Choro Borealis had the honor of opening for Badi Assad in July, 2013.
More info about her here:

NEXT EVENT: Friday, July 8th in St. Croix Falls
More info coming soon!

To see Choro Borealis live please go to the Calendar page to see performance dates!

Before the Bossa Nova craze in the 1960s, and even before Samba became popular, there was a type of music in Brazil called Choro (pronounced “SHOW-doo”). Like its closest North American equivalents of ragtime and Dixieland jazz, Choro music is a blend of European and African influences, and from the late 1800s until the 1930s this lively instrumental musical genre native to Rio de Janeiro reigned supreme. Throughout the 1900s many other styles of music developed and became more popular throughout Brazil, but in the last few decades Choro has gained more momentum, appreciating a well-deserved rebirth and spreading quickly among adventurous musicians and curious audiences all over the world.

Choro Borealis is a recently-formed trio of three Midwesterners with a long-running deeply rooted passion for Brazilian music: Robert Everest on 7-string guitar, cavaquinho (a steel-string cousin of the ukulele), and occasionally vocals and percussion; Pat O'Keefe on Bb Clarinet, bass clarinet, and percussion; and Tim O'Keefe on mandolin, cavaquinho, and percussion. The magic of the group is in the playful rotation of instruments. For one number Tim and Pat take turns on the melody and solos while Robert plays bass-lines on the low strings. On the next tune Robert might play the cavaquinho and sing in fluent Portuguese while Tim plays percussion and Pat covers the lower range on bass clarinet. All three also compose and arrange music in their repertoire, which includes many Choro favorites easily recognized by any Brazilian or Brazilian music connoisseur. One thing that makes this trio so engaging is the far-reaching musical endeavors and broad palettte of all three members, each with a unique musical background.

See us on KARE 11 Television
playing 2 original compositions:
"Voltar Pra Casa" by Robert Everest
and "O'Koco" by Tim O'Keefe
Other Videos:


Robert Everest is a Minneapolis-based singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist who has delighted audiences around the globe with his original compositions and his vast repertoire of acoustic world music. Latin American music makes up the majority of his repertoire, but he also plays music from many European countries, singing in Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese, German, Greek, and of course English. He has been featured on MPR's Talking Volumes (alongside Chilean author Isabel Allende at the Fitzgerald Theatre), All Things Considered, and The Jazz Image with Leigh Kamman. He has also been interviewed and performed on KBEM's String Theory with Kevin Barnes and KFAI's programs Global Beat and Corazón Latino. KARE11 Television has invited Robert into the studio on several occasions, and WCCO TV has showcased him as well. Robert has performed locally at venues like Orchestra Hall, the Fitzgerald Theatre, and the Dakota Jazz Club. He has arranging and performing (both guitar and vocal) credits on Connie Evingson’s album The Secret of Christmas, and on Christine Rosholt’s Detour Ahead, both of which have received high acclaim. Other local musicians he has performed with include Lorie Line, Nachito Herrera, Tim Sparks, Estaire Godinez, Doug Little, Viviana Pintado, Becky Schlegel, and Pete Whitman.

Robert’s first venture into Brazilian music was with the group Beira Mar Brasil, which performed regularly in the Twin Cities from 1996 (then under the name "Mocotó Brasil") to 2005, during which time the group was invited to esteemed local venues like the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, the Walker Art Center, and the First Avenue Main Stage, opening for Eddie Palmieri, along the way earning a nomination for Best Latin Band in Minnesota in 1998. Performing with Beira Mar Brasil Robert hosts the Brazilian Carnival celebration each year, usually in February. This event, which features special visiting Brazilian guests, professional Samba dancers, percussion emsembles Batucada do Norte and Drumheart, authentic Brazilian masks, and Brazilian food and drinks, has become the most attended Brazilian event in the Twin Cities and is a must-see for any world music aficionado.

Though mostly self-taught, Robert has studied jazz guitar in Minneapolis, classical guitar in Portugal, West African guitar in Togo, Flamenco in Spain, Tango in Argentina, and many other Latin American styles of music throughout Central and South America and the Caribbean. He has also studied percussion in Ghana and Brazil. His vocal technique has developed throughout his 25 years of singing and instruction, including four years with the University of Minnesota Jazz Singers, though his degree work was in linguistics, facilitating his multi-lingual exploration into many international musical styles. Robert, like Pat and Tim, has spent time at California Brazil Camp, studying with some of Brazil’s best musicians, including guitarist Alessandro Penezzi, which provided much of the impetus to play Choro music with Pat and Tim, who have been playing this style in other settings before collaborating with Robert.

