Faculty Profile

Brian Rice
Samba and Afro-Cuban Percussion

Brian Rice is a highly acclaimed performer, educator, and recording artist and one of the most versatile percussionists in the Bay Area. Though best known as a specialist in Brazilian and Cuban music, Brian can be heard playing a multitude of styles and his percussion playing graces over 60 recordings.

Brian received his Bachelor of Music from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music in Percussion Performance and Ethnomusicology, and has been a freelance musician since 1989, founding the bateria Samba Seattle, the Afro-Cuban Folkloric Collective, and traveling to both Cuba and Brazil for musical studies. Brian currently performs with Mike Marshall and Choro Famoso, Claudia Villela, Jorge Alabe and Samba Rio, Cascada de Flores, the Berkeley Choro Ensemble and Wake the Dead. Brian is an endorser of Latin Percussion instruments.

Overview

Samba School
Brian Rice, director

Samba students dressed in Green Shirts with their instruments.

Modeled after the famous baterias of Rio de Janeiro’s renowned samba schools, the UC Davis Samba School performs high-energy music of Brazil’s Carnaval for audiences throughout Northern California. The group was formed in 2004 and has since become a vibrant force in campus life, performing at festivals, fundraisers and community events across the region. A contingent of 25 drummers muscle through traditional material taken from Rio’s major samba schools as well as original music created by the group.

Overview

Afro-Cuban Ensemble
Brian Rice, director

The Afro-Cuban Ensemble studies and performs music from the African-derived folkloric traditions of Cuba, the instruments and techniques of the Yoruba, Bantu, Arara and Iyesa drumming, and song traditions including the bembe, batá, guiro (chekere), as well as Cuban secular music such as Rumba, La Conga, Conga Santiago. Includes an introduction to the historical and cultural context of folkloric traditions and practices in Cuba.

Performs once per quarter.

Music 152

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