ALEXEY is the musical director of Trio Florencio and Raquel and a bandleader in his own right. He has performed Latin jazz, salsa, son cubano, and jazz for 25 years in the SF bay area, around Northern California, and on cruise ships in the Caribbean and on the Mexican Riviera.
Alexey grew up in West Philadelphia, PA and began playing drums at age 12, delving into Cuban folkloric and popular music a few years later before moving to the West Coast. He has studied in Cuba and New York at the Escuela Nacional de Artes (Havana) and the Drummers’ Collective (Manhattan) with such notables as Bobby Sanbria, Pepe Esponiza and Jose “Changuito” Quintana as well as jazz drummers Mike Clark, Alan Hall and George Marsh.
In addition to playing with Trio Florencio, Raquel, and his own projects, Alexey is an in-demand sideman and has played with notable Bay Area Latin bands like Charanga Tumbao y Cuerdas, Ritmo y Armonia, Alta California and Son Chevere. Alexey can currently be found performing at private events, jazz clubs and festivals throughout the year.
JULIO, pianist and bassist, was born and raised in Havana, Cuba, where, at age 12, he first began his studies as a musician. At the Amadeo Rodan Music School, Julio specialized in percussion instruments, while simultaneously studying music theory and composition. After graduating from music school in 1987, he spent three years as a percussion teacher in Sancti Spiritus, a city in central area of Cuba.
In 1990 Julio returned to his birth city of Havana and performed three consecutive years at the annual Havana Jazz Plaza, the international jazz festival of Cuba. During this time, he also joined the famous Cuban group Sintesis. Three years later, Julio signed a contract to perform on tour with Puerto Rican singer Jose Feliciano, at which time they performed in several Latin American countries, including Panama and Mexico.
From 1993 to 2009, Julio lived and worked as a musician in Mexico. At the beginning of his time there, Julio accompanied Sonora Matancera singer Celio Sanchez, known for his collaborations with Cuban salsa queen Celia Cruz. In Los Cabos, he began performing at private events and became part of the house band at rocker Sammy Hagar’s club Cabo Wabo and accompanied American guest performers such as Toby Keith and Sammy Hagar himself.
DANIEL, guitarist, has been teaching and performing professionally in the San Francisco Bay Area since 1995. Blending a classical background with flamenco and jazz, Daniel has been a veteran of the Bay Area world music scene, performing in a variety of venues both solo and with ensembles. Daniel plays regularly with Raquel and Alexey Berlind in Trio Florencio blending rumba flamenco, Brazilian and Latin jazz styles.
Daniel studied guitar with James Robinson and Ken Schroeder, classical guitar with Bahraam Behroozi at San Jose State, flamenco with Spanish guitarists Pepe Haro and Mariano Córdoba, private lessons with Peppino D’Agostino and Antonio Calogero and took masterclasses with Johan Fostier and Silvina Lopez in France and masterclasses in the US with Denis Azabagic and Lily Afshar among others
KEVIN, bassist, started playing Afro-Caribbean music while attending SJSU. He has been a staple member of Raquel Berlind’s band since 2004. Kevin has played among the leading Bay Area Latin orchestras such as Braulio Barrera’s Somos el Son, Javier Cabanillas’ Cabanijazz Project, and occasionally along side the Grammy award winning Pacific Mambo Orchestra. Also, Kevin has performed with many world renowned artists such as Ismael Miranda, Ray de la Paz, Nino Segarra, Johnny Rivera, and Ray Sepulveda.
MARCO, pianist and trumpeter, was born and raised in San Francisco and was introduced to the trumpet in the fourth grade at E.R. Taylor Elementary School. His formal training in both piano and trumpet began at the age of 14. He earned a scholarship from the Community Music Center in San Francisco, and began playing professionally at the age of 17 throughout the Bay Area with various Latin Jazz, Salsa, Reggae, and R&B bands. Upon graduating from high school, he continued his studies at San Francisco State University pursing a Bachelors of Arts in Popular Music and a minor in Economics.
Today, Marco is an accomplished recording musician who has shared the stage with Grammy Award winning artist, Israel “Cachao” Lopez, Arturo Sandoval, Paquito De Rivera, Pete Escovedo, Nelson Gonzales, Jimmy Bosch, Pete “El Conde” Rodriguez, Ska Cubano (Europe), Tito Rojas, Nino Segarra, Anthony Cruz, Anthony Blea, Jovino Santos Neto, Joe Santiago, and is an integral member of the John Santos sextet, and Cascada de Flores.
BOB, pianist, was born in Long Beach California, and raised in the Bay Area with his 12 brothers and sisters. Primarily self taught, he started playing in bands with his saxophone playing twin brother during their college years. After graduating, Bob gained experience in various Bay Area ensembles, playing jazz, funk, Latin and Brazilian music. In 2001 he was offered the keyboard chair in Michael Franti’s band Spearhead. Bob logged multiple tours throughout the United States, Australia, Canada, Europe and Japan. He also recorded on several of Spearhead’s albums and appeared on a number of international TV programs with the band. Also with Spearhead, he found himself performing with a who’s who of international stars, including Tre Anastasio, Me’Shell NDegeOcello, Chuck D, Ani DiFranco, Jack Johnson, Robert Randolph, Woody Harrleson, Mixmaster Mike, as well as members of Ozomatli, Zap Mama, and Galactic.
