About Sambalaya

April Holman


April Holman is a singer/songwriter from CT and has been playing guitar and singing since she was 11 years old. She formed and played with the band Local News in 2010, writing their debut album, Jesse's Room. With a passion for writing songs and the creation process, she has written over 25 songs using a mixture of methods, from writing the lyrics first and then creating the melody to having everything come together in one step.

When her band parted ways in 2011, she started focusing on her solo career and is currently recording her acoustic studio album. To listen and find out more information, go to April's Website.

April loves all kinds of music and is excited to play classic Brazilian songs with two very talented musicians. She loves the opportunity to further her education and play a wide variety of styles. April also likes to spend her spare time outdoors, off-roading and hiking barefoot. She owns a lifted Jeep and likes to maintain and upgrade it. She is a level I Reiki healer and continues to further her education for energy healing. To contact her directly, check out her Facebook page.


Marcus Giotto


Marcus Giotto is a native Brazilian from a city called Jundiai located 40 miles from the city of Sao Paulo. He loves the music of Brazil and shares his passion for music with the community through the newly created Brazilian Project Radio show which brings mostly Brazilian music and information from the Brazilian culture to the WHUS listeners.  The show is focused on different musical genres from Brazil such as Bossa Nova, Samba, Chorinho, Forro among others, including Jazz and rhythmic music worldwide.

When he’s not busy making and sharing music, Marcus is the laboratory manager of the Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectroscopy lab at the University of Connecticut, Storrs.  In this capacity, he fully manages the IMS NMR facility serving the faculty members and their students with high resolution solution and solid-state NMR spectroscopy. Marcus is a physicist (Ph.D.) by training and finds making Science every day in the lab is a lot of fun!

In addition to his work at UConn, Marcus is an adjunct faculty member at Quinsigamond Community College in Worcester, Massachusetts (www.qcc.edu), teaching Chemistry and Earth Science courses since Fall 2004. In the Summer of 2007, Marcus had the opportunity to adapt the 4 credits course Earth Science & Space to be offered 100% online which includes 6 laboratory sections covering the geology, meteorology, oceanography and astronomy.

As if his full- and part-time work and playing with Sambalaya don't keep him busy enough, Marcus also plays contemporary Christian music as one of the worship team members of the Vineyard Church in Hopkinton, MA (www.vineyardhopkinton.org) during both Sunday Services at 9am and 11am. In his own words, “I love to serve God using my guitar and, Yes, I am a follower of Jesus Christ.”


Chris Beaudry


Chris Beaudry has been playing the saxophone since age 10. He has been referred to as a "local legend" of sorts in the Willimantic area performing in upwards of five bands at any one time. Chris attended the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts in Hartford, CT where he studied under saxophonist Jimmy Greene (Harry Connick Jr., Freddie Hubbard). He attended the Berklee College of Music on scholarship where he received his degree in Professional Music.  Chris is currently pursuing a certification in Music Education at Central Connecticut State University.

Chris currently hosts a wildly popular weekly open microphone at Corleone's Cafe in Willimantic. The open mic draws all sorts of musicians, poets, writers, comedians and artists (visit  http://www.corleonesopenmic.weebly.com for more information).

Chris also directs the JAHM Band youth jazz program through AHM (Andover, Hebron, Marlborough) Youth Center.  The band is in its third year and has been featured numerous times in local media. Chris offers private instruction in saxophone, trumpet, trombone, percussion, guitar, theory, improvisation and composition and can be contacted for more information at chrisbeaudrysax@gmail.com.