtuoso bassist Nilson Matta has been a creative force in the evolution and popularity of Brazilian Jazz in the United States. Not long after he came to New York in 1985, he was performing and recording with Grammy-winning jazz greats Joe Henderson, Don Pullen, Kenny Barron, Bob Mintzer and Randy Brecker, as well as Herbie Mann, Lee Konitz and Mark Murphy. Drawing from these collaborations, and from his work with Brazilian luminaries such as Hermeto Pascoal, João Gilberto, Luis Bonfa, and Johnny Alf in Brazil, (to name a few),  

Matta has developed his own musical signature making him a first-call bass player of Brazilian music and jazz musicians.  It’s not surprising therefore, that when Yo Yo Ma sought band members for his Brazilian project, Nilson was the obvious choice for bass. Their recording of two Grammy CDs (Obrigado Brazil and Brazil – Live in Concert) prompted a two-year worldwide tour touching every corner of the globe. A founding member of two internationally acclaimed groups – Trio Da Paz (Romero Lubambo, Duduka de Fonseca, drums) and Brazilian Trio (Helio Alves, piano; Duduka de Fonseca, drums) – Matta has emerged in recent years as bandleader, composer, arranger and producer.

In 2018 we will once again offer instrumental and vocal programs, and are proud to once again offer a uniquely innovative tap dance program to be held in Bar Harbor, ME. 

Whether you’re an adult hobbyist, an educator,  working musician seeking to expand your craft, or a student seeking to immerse yourself in study,  our program will provide inspiration and a road map for follow-up at home.

We hope you’ll join us at one of our programs!


ALICE SCHILLER – Producer/Executive Director  NILSON MATTA – Artistic/Music Director  

LUISA MATTA – Director of Brazilian Production