Wednesday, May 13, 2015


I was rather fortunate recently to work with Calgary's premier contemporary Jazz dance company, Decidedly Jazz Danceworks, for their latest production "Ziriguidum" for the month of April and beginning of May. This very creative show featured a live Jazz trio consisting of myself on drums with Rubim De Toledo on bass and Chris Andrew on piano accompanying a cast of very talented dancers. The original score was all composed by Rubim and the show choreographed by Kimberley Cooper. These artists never cease to amaze me.

The second half of the show featured an amazing Brazilian dance group called Cia Vata, under the direction of Valeria Pinheiro. This group hails from the North East of Brazil and mixed folkloric rhythms with movement and dance, even interpreting many of these rhythms with a very unique form of "tap" dancing. It was quite enthralling to hear them perform night after night and hear this music performed so authentically, with the right feel.

This whole experience has really prompted me to revisit those rhythms and get deeper into this music. Definitely no lack of things to practice and learn from!

A few resources I'll be diving into real soon:

- Ed Uribe's great book "The Essence of Brazilian Percussion and Drumset"

- Duduka Da Fonseca's "Brazilian Rhythms for Drumset"

- Todd Bishop's very helpful guide, "Playing Samba and Bossa Nova: A Field Guide for Drummers"

Incidentally, Todd just posted a great clip of Brazilian drummer Milton Banana over at his blog today:

And of course, LISTENING to this music extensively is the way to go. Otherwise all the rhythms you might learn from a book will be meaningless unless you spend time also trying to capture the sound and feel.

So in the meantime, check out these examples of this great Brazilian Batucada ensemble:

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