Latin Romance is Ensemble Vivant’s 14th CD. Performing music by composers from Latin countries has been a passion since the group’s inception. The rich, seductive musical canvas for Latin Romance evolved over the past few years with arrangements and suggestions from jazz great Rick Wilkins, C.M., a champion of Ensemble Vivant’s music-making since the very early days of the group’s career, and from musical collaborator and arranger Don Thompson, O.C.

Ensemble Vivant’s Latin Romance shimmers with a colourful tapestry of compelling works by Brazilian composers including Egberto Gismonti’s sparkling Loro and his hauntingly beautiful Memoria Y Fado; two popular infectious Brazilian Tangos by Ernesto Nazareth (known as the Scott Joplin of Brazil), Odeon and Garôto; Mozart Carmargo Guarnieri’s deeply alluring Dansa Negra and Antônio Carlos Jobim’s impassioned Zingaro; Argentinean Astor Piazzolla’s riveting Cité Tango and his transcendent OBLIVION; Cuban composer Ernesto Lecuona’s joyous Andalucia (Spain’s southern sunny region); Four Latin inspired works include Spanish composer Isaac Albeniz’s famous Tango in D; Canadian composer John Burke wrote his passionate Art Tango, La Despedida as a present for Ensemble Vivant’s pianist Catherine Wilson; Canadian composer Phil Dwyer’s evocative Bernardo’s Tango and American composer Leroy Anderson’s most inspired Latin composition, Serenata, complete this highly original and gorgeous program.

Catherine Wilson
Pianist/Artistic Director of Ensemble Vivant
Founder/Artistic Director of Euterpe: Music for Health Canada

The name Latin Romance already brings to mind many wonderful images of passion, zest for life, living in the moment and romance. Recordings are always just a snapshot or picture of exactly where the artist is at that particular moment in their life and career. It is such a rare treat when both of these elements collide to provide breathtaking and spectacular performances that are captured for all to enjoy.

Ensemble Vivant does just this in their live shows and especially so on this recording that has been lovingly nurtured along its path. From choosing the eclectic repertoire that captures the spirit of the dance of this CD, to the many hours of rehearsal and performance that went into each work in refinement before even rolling the tape recorder, to the attention to every nuance and detail once the recording was complete, creating this truly world class work of art that will not only capture your heart and imagination, but will have you reaching for a dance partner as well as taking you to deeply beautiful and poignant moments.

These musicians are world class and their breathtaking musicianship and the chances that they take will enthrall all. Passion and romance two human traits that help to define and unite us all. Claudio Vena, producer Latin Romance

Special thanks to Yamaha Canada Music Ltd. and Robert Lowrey Pianos for sponsoring the Bosendorfer Grand Piano for Catherine Wilson and to Opening Day Records (ODEG).

Latin Romance CD



  1. Odeon, Ernesto Nazareth2
  2. Cité Tango, Astor Piazzolla3
  3. Loro, Egberto Gismonti3
  4. Memoria Y Fado, Egberto Gismonti2
  5. La Despedida, John Burke
  6. Bernardo’s Tango, Phil Dwyer4
  7. Serenata, Leroy Anderson1
  8. OBLIVION, Astor Piazzolla3
  1. arr for Ensemble Vivant by Rick Wilkins, C.M.
  2. arr for Ensemble Vivant by Don Thompson, O.C.
  3. arr for Ensemble Vivant by Julien Labro
  4. arr for Ensemble Vivant by Phil Dwyer, C.M.


Catherine Wilson, Piano/Artistic Director

Corey Gemmel, Violin

Norman Hathaway, Viola

Sybil Shanahan, Cello

Jim Vivian, Bass

With Special Guests:

Don Thompson, O.C., Vibes

Luisito Orbegoso, Latin Percussion

Juan Carlos Medrano, Latin Percussion

Kevin Turcotte, Trumpet

Catherine Wilson Review, Burlington Standard Press

…pianist Catherine Wilson, the pride of Canada…

Burlington Standard Press

Vermont, USA

Latin Romance CD Review, The WholeNote

Ensemble Vivant’s Latin Romance CD is absolutely stirring and heart-achingly beautiful. Catherine Wilson and her merry band of fellow world-class musicians… sparkle, shimmer, pulsate, yearn, beckon, move, tango and haunt in gorgeous (and often sexy) pieces. Wilson’s opening solo on Gismonti’s Memoria Y Fado is especially poignant. Don Thompson’s vibe work on Gismonti’s Loro is an exhilarating tour de force… this is chamber music at its evocative best! Read the complete review in the March, 2020 edition of The WholeNote Magazine.

Sharna Searle

The WholeNote Magazine

Latin Romance CD Review

Ensemble Vivant Review, Rick Wilkins

Catherine Wilson and her stalwart band of Ensemble Vivantists have “hit it out of the park” again. Combining incisive, emotional playing with challenging material, they strike a compelling tone that never lets up. A grand success!

Rick Wilkins, C.M.

Jazz Icon – musician, composer, arranger

Ensemble Vivant Review

Latin Romance CD Review, Phil Dwyer

(Latin Romance)… wonderful collection by Ensemble Vivant. The music leaps off the page in these performances, which are joyful, attentive to detail, and interpretively clairvoyant. The musicians in the ensemble are individually brilliant and, collectively, greater than the sum of their parts. Thank you Catherine Wilson and Ensemble Vivant…

Phil Dwyer C.M.

noted Canadian Jazz Musician

Latin Romance CD Review

Rick Wilkins CD Review, Rick Wilkins, C.M.

This is the highest-level chamber music making. No matter the genre, there is magic in Ensemble Vivant’s music-making

Rick Wilkins, C.M.

musician, composer, arranger

Rick Wilkins CD Review

Latin Romance CD Review, A Web of Fine Music

Latin Romance is a tasteful and refined ode to the venerable tango…Ensemble Vivant brings a joy of music making that is truly infectious, inviting the listener to, if not get up and dance the tango, at least feel they are being transported to some warmer clime where they could watch dancers do it for them.

Mike Saunders

A Web of Fine Music

Ensemble Vivant Review, David Bullard

…Thanks again for a great performance and wonderful program…molti bravi to Ensemble Vivant… please have Ensemble Vivant return very soon!

David Bullard, Director

de Blasiis CMS at the Hyde

NY, U.S.A.

Catherine Wilson Review, Neville Bowman

Led by a remarkable pianist, Catherine Wilson, Ensemble Vivant boasts a collection of musicians whose abilities and qualifications are second to none… a diversity of beautifully played music and sound (with vibes… Don Thompson, O.C.) from Bach to Piazzolla to Widor… wonderful interpretations… highlight of the Kelowna Community Concert Association series. I had the pleasure of spending time with the group after the concert and they are a fun, humble and inspiring group of musicians… such tremendous mutual talent and respect within the ensemble… Merci Ensemble Vivant!

Neville Bowman

musician, composer for B.C. Arts

Catherine Wilson Review

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