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About us

Rafael Valim - an accomplished guitarist, mostly playing his rich-sounding 7-string acoustic guitar, as well the traditional 6-string guitar, cavaco and mandolin. A graduate of EM&T (School of Music and Technology), with certificates in Fusion Guitar, Classic Guitar and Music Theory courses, Rafael is a versatile musician whose unique style merges the richly eloquent classical fingering technique and delicate-sounding melodies. When playing, he elegantly glides between different musical genres, interpreting the compositions with great sensitivity and emotion. Apart from being involved in the Polka Nova project, he performs solo, with a repertoire inspired by many influential Brazilian composers such as Garoto, Dilermando Reis, João Pernambuco and Canhoto; and with bands. He is a member of Samba Do Chapéu UK who, in 2017, won the Press Award for the best Brazilian band in the UK.

Sylvia Hoffmann - a vibrant singer from Poland with a long history of performing with samba schools (Paraíso Samba School, Rhythms of the City, London School of Samba) at UK's many festivals and carnival parades, including the Notting Hill Carnival and the carnivals in Luton, Liverpool and Nottingham. Her voice equally easily lends itself to carnival vibes as to smoother rhythms of bossa nova and traditional samba, as well as classic jazz. 

Guest musicians are invited on request; the duo has performed with a number of excellent musicians playing flute, saxophone, bass, drums and percussion; varying the line-up from a trio to a full band.

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