raquel cepeda jazz septet 

The Raquel Cepeda Septet is a jazz band established in Houston in 2017 by Venezuelan vocalist Raquel Cepeda and is comprised by a group of world class musicians from various regions of the world including the US, Brazil, Mexico and Cuba.

Led by Raquel Cepeda, the band counts with a concert level act with original arrangements and original music, and regularly offers large shows at important venues like the Houston MATCH Theater, the Discovery Green Outdoor Theater and The Heights Theater.

The band seamlessly integrates all the elements of American Jazz with Afro-Latin, Brazilian, Middle Eastern, and various other Latin American influences producing an explosive and intelligent sound, anchored by the impeccable execution and the ample improvisatory language of the band members and the wide vocal range, song delivery and stage presence of Cepeda. 

The septet is comprised by Barry Sames on piano, Thomas Helton on double bass, Adriano Santos / Orlando Fuentes on drums, Cassio Duarte / Jesús Pacheco on percussion, Salvador Velasco / Felix DeLeon on trumpet, Ernesto Vega on Sax and Raquel Cepeda on vocals.

The Raquel Cepeda Jazz Septet has been featured by cultural organizations like Houston Da Camera, the Harris County Arts Council, and Friends of Chamber Music of Bryan / College Station.  

The band has appeared in Jazz Festivals in Houston and performs in many public and private events and venues, including corporate parties and weddings. 

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LISTEN
Raquel Cepeda's latest album, Passion, was recorded with her jazz septet and other guest artists

Available in all the digital platforms

ACCOLADES

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  • Nominated for Best Jazz Album at the Pepsi Music Awards 2020

  • #1 position in the Jazz Chart for 8 consecutive weeks in the Roots Music Report

  • Enjoyed Top 20 placement on the JazzWeek Charts in 2020

  • Passion charted for 9 weeks on the NACC Latin Charts in the Top 5

MEMBERS

Raquel Cepeda
Jazz singer and songwriter, Raquel Cepeda is also the bandleader of the Raquel Cepeda Septet. Originally from Venezuela, Cepeda is a highly regarded performer whose interpretative quality, approach to story telling, and multi-cultural style has the ability to reach the hearts and ears of the most demanding and diverse audiences. Cepeda and has shared the stage with Jazz legends such as Ellis and Delfeayo Marsalis, has performed in Caracas, Rio de Janeiro, and São Paulo, and has released 2 albums, I'm Confessin', and Passion - Latin Jazz.

 

Barry Sames
A New Jersey native and graduate from Temple University’s jazz program with film scoring studies at UCLA, Barry Sames has performed in festivals around the globe. He’s performed with Latin musicians Marlon Simon & Alfredo Naranjo, Arabic cellist Kinan Abou-Afach, South African Guitarist Sharon Katz and the Peace Train and East Indian Sitarist Ustad Shafaat Khan. With 4 albums as a leader, he continues to be a sought-after producer, arranger and accompanist. 

Thomas Helton
Houston bassist and composer Thomas Helton is a multifaceted improviser and skilled interpreter of contemporary bass repertoire. Equally adept at playing jazz, classical, experimental and avant-garde music, Helton continues to push and redefine the possibilities of his instrument by embracing extended performance techniques and new compositional forms. 

Adriano Santos
Adriano Santos is at the epicenter of a new generation of contemporary Brazilian drummers. Adriano’s playing style is characterized by a natural clarity, swing and deep-seated groove in the tradition of Airto Moreira and Milton Banana. Adriano is an artist endorsed by Vic Firth sticks, Canopus drums, Remo drum heads and Istanbul Agop cymbals. 

Cassio Duarte
Cassio Duarte has worked with Brazilian stars like Moraes Moreira and Djavan. In the 90’s moved to L.A. and became an active studio musician for numerous albums and soundtracks. Some of his credits are Netflix “Narcos” and artists like Toots Thielemans, Lee Ritenour, Brenda Russell, Paul Winter, Ivan Lins, etc. He also co-produced Raquel Cepeda’s album “Passion”. 

Ernesto Vega
Clarinetist, saxophonist, Ernesto Vega has been a celebrated soloist, collaborator, composer, arranger and bandleader for over two decades. His versatility and virtuosity make him one of the leading musicians of his generation and one of the finest living clarinetists from the Island of Cuba. 

Salvador Velasco
Salvador Velasco is a a Mexican-American trumpeter. Being born in Coahuila Mexico, and raised in Houston Texas, his musical influences include popular Latin dance music as well as the blues and jazz. Salvador recently joined Raquel Cepeda in a collaborative effort creating original music. 

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