By Natalja Safronova, summer 2020

Viva is an immensely versatile London-based trombonist, vocalist, multi-instrumentalist and DJ. She began playing professionally on London’s Latin scene while studying for her degree in Development Studies & Politics at the School of Oriental and African Studies. Viva went from strength to strength, and her music career took off.

Viva’s accolades so far are vast. She founded award-winning Afro-Latin / Jazz collective COLECTIVA and is a member of critically-acclaimed electronic quartet Penya. She has performed nationally and internationally, recording and collaborating with an array of world-class artists including ARIA award-winning hip-hop artist Sampa The Great, Mercury Prize-nominated artists Little Simz and The Go! Team, Panamanian salsa legend Camilo Azuquita, virtuoso Gogo musician Msafiri Zawose, Peruvian electronic duo Dengue Dengue Dengue, Roberto Pla, Godfather of Latin music in the UK, Los Campesinos!, Tom Grennan, Jus Now, Francobollo, Money, Robin Del Castillo, Cuban Combination, Guerrera, Lanterns on The Lake, amongst other notable names.

Viva has performed live on BBC Radio 1 Extra, BBC Radio 3 Late Junction, BBC Radio 4 Loose Ends, BBC Radio 6, Worldwide FM, and was recently interviewed on the BBC World Service’s Music Life podcast. She has travelled extensively with her music, playing at venues and music festivals nationally and internationally including The Barbican Centre, The Royal Albert Hall, Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club, The Jazz Café, Islington Assembly Hall, Brixton Academy, 02 Arena, Lord’s Cricket Ground, Twickenham Stadium, Ancienne Belgique, Brainchild Festival, Wilderness Festival, Boomtown Fair, Shambala Festival, Green Man Festival, and Fusion Festival.

In the studio Viva has worked with Grammy award-winning producer Charlie Andrew on multiple projects – alternative rock band Money‘s acclaimed album Suicide Songs (Guardian ****) and Swedish wonky pop enthusiasts, Francobollo on their debut single, I Don’t Want to Know. As a member of Penya, she collaborated with critically acclaimed electronic duo Dengue Dengue Dengue on their 2018 Semillero EP on trombone and effects, as well as with Msafiri Zawose on trombone, effects and vocals on the 2019 EP Penya Safari (On The Corner Records), and with New York-based producer Photay on his new single, The People (Penya Universal Riddim Mix), released in September 2020. Penya’s debut LP Superliminal was met with critical acclaim, with a second album funded by PRS Foundation and recorded at Peter Gabriel’s Real World Studios dropping in 2021.

Not stopping there, Viva has been touring and performing with High On Heels around the UK and globally at party events, weddings and for corporate event clients, at some of the world’s most prestigious venues, such as the Mondrian Hotel Doha, The Ivy, Manchester, and Under The Bridge, Chelsea. As well as Viva’s live music performances, she has collaborated with High On Heels creating and arranging new music and horn lines for their new horn Section, 360 Horns.

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