Unibes Cultural | São Paulo | SP | Brazil

 Check the info about who performed at the
Batuka! Brasil 2017


December 2 and 3, 2017. Batuka! Brasil festival took place at Unibes Cultural, in São Paulo city, Brazil. It was its 15th Anniversary. Fifteen editions; the first one happened in 1996.

Twenty-one years since the first edition. Against our desire, we didn’t produce the festival for a couple of years. The last one, before the 2017 edition happened in 2013. Giving up of it? Not a chance! More than a drum and percussion festival, Batuka! Brasil promotes the meeting between people, and not only musicians and students. Not only between drummers and percussionists.

People that love music.

Since the idea of this festival was brought to the light, it’s clear for us that Batuka! Brasil’s should reunite on the same stage renowned and new talents; in a way capable of inspiring people to create music; to study music; even to learn how to appreciate music in a deeper level. This connection between people and music should be strong and quite powerful. The connection between people have made it possible.

This festival has reunited amazing artists and promoted knowledge improvement. Learning while enjoying music.

Knowledge is powerful. Not only the knowledge didactically acquired, but also by observing and experiencing. And it’s important to share the knowledge. It works better when shared.

Batuka! Brasil also has the goal to promote the exchange of ideas and experiences. It’s music being discovered, discussed, played, commented in a way capable of teaching us so much, also through life stories of the people who have performed at the festival.

More than an event, this Batuka! Brasil edition was an experience. For us, who must deal with what happen on the stage and in the backstage, the Batuka! Brasil is a construction. We learn about music, from its composition to the performances that takes it to the stage; about how music touches people. We also learn about people; about us.

Batuka! Brasil can be categorized as a cultural event and to be included in cultural guides. That is valuable and true. However, its importance is also imprinted in the encounters along the aisles, and dressing rooms, on the stage; as well as in the exchange of ideas during an intermission and the next performance. It remains an event created to promote encounters, reveal talents, value the good music. And we will keep doing it this way. We’ll keep being the people who believe it's the best way to do it.



Christiano Rocha started the celebration of the Batuka! Brasil 15th Anniversary with a lively performance. He showed his varied musical vocabulary and his intimacy with Brazilian music. He also talked about his experiences, mentioning his first time performing at Batuka! Brasil, in 2010, when he played with his band.



Next, it was the time of the Italian – who lives in US since 1995 – Sergio Bellotti (drums) and the American Wes Wirth (bass and vocals) perform with the CHANTaSONIC, a musical project that the duo premiered on the stage of Batuka! Brasil.

Bass and drum is always a good combination. However, Sergio and Wes improved this synchronicity. CHANTaSONIC performed powerful grooves, while exploring dynamics and thrilling melodies. CHANTaSONIC premier was a success, indeed.



Including a conversation about music in the festival program was important to bringing several subjects to the light. Being a musician request more than play and write music. You must know better the music story and the people who have made it so powerful. There is the music industry as well, and it's important to understand how to survive its demands.

Vera Figueiredo was the moderator of this conversation about music, from its creation to how to make it finds listeners. The drummers Charles Gavin and Giba Favery talked about their own experiences in the music scene, as well as the need of keeping the musical memory of our country. It’s important to know and take care of our musicians and their music. It can be empowering to know them deeper, valuing and respecting them and their conquests. All that can help new artists to find their own places in this world.



During the intermission, the audience visited an exhibition of musical instruments and accessories. Mapex and Nagano drums, Sabian cymbals, Evans drumheads, Vic Firth and ProMark drumsticks. The audience had the chance of checking products and talk about them with the people responsible by the booths. They also could check books, albums and other products displayed by Free Note Store.



At the Lounge, Pithy Cajonero performed, showing the musical richness of the Cajón. Percussionist and percussion instruments maker, Pithy gives his name to the brand of the most important Cajón of Brazilian market.



