Auditório Ibirapuera | São Paulo | SP | Brazil


The Batuka! Brasil International Drum Fest took place on July 30th and 31st at the Auditório Ibirapuera, São Paulo city. On this 13th edition of the festival, the diversity was celebrated, and I´m not only talking about artists from various countries. The plurality of the musical language was strongly represented by inspired performances approaching several rhythms, such as Samba, Heavy Metal, Afro-Cuban, Candombe, pop Rock, and others.

The sound and illumination were shining stars at the festival. Both were beautifully managed by Ronald Góes and Karina Del Papa from the Auditório Ibirapuera’s staff, always counting with the valuable support of Edvar Batata, the monitor technician.

Vera Figueiredo was the first to play at the festival. She also is the Batuka! Brasil’s creator. Vera performed playing for the first time on her gorgeous Mapex drum kit, and in a trio formed by Chico Willcox (electric Bass) and Erik Escobar (piano). Vera presented an outstanding performance, playing the classics “Some day my prince will come” (Frank Churchill), “O morro não tem vez” (Tom Jobim) and “Footprints” (Wayne Shorter). She also performed a tune from the Mexican percussionist and composer Victor Mendoza, the “Chacalonga”.

During her performance, Vera paid a tribute to her eternal teacher, which was present at the festival, the drummer of Zimbo Trio Rubens Barsotti. Vera was thrilled by the moment, and spoke on how Rubinho is important to the Brazilian musical scene and how the she had the opportunity to study with him influenced her way of choosing to lead her own career.

Vera Figueiredo's performance was supported by Mapex, Sabian, Evans, Vic Firth, Audix and IBVF.


Dom Famularo, assisted by the interpreter Thiago Figueiredo, told histories with his excitation and grace and got the audience´s attention. Just to let it clear: we must do what we love in order to get the best result from it. He does what he loves too and certainly, it contributes for the thrilling way he talks to the people, helping them open their minds and get out from their own secure place. He motivates them because he believes they can get beyond. The audience always hopes anxiously for Dom’s performances, because he spreads the adrenaline on the stage. Dom always takes care of every detail, expressing himself sometimes in the deepest way as the great human being he is. And, sometimes he does it with the intensity of the great speaker he became. He talks to the drum kit, feeding the audience with expectation. And the people become excited and thrilled about his performances.

On the second day of festival, Dom Famularo played with the great Ricardo Castellanos (piano) and Thiago Alves (acoustic bass). He performed the hits “Let it be” (Paul McCartney) and “Imagine” (John Lennon) with personal arrangements.  


The IBVF and the Batuka! Brasil paid homage to Dom Famularo recognizing his “outstanding work around the world as drummer, educator and motivational speaker, and also for his dedication to inspire others to do the best with their music and lives”.

The Batuka! Brasil festival brought us some great surprises. Among all only one made us to complain. Colin Bailey had problems with his flight, and couldn’t depart to Brazil for his first time here. The fact postponed our opportunity to see him at this festival edition. However, it didn’t impede him making himself present. As always, Dom Famularo made his magic of calling Colin during his performance, to chat along with him and the audience.

Dom Famularo's performance was sponsored by Sabian and supported by Mapex, Evans, Vic Firth and IBVF.

In 2011, the contest had an important partnership, which allowed the winner from the National Drummers Contest has gotten a spot for the final of the Mapex Drummer of Tomorrow, which will be held next year in Germany.