Pat O’Keefe is a multi-faceted performer, creator, and educator with a wide variety of musical interests. A dedicated proponent of contemporary music, Pat is currently the co-artistic director and woodwind player for the contemporary music ensemble Zeitgeist, based in St. Paul, Minnesota. With Zeitgeist he has premiered nearly two hundred new works, and has performed throughout the United States and Europe. Pat has also performed and recorded with other noted new music groups around the country, including SONOR, ETHEL, California E.A.R. Unit, Cleveland New Music Associates, and Ensemble Sospeso, and has appeared often as a soloist at such festivals as SEAMUS, Spark!, and the Third Practice festival. Pat began his career as an orchestral clarinetist, serving as the principal clarinetist for five seasons with the Augusta Symphony in Augusta, Georgia, and he continues to be in demand as an active chamber musician.

Pat is very committed to improvised music as well. He is currently a member of the free improvisation group AntiGravity, the electro-acoustic duo Willful Devices, and has appeared in concert with such notable improvisers as George Lewis, Anthony Davis, Wadada Leo Smith, J.D. Parran, and Fred Frith. He is also heavily influenced by the music of other cultures, having studied Turkish music with Turkish Rom clarinetist Selim Sesler, and Brazilian music with master drummer Jorge Alabe. He and his brother Tim are the founding directors of the Brazilian percussion group Batucada do Norte (recently featured on Minnesota Public Radio) and appears regularly with the groups Brasamba, and Music Mundial in the Twin Cities. He was previously a percussionist with the Brazilian ensemble Sol e Mar in San Diego,

Pat holds a BM (with Performer’s Certificate) from Indiana University, an MM (with Academic Honors and Distinction in Performance) from the New England Conservatory, and a DMA from the University of California, San Diego. He is currently the clarinet instructor at the University of Wisconsin, River Falls. He taught previously at UCSD, Augusta State University, and Georgia College.

Tim O’Keefe is an award winning percussionist /multi instrumentalist whose professional career spans over thirty years. His background includes traditional North American, Rock, Blues, Rhythm and Blues, a number of different jazz styles, world music including Arabic, Brazilian, African, Persian, Latin American, Turkish, Eastern European, Armenian, and Greek. He has shared the bill with such luminaries as Ry Cooder, Astrid Gilberto and Bob Dylan and performed with international heavyweights such as Simon Shaheen, Sattar, Siwan Perwar, Morteza, Georges Lammam and more.Tim has appeared on soundtrack and commercial recordings and releases by artists such as noted guitarist Tim Sparks, Paul Metsa, Mandala , a recent duet recording with award-winning Jordanian oud player Sakkar Hattar, and a new release by Minnesota Orchestra trumpeter Chuck Lazarus. Besides countless local performances Tim has also performed in New York, Chicago, Houston, Washington, D.C. at such venues as the National Gallery, Museum of Modern Art and the Asia Society. In the Middle East, he has performed at international music festivals at Jerash, Bethlehem and Bir Zeit.

Tim performs regularly with international ensembles Brasamba, Amwaaj, Sahran Nights, Robayat, Batucada do Norte, Trakia, Ethnic Dance Theater, and Touareg. He has worked over the years with Mark Stillman and Francine Roche, Rai Action, Fuego Flamenco, the Electric Arab Orchestra, Crossing Borders, Salamat, Nikki Stavrou Greek Ensemble, Tim Sparks, Crossing Borders, the Rose Ensemble, Valery Saakian, Mila vocal ensemble, Jawaahir Dance Company, and many more. Apart from teaching private lessons and group workshops, Tim presents world music residencies and works with educational ensemble “Music Mundial” and he has taught the “World Rhythms and Music” course for the Suzuki Program at the MacPhail School of Music.


For more information or to book Choro Borealis for your next event,
please contact Robert at:

or call: 612-747-1234 - we look forward to entertaining you!


Past Events

Opening for Badi Assad at the Dakota Jazz Club
in Minneapolis, 2013