Auditório Ibirapuera | São Paulo | SP | Brazil



When Vera Figueiredo decided to make Batuka! Brasil, she was seeking to create a spot in which to the Brazilian music cultural diversity could meet with the world´s. Where beginners in the musical journey could meet with those who had become legends, with all their knowledge.

Fourteen years, twelve editions later the Batuka! Brasil has become the meeting point for Brazilians from all states to both occupy the stage of the festival or the seats of the auditorium.

The public is very eclectic and not limited to musicians, it also includes music lovers so the Batuka! Brasil has become a festival for all tribes.

At July’s the 16th, 17th and 18th, of 2010, the Auditório Ibirapuera received Batuka! Brasil in a breathtaking edition with national and international attractions.



The grand opening happened on Friday with two concerts. The first to go on stage was the drummer Ramon Montagner, accompanied by Sidiel Vieira (bass), Ogair Jr. (piano) and Raphael Ferreira (sax). Ramon's approach to Brazilian music provided a rich interpretation which pleased everyone. Eagerly awaited by the public, the American drummer John Riley came next, and accompanied by Brazilian musicians. Chico Willcox (bass) and Erik Escobar (piano) made a fantastic show. Riley was never tired of weaving praise on his very talented musicians.



On Saturday, John Riley opened the program with a workshop focused on brush techniques. A big name in jazz, and deep connoisseur of style and his didactics, he showed why his books are adopted in various universities and schools worldwide. Then, Fernando Amaro, a young drummer of 19 years with a diverse musical vocabulary took to the stage. A Vera Figueiredo’s student, who is establishing himself in the music scene. Who was there, could watch a performance full of energy and musical knowledge. Among the songs performed, was Sing, Sing, Sing, Fernando played together Gene Krupa with the Benny Goodman Big Band.



Christiano Rocha came next, accompanied by Claudio Machado (bass), Fabio Santini (guitar), Bruno Alves (keyboards) and Luciano Khatib (Cajon). The band was very tight, a fact that yielded a memorable show. He played songs from his first CD, Ritmismo. Among them, World Citizen (Claudio Machado), Trojan Horse (Christiano Rocha), Circular Paulista (José Roberto Gaia), and an inspired remake of Take Five (Paul Desmond).



To conclude the presentations, Dom Famularo took the stage. Regarded as a communicator of great talent, he began his presentation by talking publicly about the importance of doing what you choose with love. He took the hook of Sing Sing Sing, played by Fernando and told how and why Gene Krupa became the first drummer doing a drum solo. Storyteller, all related to music, but leaving it to anyone, musician or not, talked about Jeff Porcaro, the drummer who died in 1992. Don said that, despite the past eighteen years, he still recognizes when Jeff is playing a song he hears. He composed and performed a tune in honor to Jeff at the festival. Famularo also stirred the audience while stopping before the drums and talking to in saying, "Hello ... Drums I'm baaaaack! I missed you ... Now I'm going to play each and every one of you. Some soft and some reeeeeeeeeeally hard!", Then played an extremely expressive solo, going deep in cymbal sounds and abusing the momentum to make us out of breath.



Before closing, Dom called up on stage Christiano Rocha, Fernando Amaro and Vera Figueiredo, conducting a Drummer’s Jam session.



On Sunday, the opening was made with the presentation of the three final contenders for the National Drummers Contest. Darlan Marley (Natal / RN), Dennis Bulhões (João Pessoa / PB) and Ivan de Castro (São Bernardo do Campo / SP) who were presented to the public and jurors Dom Famularo, Aquiles Priester, Joshua Dekaney and Daniel Gohn. They first played a song chosen by themselves, then a solo and, finally, the confrontation piece, the song Mr. Banana, composed by Vera Figueiredo in honor to the late drummer Milton Banana.

Dennis Bulhões was the great winner of the National Drummers Contest.



The drummer and percussionist Joshua Dekaney presented a Workshow, a mix of workshop show. He talked a bit about the history of American music, through gospel, drawing a parallel between the music played in churches in the USA and the music played specifically in the churches of New Orleans, after suffering the influence of black music. Accompanied by Fabio Martinez (bass), Alexandre Magnani (guitar) and Kiko Bishop (keyboards), he played and sang some tunes, including The Entertainer (Scott Joplin) and Nago, Nago (Master Walter). Leaving the drumset, he played the cajon, his own composition: Gypsy Blood.



Once again, Dom Famularo took the stage and marveled the audience. He presented more engaging stories and a fantastic solo, reassuring him as one of the most complete contemporary drummers as well as an unparalleled communicator.

Then it was time for Edu Ribeiro and the Trio Corrente, formed by Paulo Paulelli (bass) and Fabio Torres (piano). Among the songs they played are Chorinho Pra Você (Severino Araújo), Tarde (Milton Nascimento) and Amor Até o Fim (Gilberto Gil), paying homage to Toninho Pinheiro, one of which the Batuka! 2004 CD was dedicated. Edu Ribeiro created the musical atmosphere through his technical and dynamic control referring to the cool jazz, but in a Brazilian fashion.



To close the festival, Dom Famularo returned to the stage and conducted a Jam of drums, boxes and cajon, having Joshua Dekaney, Daniel Gohn, Fernando Amaro, Edu Ribeiro, Christiano Rocha, Vera Figueiredo, Simone dos Santos, Aquiles Priester and winner of Batuka! 2010, Dennis Bulhões, leading the crowd wild! A great closing for a festival that prides itself on diversity.


  • It was the second time that Ramon Montagner performed at Batuka! Brazil. The first was in 1997 in a performance with Alexandre Cunha.

  • John Riley, Chico Willcox and Erik Escobar first played together at sound check, the same day of the show. The synchronicity was immediate.

  • Fernando Amaro played for the first time in Batuka! Brazil at the opening of Batukinha!, Competition for drummers up to 13 years old, in 2003.

  • Joshua Dekaney, an American living in the U.S., but speaks a very good Portuguese. He is married to a Brazilian.

  • Fernando Amaro dedicated the song Out In The Open to his composer, John Riley. This made him very nervous while playing it with Riley watching and right behind him!

  • Dom Famularo is very contagious while telling the true stories which he collects while travelling the world. His enthusiasm drove his interpreter to 'translate' even a scream Dom did.

  • Dom Famularo tunes each drum with all the care. He uses only two overs and one microphone for kick drum. The sound capture is very quick and allows him, Dom, to mix the sound naturally, using the dynamics.


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