Zachary Himelhoch, Director

SONY DSCZachary Himelhoch is a world-percussionist with specialization in Afro-Cuban, Brazilian, and Caribbean styles. Zachary played with Bloco Maximo, a Brazilian Samba Bateria based in  Chicago, Illinois for five years and was drawn to the rhythms and energies of the music along with the community atmosphere and history of both Afro-Brazilian rhythms from Bahia and Rio’s street samba. After moving to Nashville, Tennessee, Zach formed a local Bateria to bring together the talented group of musicians known as Samba Nashville.

Zachary has performed with numerous artists including Andy Narell, Lenny Castro, Etienne Charles, The Cool Kids, Daru Jones, Mark Walker, Dave Garfield, Dread Scott, Pat Cronnely, Victor Garcia, Geoff Bradfield, and Daphne Willis at events throughout the country including The Percussive Arts Society International Convention, Lollapalooza, the Detroit Jazz Festival, the Hyde Park Jazz Festival Benefit Concert, Windsor Jazz Festival, and the Syracuse Jazz Festival.


Andy Plank, Assistant Director

Andy Plank is musician and educator from northeast Wisconsin.  He studied classical and non-western percussion with Dane Maxim Richeson, where he was fortunate enough to develop an interest in Afro-Cuban and Brazilian music.  Since moving to Nashville, Andy has searched for any and all opportunities to play and study non-western percussion.  He met Zachary and is excited to be a part of Samba Nashville.

In Wisconsin, Andy worked as a middle and high school band teacher, instructing wind bands, jazz bands, and percussion ensembles.  He continues to write and arrange for scholastic ensembles, and is the General Music teacher at Joelton Middle School in the Metro Nashville Public School System.  In his free time Andy enjoys seeing live music, cooking, and supporting Wisconsin’s professional sports teams.


Bryan Brock

16142629_1168846859830389_8352821643961627646_nBryan Brock is a seasoned percussionist specializing in creative applications of rhythms, instruments, and techniques from all over the globe. Recently featured in a series of videos for Meinl Percussion, his unique blend of creativity, versatility, and skill enhances a profusion of musical styles. Bryan earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of North Texas and has studied throughout America, Cuba, and Ghana with percussion masters from African, Arabic, Brazilian, Cuban, and European traditions. 

Live performance/touring credits include Frankie Valli, Melody Gardot, Nathan Pacheco, Anjani & Leonard Cohen, Incendio, Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band, and the Clare Fischer Latin Jazz Band. Recording credits include sessions for Dr. Dre, India.Arie, Sara Bereilles, Macy Gray, Truth Hurts, Sam Riggs, Jim Stubblefield, HuDost and numerous commercial jingles. Bryan plays Meinl percussion/cymbals, Remo drumheads, and Innovative Percussion sticks/mallets. He lives in Nashville, TN.


Jonah Kraut

12108218_1068712743173203_8928081915705491868_nCo-founding an alt-country band while attending the New England Conservatory of Music, Jonah went on to produce two albums by esteemed noir-pianist Ran Blake. After moving to Nashville, Jonah recorded his first album at legendary Cowboy Jack Clement’s home studio, going on to record two more albums with the same engineer, David Ferguson. Jonah recently completed his first music video, Company Man, and was featured on the syndicated tv show Raw Travel.


Chris Moran

Chris Moran has lived and played music in Nashville since 1984.  He performs frequently around town with groups ranging from rock and R & B wedding bands to jazz combos.  However, he is most passionate about Brazilian Music, and with some like-minded musicians started the group Choro Nashville several years ago to have a vehicle for learning and performing Brazilian Choro music.  Chris plays guitars, mandolin, cavaquinho, plus 5-string and tenor banjos. Samba Nashville gives Chris a much needed outlet for banging on things and making joyful noise.


