Fernanda Silveira

Fernanda Silveira is a Cavaquinho player specializing in the Brazilian practices of Choro and Traditional Samba. Currently based and active in the NYC/NJ area, Fernanda is a member of Regional Samaúma – devoted to the performance of Choro and Samba, as well as founder and co-director of Samba de Terreiro do Brooklyn. She leads a weekly Roda de Choro Residency at Barbés – Brooklyn, alongside Regional Samaúma, and a monthly Samba de Terreiro do Brooklyn gathering, which will continue their second year in 2024. In the Fall of 2023, Samaúma was in residence at Indiana University (IN) in Bloomington for a week of concerts and masterclasses, with an upcoming residence at Rowan University (NJ) in the Spring of 2024.

As a Choro Regional musician, Fernanda has accompanied many artists, including guitarists Yamandu Costa and Maurício Carrilho, clarinetists Nailor Proveta, mandolinists Pedro Amorim, Geraldo Vargas, Miltinho Mori, Ronaldo do Bandolim and Jorginho do Pandeiro – these last two being members of the group Conjunto Época de Ouro from Rio de Janeiro.

As a Traditional Samba side-musician, Fernanda has accompanied a variety of artists including Monarco (RJ), Nelson Sargento (RJ), Tantinho da Mangueira (RJ), and Nadinho da Ilha (RJ), as well as the Old Guards of Samba Schools including the Velha Guarda da Mangueira (RJ) and the Velha Guarda da Embaixada Copa Lord (SC), among others.

Born on the island of Florianópolis (SC) – Brazil, she started in music at eight, influenced and supported by her parents. She perfected herself with Wagner Segura (SC), cavaquinista Luciana Rabello (RJ), guitarist Mauricio Carrilho (RJ), and maestro Ian Guest (RJ), among others. She is a founding member of Choro Group Ginga do Mané (SC), was a longtime Samba group Um Bom Partido (SC) member, and participated in creating Samba de Terreiro de Florianópolis in 2017. Since 2008, she has played cavaquinho for the Samba School Os Protegidos da Princesa (SC) at the yearly Carnival Parades.

As a teacher, Fernanda is in her third decade. From the late 1990s to late 2000s, Fernanda taught cavaquinho at the Wagner Segura Musical Center – in Florianópolis. In the Early 2010s, she taught at the EPM/UNIRIO Portable Music School – in Rio de Janeiro. Since 2019, she has been a teacher of cavaquinho at Rowan University Community Music School – in Glassboro, NJ. In 2022, Fernanda taught cavaquinho at Choro Camp New England and is happy to return in 2024.

Here you see Fernanda performing at Rowan University with three other artists who are on the Choro Camp New England teaching staff in 2024: Fabio Oliveira (pandeiro), Ian Coury (bandolim) and Cesar Garabini (7-string guitar).

The following clip shows Fernanda in her leadership role at one of the monthly rodas hosted by Samba de Terreiro do Brooklyn, of which she is co-founder and musical director. Fabio Oliveira is seated to her right, playing surdo. He, too, is one of the pillars of this fantastic project. Note the characteristic “arrangement” for this kind of roda — the song begins with very light accompaniment and everyone singing; on the second pass the other accompanists join in and the energy level goes up. One song often bleeds into the next, with the leader — Fernanda, in this case — signaling the change.