A multi-ethnic female-led sextet, En Canto is Seattle's only Forró band. Forró music is a combination of multiple Brazilian rhythms including baião, xote and arrasta-pé. The word refers to both the musical genre and the accompanying partner dance party events where it is heard.
En Canto shows are exuberant sonic journeys, the band driving the dance floor with swirling Brazilian rhythms and irresistible melodies. The sound is fueled primarily by twin accordions and tinged with the jazz backgrounds of several of the musicians. Anchored in the classics and contemporaries of their genre, they pay tribute to influences Luiz Gonzaga, Mestrinho, Dominguinhos, Sivuca and many others. The group brings the Pacific Northwest a rare link between old and new Brazil.
En Canto presents monthly forró events at Studio Current on the Capitol Hill neighborhood, and performs regularly at music and dance festivals around the US and Canada. In 2018 En Canto was featured at the New York Forró festival alongside Forró In the Dark, Luic Da Silva, Vitor Goncalves and Felipe Hostins.
The members of the band include a mix of Seattle veterans and skilled imports from Brazil, with an assortment of music degrees and decades of playing experience: vocalist Adriana Giordano; accordionists Jamie Maschler and Gabe Hall-Rodrigues; flautist Meese Tonkin; pianist Mike Withey and drummer Adam Kozie.
Brazilian-born vocalist Adriana Giordano draws her inspiration from the deep well of Brazilian song. Her voice is pure and unadorned, from the source of the rich musical traditions of Brazil. Her influences include Elis Regina, Joyce Moreno, Tom Jobim, Milton Nascimento, Baden Powell, Joao Bosco, Gilberto Gil, Djavan, Chico Buarque, Caetano Veloso, Filo Machado, Monica Salmaso, Dani Gurgel, Tatiana Parra, Giana Viscardi, Clara Nunes, Luiz Gonzaga, Hermeto Pascoal, Egberto Gismonti, and Duo Assad. Ms. Giordano has dazzled Seattle audiences since 2010, performing with her other band, Adriana Giordano quartet. She also currently hosts a weekly live music jam, EntreMundos, along with Seattle's premier musicians, in north Seattle.
A unique member of Seattle’s music scene because she has played accordion since the age of four. Jamie Maschler graduated from Cornish College of the Arts with a Bachelors in Music and has won several national and international accordion competitions for jazz, classical, and original compositions. She has performed as a featured soloist at Benaroya Hall in Seattle. She has also recorded at some of the top studios in Seattle, including London Bridge, Avast, Elliott Bay Recording Company, and Clatter and Din. Maschler now works at Petosa Accordions, the last accordion manufacturer in the United States, while pursuing a very active career in Seattle and the greater Northwest area.
Gabe Hall-Rodrigues is an Arizona-native accordionist, pianist and vocalist currently residing in Seattle, WA. He began playing the piano at age 7 and quickly realized his love for music and performing. In 2010, after only studying the accordion for a year, Gabe won the American Accordionists’ Association’sVirtuoso Solo Competition. In 2011 he graduated from Arizona State University with his Bachelor’s Degree in Music Therapy. In 2013, Gabe graduated from ASU with a Master of Music in Jazz Piano Performance under the award winning pianist, composer and professor, Mike Kocour. During his time at ASU, Gabe received the Special Talent Award and Jazz Bird scholarships. He was a frequent guest vocalist with the ASU Concert Jazz Band and Jazz Repertory Band. Gabe was also fortunate to study with world-renowned professor and tubist Sam Pilafian during his time on accordion with the traditional jazz ensemble, the ASU Dixie Devils.
Mike Withey has played piano since he was 7 and Brazilian music since 2005. Classically trained, he started playing rock and roll for parties at Beverly Hill High School in the sixties, where he first fell in love with Tom Jobim’s music—the bossa nova—although, he notes, he could never play it until later. In addition to playing keyboard with En Canto, Mr. Withey also has performed with two other Seattle bands: No Jive Five (jazz standards) and Thursty Love (Latin and pop) and regularly attends California Brazil Camp. Having practiced law for 42 years, he is now slowly exiting the legal profession to play more music and write a murder mystery and international spy novel about the murders of his friends.
Adam Kozie started playing music at age 11 and drums at age 17. He studied at Cornish College of the arts and holds a BA in Jazz Performance. Currently, in addition to performing with En Canto, Mr. Kozie plays in the choral trance pop group Pollens, the electro-rock band Snowman Plan, and the chamber rock orchestra The B'shnorkestra, among many other projects.