Recently, Bob has served as the musical director for the Latin Kings Allstar band, which features members from Tower of Power, Malo, and The Whispers. He has worked with the fantastic Alayo Dance Company and the Stagebridge Theatre Group. He has also worked for two years with the San Francisco Symphony’s “Adventures in Music” program, bringing music to every public elementary school in San Francisco. He also leads his own piano trio.
BEN, pianist, musical director, and music teacher. He studied at College of Alameda under Professor Bill Bell. He is a Bay Area keyboardist with an extensive background in Classical, Jazz, Salsa, Blues, and Gospel music.
Ben has performed and taught at workshops in Costa Rica, Canada, Denmark, and France. He has been on the faculty at Jazz Camp West since 1999, and has been the accompanist and musical director for the Living Jazz Children’s Project since 2004.
Ben has studied with piano masters such as Eugene Gash, George Alexander, Bill Bell, Cesar (Púpi) Pedroso, Chucho Valdez, Terrance Kelly and Helen Stevens.
He also runs a home recording studio. His skills as a musician, arranger, and recording engineer have helped numerous singer/songwriters bring their musical ideas to life since 1998.
J P, guitarist, is one of the San Francisco Bay Area’s most eclectic, entertaining and soulful guitarists. His passion for music spans many genres including Flamenco, Brazilian, Latin, Blues, Funk, Jazz, Reggae and Classical, all of which are reflected in his unique personal style as well as in his compositions.
His musical journey began at age 7 with piano lessons, but it was only upon picking up the guitar in high school that he found inspiration.
Although mostly self taught, his inexhaustible curiosity in the guitar has led him to study with such people as Jazz guitarists Mimi Fox and Randy Vincent, Flamenco guitarists Jason Mcguire, Antonio Rey and Juan Del Gastor, and Brazilian guitarists Paolo Bellinati and Guinga.
He has performed in countless venues, festivals and stages across the U.S., Spain and Brazil, and has played events for such names as Barack Obama, Larry Ellison, Bono, Willie Brown, Gavin Newson, Google, Apple, Oracle, Audi and Hyundai among others. J P currently lives in Berkeley, California where he continues to perform, compose, record and teach.
LINCOLN, flute and sax player, is also a producer and composer and has performed and recorded with many wonderful artists including actor/musician Jeff Goldblum, K. D. Lang, The Jets. Olivia Newton John and Killy, as well as his own Urban Jazz quartet. As a producer and composer, he has had music included in movies, national TV commercials, industrials and on numerous albums. His boutique production companies help talented artists realize their creative recording potential.
DARREN, flute and sax player, picked up the saxophone at age 12 after being inspired by the Star Wars cantina band when the movie was first released. In 1998 he realized that the closest he could come to the intergalactic cantina on Planet Earth was San Francisco, so he moved to the Bay Area and started mixing it up in the local music scene.
He has had the good fortune of performing and recording with many top musicians from the Bay Area and beyond in the Jazz, Pop and Latin circles. In addition to his work with Raquel, he is a regular fixture with the Afro Peruvian group Proyecto Lando, salsa band Rumbaché, and soul-funk band Swoop Unit.
He has played with such visiting greats as Jimmy Bosch, Don Perignon, and Tito Puente Jr. He currently lives in Fairfax and teaches music in the Mill Valley School District.
BRIAN, drummer, was born in Cincinnati, Ohio into a family of professional musicians. While living in the Midwest, Brian’s diverse range of styles led him to performances with Rock and Roll Hall of Fame members Little Anthony and the Imperials, as well as Tony Award winner and Broadway star, Faith Prince. Brian has also shared the stage with such artists as Leroy “Sugar” Bonner from The Ohio Players, blues greats Sam Myers and Lonnie Mack, and television and movie star Woody Harrelson.
Brian’s growing interest in Latin music and culture brought him to the San Francisco Bay Area in early 1999. He quickly began working with Bay Area Icon Dr Loco (Dr Jose Cuellar) and “the father of chicano music” and National Medal of Arts recipient, Lalo Guerrero, prior to his passing. He has also performed with notable San Francisco musicians such as multi-instrumentalist John Calloway, guitarist Ray Obiedo, the Pacific Mambo Orchestra, Independent Music Award winning artist Fely Tchaco, and East Coast Bachata artists Bautista and Frankely on their West Coast performances. He also lead his own Latin jazz ensemble since 2007.
In addition to his performance schedule, Brian maintains a private practice in drum set and percussion instruction and is a contributing writer for DRUM! Magazine.
SAUL is a bass player, coro singer, music teacher. Graduated from Berklee College of Music in Boston.
Full bio to come.