It is a unique experience to meet a musician who has exceptional personal charm and sincerity, yet whose musical performance has a character and dynamism, which can dominate an audience no matter where their musical tastes may lie.
Viva brings these qualities to her work in an enchanting combination of eastern culture and western music, formed from her birth and up-bringing in Hong Kong in the special musical environment surrounding her father, pianist to the great Latin Band leader Xavier Cougat.
Following her move to NZ in 1976, where her mother was Cultural Attachĕ in the Philippine Embassy, Viva has developed a career including radio and television as well as live performances in venues ranging from the busy cafe scene in NZ and Australia through to appearances at numerous major jazz festivals. In 1998 she acquired a Diploma in Performing Arts for Voice, after which she has appeared as Mary Magdalene in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ and in the role of Dorothy Brock in ‘42nd Street’. Viva also teaches privately.
With this background Viva is equally at home playing to small audiences in intimate environments, on stage or at major concerts. Her outstanding guitar technique enables her to perform as a soloist or as an accompanied singer. She is an accomplished singer of Jazz, Latin, Contemporary, Blues and Classical music, and includes French and Italian songs in her extensive repertoire. She was recently curtain-raiser to ‘The Blind Boys of Alabama’ at their concert in Auckland, NZ.