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B i o g r a p h y


Cassio Vianna is a composer, pianist, arranger, and educator whose work reflects the broad range of musical and cultural influences he received during his years of training. Born and raised in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Vianna started his music studies in classical music, while developing his skills as a composer and interpreter of popular music and Brazilian jazz. Between 1993 and 1995, Vianna studied under Hungarian teacher Ian Guest, who had a great impact on his decision to pursue a career as a composer.

After this period, Vianna engaged in several recording and performing projects in the Rio de Janeiro music scene, which included a successful career with the Brazilian jazz trio Dialeto Brasileiro

Cassio Vianna holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Brazilian Popular Music from Universidade Federal do Estado do Rio de Janeiro, a Master of Music degree in Contemporary Music from Western Oregon University, and a Doctor of Arts degree in Jazz Studies from the University of Northern Colorado, where he studied with David Caffey.

Vianna’s arrangements have been performed by artists such as Chris Potter, Martha Reeves, Tony Kadleck, Greg Gisbert, Ernie Watts, Danny Gottlieb, Clay Jenkins, Brad Goode, the United States Army Field Band (Jazz Ambassadors), the UNC/Greeley Jazz Festival All-Star Big Band, Chuck Owen’s Jazz Surge Band, the Colorado Jazz Repertory Orchestra, and the UNC Jazz Lab Band I, among others.

Photo credit: John Froschauer / PLU

Vianna won the 2015-2016 Ithaca College Jazz Ensemble Composition Contest and the 2016 National Band Association Jazz Composition Competition.​

Vianna's compositional styles range from popular music and Brazilian jazz to classical chamber pieces and works for large jazz ensembles. His most recent albums include Letters to Grace: a Song Cycle (2011, Teal Creek Music), and Infância (2017, Teal Creek Music). The album Infância features Vianna's recent works for jazz orchestra. Cassio Vianna's jazz big band works are published by UNC Jazz Press.

Over the past 15 years, Vianna has been featured as an adjudicator, performer, and clinician at jazz festivals and conferences in Latin America and across the U.S. In recent years, he has presented clinics and lectures at the Jazz Education Network Annual Conferences, the Midwest Clinic, International Composers' Symposium, NAfME Northwest Conference, and the Washington Music Educators Association Conference. Vianna is also a very active clinician with high school and college bands. In 2015, he traveled to China to perform and to teach a two-week program at the Guangxi Arts Institute (Nanning Provence).

Photo credit: Sopon Suwannakit - Greeley/CO

Vianna's piece "Baião Moderno" was awarded Outstanding New Instrumental Composition (large jazz ensemble) at the International Jazz Composers' Symposium, in Tampa, FL, 2017.​

Cassio Vianna at the Jazz Under the Stars

Photo credit: John Froschauer / PLU

Cassio Vianna lives with his wife Bethany and his sons Luciano, Caio, and Giovanni in Tacoma, WA, where he is the Director of Jazz Studies, Assistant Professor of Music at Pacific Lutheran University. His teaching assignments include: University Jazz Ensemble and jazz combos, jazz theory and history of jazz classes, and private lessons in Jazz Piano and Jazz Composition & Arranging. Vianna performs regularly as a soloist with the PLU Regency Jazz Ensemble, the Tom Bergeron Brasil Band, the Vianna Bergeron Brazilian Jazz, and as an accompanist with singer Sherry Alves.

Before his appointment at Pacific Lutheran University, Vianna was on the music faculties at Western Oregon University (Monmouth, OR) and Umpqua Community College (Roseburg, OR), and he also taught at the University of Northern Colorado as a graduate student. Between 2004 and 2008, while still living in Rio de Janeiro, Vianna taught at the renowned Instituto Villa-Lobos and at several music academies.

Cassio Vianna is a member of the Jazz Education Network (JEN), the International Society of Jazz Arrangers and Composers (ISJAC), the National Association for Music Education (NAfME), and the Washington Music Educators Association (WMEA). He is also a BMI composer and a voting member of the Recording Academy.

The album Infância (Teal Creek Music, 2017) by the Cassio Vianna Jazz Orchestra is now available for purchase. 
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