The Martins-Santiago duo unofficially started in 2016 when the two Brazilian friends met at Azusa Pacific University and were assigned to play for school activities. After their first recital, they decided to expand their opportunities and perform in local venues in Southern California. In the last year they have performed in Munson Chapel, Claremont Manor Hall, Encinitas Library and Stan’s Music Parlor. Upcoming events include recitals at the Nixon Library and Hole Memorial Auditorium.
Both musicians stablished a solid music history in Brazil before moving to the United States.
Jefferson began his studies in the Sao Paulo Municipal Music School under the guidance of world-recoganized cellists , such as Raiff Dantas, Kirill Bogatyrev, Fabio Presgrave and Joel de Souza.
In 2004 he joined the Sao Paulo Youth Orchestra and the Sao Paulo University Chamber Orchestra in 2008 as principal, where he had the opportunity to play with respected musicians and conductors, including Aylton Escobar, Kirk Trevor, Leo Brouwer, duo Assad, Tim Fain, Toninho Ferragutti, Hamilton de Holanda and Diego Schissi. Jefferson was also principal cellist at the Guarulhos Youth Orchestra from 2011 to 2013.
He was the winner of the Youth Soloist Competition in 2013. In 2015 he won the revelation award prize awarded by the Arianna String Quartet.
He attended masterclass with Richard Marckson (USA), Antonio Del Claro (Brazil), Doron Toister (Israel), Martin Zeller (Holland), Antonio Menezes (Brazil), Adrian Fung (Juilliard school), Leonhard Bartussek (Orchestra Arte Del Mundo), Niko Trieb (Orchester der Klangverwaltung), Kurt Baldwin (Arianna string quartet), Lynn Harrell (USA – Montecito Music Festival).
As an educator, Jefferson was the cello instructor of the PRIMA project, founded by Alex Klein, principal oboe of Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
Thaissa began playing the piano at age seven and since then, she has been participating in orchestras, music festivals and playing as a chamber musician and accompanist.
She attended masterclasses with Dora Castro, Miguel Proença, Paulo Steinberg, Sérgio Monteiro, Marco Antônio de Almeida, David Wintten, Yara Bernete, Geir Braaten, Ricardo Ballestero and Jean Louis Steurman.
With youth orchestras she has performed in Argentina, the United States and some Brazilian cities and, for ten years, she was a member of the Municipal Chamber Orchestra of João Pessoa.
From 2008 to 2010, she worked as a substitute piano teacher at the Federal University of Paraíba and in 2009 she was approved as a piano teacher at the Music Conservatory of Pernambuco and that performance earned her an invitation to play at the Schumann-Chopin Festival in the same city, in 2010. At this opportunity, she won a commemorative medal for the bicentenary of the birth of Frédéric Chopin, issued by the Consulate of Poland in Pernambuco.
Thaissa holds both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in piano performance from Federal University of Paraíba under the orientation of Dr. José Henrique Martins. She also has an Artist Certificate Diploma in piano performance at Azusa Pacific University under the guidance of Dr. Joel Clifft. She currently plays for the Covenant Choir at Grace Church of Glendora and teaches at the Azusa Conservatory of Music.
Thaissa and Jefferson are currently under the orientation of Dr. Marek Szpakiewicz and Dr. Elvin Rodriguez.