Greg, a woodwind specialist, has performed with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra, The Temptations, The Four Tops, the Boulder Philharmonic, Rita Moreno, Barry Manilow, the Opera Orchestra of Albuquerque, Paul McCandless, Art Lande, Kai Eckhardt, Ty Burhoe, Bill Douglas, and his pianist mother, Patricia LaLiberte, in the LaLiberte Duo. He has won several competitions with the National Flute Association, is recorded on many CDs as a sideman, and performs regularly throughout Colorado and the Midwest as a classical and jazz musician. Formerly the Instructor of Flute at Colorado State University and Instructor of Saxophone at the University of Colorado Denver, Greg currently lives in Boulder, teaches private music lessons, and operates a woodwind instrument repair shop.
Francisco is a multi-instrumentalist, singer and music educator. He was born in Sao Paulo, Brazil and raised in the east coast of the United States before moving to Colorado in 2000, where he began establishing his career as a musician. He is the front man and co-founder of Ginga, the founder and director of Grupo Chegando Lá, and plays with a multitude of Brazilian bands based out of Boulder including, Pagode na Pedra and Sambadende. When he is not traveling out of state, teaching samba workshops and performing, he is actively engaged in the teaching and dissemination of Brazilian music in Colorado; teaching as adjunct faculty at Naropa University and hosting weekly group and private lessons. He has also been a faculty member for 6 years at the mecca of Brazilian music education and immersion in the US; California Brazil Camp.
Boulder guitarist Bill Kopper, who grew up on the Mississippi River, is also a percussionist and joins in on Ginga’s vocals. His extensive musical experience includes R&B, pop music, jazz and blues. He commented, “I also love the music of Brazil and have gotten into a branch of it called Choro – a sort of jazz music in Brazil.” He played for several years with Billy Tolles, “a masterful tenor saxophonist.” He said he has also had, “…a long-time musical friendship with Sonya Vallet, who conjures an incredible Gypsy-Flamenco-Carioca spirit.” Bill has also, “… done some gigs lately with MaxJazz artist, Rene Marie.” He is also a member of the Bob Montgomery quartet, “…who has put together a group that integrates guitar into the horn section in a very unique way.” In addition, he plays with Brazilian drummer, Henrique de Almeida’s band, The Brazilian Jazz Project. Bill has recorded with Peter Yellen, Rehka Ohal, Mike Pagan, Henrique de Almeida, Garner & Geena Pruit and others.
Raoul moved to Boulder in 1979 from Tacoma, WA, and began playing the drums in 1985. He started off playing simultaneously in a Christian dixieland band, a jazz trio, and a prog-rock outfit called “Frogpile”. Some highlights in his musical life include: meeting and performing Brazilian music, jazz, R&B, and funk with Mitchell Long (6 years); recording an album with Sonya Valet, performing at El Chapultapec when Fred Wesley walked in with his horn; playing with Renée Marie in her band No Maintenance; meeting and performing with Marcelo Bernardes (saxophonist, flutist and arranger for Chico Buarque); and joining Hamster Theatre in the mid 90’s. Recently he has performed with Kenny Walker, Bill Kopper, Erik Deutsch, Sonya Valet, Marguerite Juenemann, Dexter Payne, Diane French, Lois LaFond, Tina Marx, Ligeia Mare, and many others. Currently he’s also the regular drummer for Hamster Theatre, the Dexter Payne Quartet, Diane French, and Tina Marx.
Carl Dixon , versatile percussionist, can be found performing in concert halls, jazz clubs, dance parties, festival stages, and street parades, playing music spanning many genres, continents, and instruments. He has performed with the Rio de Janeiro bloco Bangalafumenga, Casuarina, Kailin Yong Peace Project, Dexter Payne, Pat Bianchi, the Elevations Jazz Orchestra, and is the principal percussionist of the Central City Opera, Fort Collins, and Cheyenne symphony orchestras. He is the musical director of the Boulder Samba School and Bateria Alegria, a Brazilian percussion ensemble. He teaches percussion and world music at the University of Colorado-Boulder and teaches private lessons in all areas of percussion.
Victor Mestas Perez, pianist, has performed for renowned bands including Guaco & Trabuco Venezolano, and has also accompanied an array of singers in live concerts, including: Soledad Bravo, Cheo Feliciano, and for Julio Iglesias’ 2010 Tour in Uruguay and Argentina. He has been instrumental in over 85 recording productions for national and international renowned artists, including a 2010 Latin Grammy Award with Ilan, a Venezuelan songwriter. Since 2001, he has been a spokesperson and endorsement artist for Yamaha musical products. Locally, he has performed on the Brazilian, jazz & Latin-jazz scene, with Nelson Rangell, Brad Upton, Colores and others.
Vincent Gonzalez, percussionist, over the last decade, has traveled throughout the Americas to pursue the study of both traditional and modern Afro-Latin and Brazilian percussion. Along the way, he has had the opportunity to study with master percussionists in Cuba and Brazil, as well as masters of Afro-Peruvian percussion in the United States. As an accompanist, educator, and performer, Vincent has worked with a diverse array of artists, dancers, students, and musicians over the years. After recently moving to Denver, he is excited to join Ginga in their mission to spread Brazilian music and culture throughout Colorado and beyond.