The Batuka! Brasil final contenders were Éder Medeiros (Tubarão/SC), Rogério Pitomba (Natal/RN) e Tiago de Souza (Belford Roxo/RJ). They were chosen by a material requested by the regulation. These drummers had their videos uploaded on the festival website, and the public voted on their favorite. Éder Medeiros received 73,35% of the votes, and won 1 vote to be accounted with the votes of the jury's members, considering the live presentation of each finalist at the festival. The judges were: Dom Famularo, Aquiles Priester, Damien Schmitt, Vera Figueiredo and Quintino Cinalli. Each contender performed one tune of his own choice, a drum solo, and the confrontation tune chosen by the festival´s production, the “Nino, o Pernambuquinho” by Maestro Duda



The winner of the Batuka! Brasil Mapex Drummer of Tomorrow – National Drummers Contest was Tiago de Souza. Besides the spot at the final of the Drummer of Tomorrow, in Germany, in 2012, he also was awarded with MAPEX drum kit, SABIAN cymbals, EVANS drumheads, AUDIX microphones, STAFF DRUM/Power Shot triggers, VIC FIRTH drumsticks, brushes and bag, MODERN DRUMMER BRAZIL magazine subscription, and HUDSON MUSIC books and DVD. Éder Medeiros and Rogério Pitomba received prizes as Honorable Mention, including MEINL and BOSPHORUS cymbals, MAPEX BLACK PANTHER snare drum, MAPEX FALCON pedal, EVANS drumheads, STAFF DRUM/Power Shot triggers, VIC FIRTH drumsticks, brushes and bags, and HUDSON MUSIC books and DVD.



Damien Schmitt wasn’t known by many of the Brazilian Drummers. But this situation changed completely after his performances at the Batuka! Brasil. He comes from a family of musicians and had been involved with music since his earliest age. The drummer, who also sings and plays other instruments, developed his own musical language. No matter the style - jazz, pop, hip hop, Damien doesn’t impose limits on himself. And besides being an outstanding drummer (trying to summarize what we watched during his performances), he is a truthful artist. Damien has a rich and pleasant personality. His presence at the festival was hugely celebrated. He was very friendly, and the audience surrendered to him with no restriction. Damien played his own compositions, such as “Everything is your name” and “In a Jungle”, as well as the “This or That” (Alain Caron) and the medley including “Billie Jean” and “Wanna be startin’ somethin'” (Michael Jackson).

Damien Schmitt's performance was supported by Mapex, Meinl, Vic Firth and IBVF.



Quintino Cinalli is a musician which really knows how to deal with the musical nuances. And that's why the audience recognized the beauty in his performances. His kit was a mix of drums and percussion, and through it, Quintino explored the dynamic, while presenting folkloric rhythms as the Candombe. Diligently, he invited the audience to participate on his performance, asking them to sing a melody he presented. The people were singing when he started improvising on it. Quintino is undoubtedly one of the most talented drummers and percussionists, and the audience could watch it agreeing gratefully, to make part of it. By the way, when he started playing the cajon, he just conquered everybody once again.

Quintino Cinalli's performance was sponsored by Bosphorus and supported by LP and IBVF.



Aquiles Priester is one of the most important drummers of the Brazilian Heavy Metal, and has been conquering a very significant spot at the international scenery. He had brought to the stage of the Batuka! Brasil his killer drumset, a beautiful Mapex kit. Aquiles played and applied his powerful technique on an overpowering performance. The drummer played few tunes of his band, Hangar, such as “Colorblind” and “Some light to find my way” (Priester/Martinez/Laguna/Mello), as well as “The Maze” (Vinnie Moore). Aquile’s amazing agility was also to be confirmed in his amazing “PsychOctopus Drum Solo” (Aquiles Priester).

Aquiles Priester's performance was sponsored by Mapex and supported by Evans and IBVF.



Fabiana Fonseca is Vera Figueiredo’ student, as well as Bruna Barone, who also studies drums with Christiano Rocha and Giba Favery. They are professional drummers who accepted the invitation from Vera to play at the Batuka! Brasil. Fabiana and Bruna paid a tribute to Gordon Goodwin, the Big Band master, playing together the “Get in Line” (Big Phat Band). Before to play together, they performed individually. Bruna played “Cut ‘n run” (Gordon Goodwin) and “New Ground” (Tommy Igoe). Fabiana played “Colour Complex” (Ray Obiedo), from the David Garibaldi’s Funky Beat book, and “The Jazz Police” (Gordon Goodwin). Playing together, Fabiana and Bruna brought to their performance a strong musical personality. Their talent helped with a beautiful visual performance, while they were making totally synchronized motions.