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Born in Bogotá, Colombia, Marcela Pinilla is a Latin alternative singer whose musical journey has taken her around the world. She has had the pleasure of performing in many languages and in many countries from across South America to China, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, and the United States. As her passion and musical talent grew, she had the opportunity to join the band Jazz Latino and performed with the group at notable jazz festivals such as Sunrise Music Festival, the Kuala Lumpur Music Festival, and the Kuching Jazz Festival. Today, she continues her musical journey in the creative mecca, Music City USA.  


Danny Pratt


Having lived in Nashville for just over two years, drummer/percussionist Danny Pratt has begun leaving his mark on the live performance and studio scenes in Music City. Pratt’s musical versatility and knowledge of music directing have allowed him to tour with an array of up-and-coming bands and artists ranging from Soul/Roots powerhouse, Kyshona Armstrong, to Indie/Alternative rocker, Jordan DePaul, and the high octane Rock & Roll outfit, The New Schematics.
After earning a BM in Jazz Studies and Percussion Performance from Northern Illinois University, Pratt began his career in Chicago as a bandleader and music educator before shifting his focus to touring and session work as a sideman in Nashville. He has provided percussion and drum set expertise on a number of recording sessions at many of Nashville’s most renowned studios including Sound Emporium, Ocean Way, and Columbia Studio A, as well as recording at Bear Creek Studio outside Seattle, WA with famed producer, Ryan Hadlock (Lumineers, Vance Joy). In addition to working as a live and studio sideman, Pratt performs and records with his Southern Rock/Americana band, Flying Buffaloes. When Danny is not in the studio or on the road, he enjoys gardening and experimenting with vegan cooking at his home in East Nashville. 



Larry Seeman13230334_10153819916848371_3781635892992451120_n

Larry Seeman has studied and played jazz guitar for over 25 years, and is Development Director at the Nashville Jazz Workshop. He has had a special interest in Brazilian music for the past 15 years. He was a member of the band Samba ove (2007-2012) and is a current member of Choro Nashville. His interest in Brazilian music has led him to the cavaquinho, 7-string guitar, and assorted percussion instruments.



Emma Schremp

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Emma is an experienced percussionist, starting at the age of six. She is specialized in timpani and has received many 1* in numerous Solo & Ensemble competitions. All four of her high school years she either soloed or ensembled at the state competition. Emma was awarded a varsity letter in band and received three bars indicating the service she provided to the music community while playing in the pep band. Groups Emma has performed in include: The St. Bernadette/Catholic Central Elementary School Concert Band, The St. Joseph’s Middle School Concert Band, The Xavier High School Concert Band, The Xavier High School Wind Ensemble, The Xavier High School Marching Band, as well as a Hanson Lip-Sync Cover Band. 



Dann Sherrill

DannSherrill300x300Dann Sherrill is a percussionist and drum set player from Nashville, Tennessee. He plays Afro Cuban Percussion (Conga, Timbales, Bongo, and Guiro) and Brazilian Percussion (Surdo, Pandeiro, Caixa, Quica, Tamborim and Repineque). He has performed or recorded with Steve Winwood, Michael English, Engelbert Humperdinck, Mel Tillis, Bonnie Bramlett, Armando Perazza (Santana), Nino Segarra, Maelo Ruiz, Mose Allison, Arturo Sandoval, Hayseed Dixie, Mark Selby, Jamie O’Hara, Alvin Slaughter.

Dann and his percussion are regular fixtures on the live Latin music scene with the regions best Salsa dance orchestras such as the fabulous Trabuko, Willie Crespo and Salsarengue, Orkesta Eme Pe, Grammy winner Al Delory and Mambo ’98, Elena Garcia, Dalia. Dann also plays and records Brazilian music with Music City Samba carnaval group, Trio Ginga, Rebekah del Rio, Som Brasileiro and Lori Mechem’s Ritmos Picante. 


Alexa Voytek


Alexa Voytek has been playing the violin for over 23 years. She has a particular interest in
 various styles of Brazilian music (choro, samba, forro) as well as Appalachian old-time music. After moving to Nashville in 2014, Alexa joined the group Choro Nashville. Through participation in multiple Brazilian ensembles, Alexa challenges her classical background with the more fluid groove of Brazilian rhythm.