Dom Famularo is a remarkable drummer. If you’ve already seen him playing, you know that. Besides being a remarkable drummer, he’s an amazing storyteller. And he tells stories he experienced during his travels; about people he met at music events all around the world. They are such inspiring stories. So many travels.

He doesn’t play during a considerable part of his performance. It wasn’t different at this third time Dom performed at Batuka! Brasil. He has improved his skill of inspiring people, showing how important is to take care of what they learn and who they meet during their own journey.



Finishing the first day of festival, the drummer Mauricio Leite performed with the Time Out trio, also featuring Mello Jr. (guitar) and Celso Pixinga (bass).



They are not so young anymore. Still, three drummers stood out during Batuka! Brasil, and they are connected to the festival story.

He's the Sepultura band drummer. In 2004, Eloy Casagrande won the Batukinha!, the contest to drummers up to thirteen-year-old, and part of the Batuka! Brasil festival program. In the next year, he won the Modern Drummer’s Undiscovered Drummer Contest, performing in USA. In the same year, he performed as guest artist at the Batuka! Brasil 10th edition.

In 2017, he came back to the Batuka! Brasil stage. His performance was powerful and with flowing musicality. Eloy Casagrande went one step further on drumming, exploring nuances and bringing other rhythms for his Metal language. It was an outstanding performance.



Bruno Felipini is Vera Figueiredo’s student at the IBVF. He’s also a drum teacher. He also belongs to the Metal’s scene, and he’s capable of bringing other rhythms to this style. During his performance, he played powerful as the Metal, but the dynamic led the interpretation. He played the chorinho “Delicado”, by Waldir Azevedo. He was quite amazing.



That wasn’t the only edition of the festival Daniel performed. Drummer who also play other instruments, composer, he came back to Batuka! Brasil stage in 2017, bringing an improved musical biography. He released a solo album, worked abroad as band leader of Cirque du Soleil’s Ovo. Today, he lives in Japan, working as music producer and musician.





It was an intense weekend in so many ways. A weekend full of emotions and quite nostalgic. When an event like that celebrates fifteen editions, you can bet that there are many memories registered in its calendar.

Two drummers that played in the festival passed away. Both of them were renowned drum scene artists, and loved people as well. Jim Chapin performed in the 2003 edition. John Blackwell, in 2013.

There's another person we miss as well. In 2003, Gabriel Martins was a celebrated choice as the winner of the first Batukinha! contest. At the age of eleven, he was capable to fascinate the audience with his musicality. In 2009, he performed as guest at the Batuka! Brasil, showing to everybody he was an undeniable talent. In 2014, he disappeared. He became a missing person, but not a forgotten one.

We’re always going to remember those who performed at Batuka! Brasil. Those who moved us with their music and their lives.



After the intermission, the last attraction of the festival: the Batuka! Band, formed by the talented musicians Chico Willcox (bass) and Ricardo Castellanos (keyboards). The concert celebrated the music, featuring the guest drummers Daniel Baeder, Vera Figueiredo, Sergio Bellotti e Dom Famularo, as well as the bass player Wes Wirth.



Essa edição do Batuka! Brasil também foi marcada pelo lançamento do livro Drum Kids – Bateria para crianças, de Leonor Júnior.

During this edition of Batuka! Brasil, Leonor Junior released his book, “Drum Kids – Bateria para crianças”.

Producing the Batuka! Brasil is an act of love and the desire that people have access to great music. We want people have the experience we do when meeting amazing musicians, and listen to their inspiring stories. We want that Batuka! Brasil keep being the when and where professionals and new talents meet each other. We want that this festival be a celebration, where people get together to appreciate music and the company of others.

We thank everyone who helped us to make this edition happens. We’ll never forget those who have supported us during this journey. After all, it was the Batuka! Brasil 15th Anniversary. It’s fifteen editions and twenty-one years keeping the wish of giving you something special.


Carla Dias

Curator | Artistic Director: Vera Figueiredo
Production Director: Carla Dias



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