The Fabiana Fonseca's and Bruna Barone's performances were supported by Prime, Meinl, Evans and IBVF.



Renato Martins performed as he was making a live painting. He had some percussion spread around him. They were little instruments with such a different sound, with which the multi-instrumentalist built a full of shades musical scenery. With percussion instruments as the Cajita, a wood box with a variety of sounds, the Cajón and the Udu (clay pot), Renato combined with the Loop Station functionality, which allows to record parts of what is being played in separated channels, and reproduce it in loop. The way he built the rhythm piece, the instruments he used to play and all the conception of what was being recorded and then played, allowed the audience to know better the diversity of Renato’s music. Although this moment of combining technology and tradition had hit the audience, his performance by playing the Udu was what thrilled the people by his music. Renato knows how to make the Udu sing beautifully. And there’s no way anybody doesn’t get admired by the way he plays the national anthem on Udu. Renato played his tunes, such as “Seis”, and the involving “Jugutaka”, as well as “Felicidade” (Tom Jobim / Vinícius de Moraes) and “Pixaim” (Marco Pereira).

Renato Martins' performance was sponsored by LP and supported by IBVF.


Robby Ameen started his performance with a drum solo which lasted about twenty five minutes played as if he was telling us a history and with the talented use of the Cuban clave in his music. By the way, it’s the Afro-Cuban influence what makes his music be so “caliente”. Robby has a particular way to play the Jazz and the Funk with the Latin flavor, quality that has been improved during his career, and for his participation on recordings and concerts with the Panamanian singer and composer Ruben Blades, and Seis del Solar.

After an extraordinary solo performance, he invited the pianist Ricardo Castellanos and the acoustic bass player Thiago Alves to come to the stage and to play with him. The trio played “Una muy Anita”, composed by Robby Ameen and from his new album, “Days in the life”, and the Teolinius Monk’s “Rhythm a ning”. This was the last presentation of Batuka! Brasil 2011, and there’s no doubt it was a perfect final for a great edition. The 13th edition of the festival celebrated the good music once more.

Robby Ameen's performance was supported by Sabian, Remo, LP and IBVF.

We thank everyone who took part of the Batuka! Brasil 2011 by being present, for supporting us, and by helping us to publish the festival as well as the the companies which supported us, the artists which contributed to the festival in such a talented way. A special thanks to our staff and to the Auditório Ibirapuera for receiving us, and allowing us to have the perfect place to make this project happens. We are deeply grateful for that, and excited to meet you all again next year.

Prepare yourself, and make the arrangements, because we are going to meet you at the Batuka! Brasil 2013.
Artistic Director: Vera Figueiredo
Production Director: Carla Dias

Stage coordinator - Eduardo Diniz
Stage assistant - Felipe Uchida
Interpreter and photographer - Thiago Figueiredo
Photographer - Ale Frata

Pena Schmidt
Communication Department: Luciana Sima, Richner Teixeira, Thales Augusto
Legal Department: Marisa Tomazela
Artistic production: Alessandra Ciacco, Débora Lopes and Queila Amaio
Stage: Ronald Goes, Karina Del Papa, Lourival Santos, Edson “Patita” Chimanski and Valdir Soares Junior
Theater: Paulo Moinhos 

Press: Luciana Stabile
Gabisom: Edvar Batata, Wander Rodrigues and Portuga
Estação da Luz: Rafael Curti, Enzo Augusto and Bruno Rodrigues
Coopertec Assistants: Eder Barros, Waltencir Andrade, Renato Barbosa and Rogério Lara
CULTURAL SUPPORT: Modern Drummer Brasil magazine, Mapex, Prime, Staff Drum, Sabian, Bosphorus, Meinl, Evans, Vic Firth, Audix, O Baterista, Batera Clube, Ale Frata, Walter Mancini and Quality Suites Imperial Hall.

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