In addition to a highly personalized and FUN instructional program taught by these masters, SMJ takes care of logistics & details beyond our instructional program – from private van service, to hotel options, to customized group sight-seeing tours – not to mention night-time music excursions, samba dance lessons, dining… and more! We’ll have a small group – 20 max! JOIN US!

Tuesday Evening, Feb. 16 through & including Sunday night, Feb. 21.

Our week will kick off on Tuesday evening with a Welcome dinner at a local restaurant, and placement interviews for our classes.


Samba Meets Jazz  is geared to adult instrumentalists and vocalists of all levels and musical backgrounds.


Filomena - vocal performanceWorking towards Sunday’s culminating performance, vocalists will be coached (group and individual) with focus on Song Interpretation and Phrasing (Brazilian & American Songbook), Intonation & Technique, as well as Portuguese pronunciation (for students electing to sing in Portuguese).

In this context, students will have opportunities to rehearse with faculty rhythm section as well as to join student instrumental trios/combos/ensembles. Sessions will also include Percussion Accompaniment for Vocalists, Brazilian Rhythms, Phrasing & Styles, Chart Development, Arranging – to name a few!


Ensemble Picture - SMJ-RIo 2014Our programs are designed to provide an opportunity for all participants to work with each member of our faculty.

Curricula will include daily Jazz/Blues and Brazilian Jazz Ensembles, Jazz Harmony & Improvisation, Brazilian Rhythms, Styles & Phrasing, Arranging, Composition, and Brazilian Percussion.


Arrival in RIO: We suggest arrival on Tuesday, Feb. 16 in time for our Evening Orientation and Optional Group Dinner. If your schedule necessitates, arrival on early Wednesday morning is workable.

We can arrange van service if participants’ flights arrive close in time to one another. Otherwise, taxis are available or we can arrange for our tour guide to pick you up at airport.

Tuesday Evening – February 16
Orientation/Ensemble Placement & Optional Group Dinner

Wednesday – Sunday, February 17-21**:
As you’ll see below, our instructional schedule provides ample time for sightseeing, and sun & surf in Rio! During the mornings, we’ll have the option to sightsee and explore Rio with a truly fabulous tour guide, Luiz, enjoy sun & surf, visit renowned music stores, etc. And during the evenings, we’ll be taking in Brazilian music – from samba and bossa, to choro and forro through the lens of SMJ Artistic/Music Director, Nilson Matta.

Our culminating music event will be the student performances on Sunday evening at Beco das Garrafas, an iconic jazz club where Bossa was born! The photo on left is only a partial listing of the jazz greats that have performed there!

Daily Schedule

9:00am – 1:00pm: Options for guided tours in van, R&R, practicing, etc.
1:00pm – 1:15pm: Private Van Departures from Hotels to Estudio Villa Floresta
2:00pm – 8:00pm: Instructional Program (with break for late lunch)
8:00pm: Depart by private van to our hotels and/or evening destination(s).

Options for Guests of Participants

Guests of participants are welcome to join our group activities, including the optional tours, group dinners, evening excursions, as well as attendance at special presentations and the student performance. The basic guest fee covers participation in all activities except those for which participating “students” pay admission/tour fees, etc.


If this is your first time to Rio, you’ll want to visit “must-see” attractions such as Sugarloaf and Corcovado. To maximize time, comfort and safety, SmJ arranges for optional tours with an English-speaking tour guide. Luiz, who worked for 15 years in New York with IBM, not only knows the in’s and out’s of the main tourist attractions, but is a walking (and engaging) raconteur when it comes to sharing the rich culture and history of Brazil – from architecture to politics, from music to literature and art. His guided tour of Rio’s neighborhoods was unforgettable!

Instructional Venue: Villa Musical – Floresta

SmJ will return to its Brazilian home away from home! Villa Musical Floresta, is a state-of-the art recording studio located in picturesque Santa Teresa neighborhood. Home to artists and musicians, it’s Rio’s Greenwich Village! In addition to offering spacious, state-of-the art, air-conditioned studios, Villa Floresta boasts an informal café and bar, open throughout the day for our convenience.