Brazilian pianist, vocalist, composer and voice actress Catina DeLuna has enjoyed a successful and varied musical career since beginning to play the piano and sing at a young age. After completing a B.A. in Brazilian Popular Music at the prestigious UNICAMP University in São Paulo, she founded two award winning groups: the vocal group Arirê, in which she was responsible for arranging, playing piano, and singing, and the group Serenata Brasileira, playing classic Brazilian songs from the 1920’s and 30’s, in full authentic costume and style. Catina currently has three independent released CDs available, Na Era de Ouro, from Serenata Brasileira, Brazilian Accent, her solo debut featuring classic Bossa Nova standards and Catina DeLuna & Lado B Brazilian Project featuring Otmaro Ruiz, her latest CD which was nominated to the 58th GRAMMY AWARDS and which has been critically acclaimed.
Additionally, Catina has been a guest artist in Japan, Singapore and the United States, as well as recording many commercial jingles/voice-overs for national radio and television in Brazil. Since her move to the United States, Catina served as visiting scholar at Uof I at Urbana-Champaign, and obtained her M.M.A. at Northern Illinois University where she was awarded a grant from the Center for Latino and Latin American Studies to carry out research on maracatu in Brazil during the summer of 2008. Now living in Los Angeles, she teaches music in her private studio in Santa Clarita, CA, as well as in several renown schools and conservatories, including SilverLake Conservatory, Los Angeles Music Academy, Shepherd Univeristy and University of Southern California (guest faculty). With a special repertoire based on lesser known Brazilian styles, Catina has been performing in the top jazz venues in Southern California co-leading the Group “Lado B Brazilian Project”.
Born in Caracas, Venezuela, OTMARO RUÍZ began his musical studies at the age of eight with intensive training in classical guitar, organ, piano and music theory. Originally pursuing a scientific career as a biologist at Simón Bolívar University, Otmaro decided to become a full-time pianist and keyboardist. He culminated his academic training at California Institute of the Arts, receiving a master’s degree in jazz performance and ascending to the upper echelon of musicians in Los Angeles among Alex Acuña, Justo Almario and Abraham Laboriel. He has performed in virtually every major international jazz festival and with such varied artists as Dianne Reeves, Frank Morgan, Red Halloway, Gino Vannelli, Arturo Sandoval, Tito Puente, John McLaughlin, Frank Gambale, Alain Caron, Robben Ford, Jimmy Haslip and Vinnie Colaiuta. He has been awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Music by Shepherd University and is part of the Adjunct Faculty Staff at USC. Although he considers versatility as his greatest asset, it is through composition that he communicates his profound sensibilities and command of the art form. His latest full-length album of original music, “Sojourn”, was released in early 2008.