Trio Caliente is comprised of longtime Washington musicians Deborah Benner, Michael Bard and Amilcar Cruz. Together, the trio produces music that seamlessly fuses together elements of Bossa Nova, gypsy rumba and contemporary flamenco with soothing jazz vocals and musical arrangements.
Deborah Benner - is a veteran performer on the Washington/Baltimore music scene described by the Washington Post as "...a beguiling soprano voice." A mezzo-soprano soloist, jazz recording artist, actress (Off-Broadway stage, feature film, national voice-overs and jingles) and vocal educator, Deborah has performed with the legendary guitarist, Charlie Byrd, and sang regularly with Ella Fitzgerald's bassist, the late, great Keeter Betts. She's shared the stage with jazz greats, McCoy Tyner, Terrence Blanchard, and Scott Ambush (of Spyro Gyra) at Blues Alley and The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Performing regularly for political dignitaries and Heads of State, she sings with swing orchestras in Washington, D.C. comprised of members of the White House Marine Band Jazz Ensemble and sang at President Clinton's Inaugural Ball at the Smithsonian Institution. Deborah received national airplay for her solo release, Flights of Passion, and her Kindred Spirits was featured on NPR's "All Things Considered". In 1997, she won the Billboard Magazine Songwriter's Competition for "Best Original Vocal" Composition.
Michael Bard is an active musician, composer and teacher who resides near Washington, D.C. He has performed as a soloist and with various musical ensembles throughout the United States, Europe, Japan, North Africa, South America, and the Middle East. He has also been featured on various radio and t.v. programs around the world. Michael has performed for many luminaries and dignitaries including former President Bill Clinton, former Vice President
Al Gore, United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan, former Joint Chief of Staff and former Secretary of State Colin Powell, Mexican president Vicente Fox, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Senator John Kerry (D-MA), Teresa Heinz, Henry Kissinger and former Senator Bob Dole (R-KS), as well as various members of royalty throughout the Middle East. His first recorded solo effort, Illumination, features original compositions for guitar and solo piano, blending a soothing mix of Spanish, Latin and adult contemporary instrumental styles. His composition "Mediterranean Beauty" for two guitars is published by Lathkill Music Publishers, England.
Amilcar Cruz was raised in a musical, Honduran/Nicaraguan family and has been playing music all his life. At age seventeen, inspired by flamenco greats Sabicas and Paco de Lucia, Amilcar began studying flamenco music seriously and now makes his living performing and teaching guitar. He holds a degree in Latin American literature and centers his musical philosophy on combining the fluidity of acoustic rock with flamenco technique and an array of Latin influences and rhythmic landscapes.