Dendê & Band
Percussionist, singer, composer, bandleader, teacher, and multi-instrumentalist, Dendê has been a professional musician since the age of 14, when he appeared in the frontline of Timbalada, Carlinhos Brown’s superstar percussion ensemble. Since 2001, he’s been splitting his time between New York and Bahia, and has played with Mongo Santamaria, Giovanni Hidalgo, Zakir Hussain, David Bryne, and Vinicius Cantuária. His own bands include the folkloric music and dance troupe Ologundê, the acoustic Samba de Três, and Arrastão do Dendê, a traditional Afro bloco (samba party band), but it’s as leader and principal songwriter of his flagship band that Dendê has made his greatest impact.
The band, formerly called Hãhãhães, has been packing clubs and festivals up and down the East Coast and internationally for the past five years, most notably at Lincoln Center (the Atrium), the Kennedy Center (Millennium Stage), the Lake Eden Arts Festival in North Carolina, the Kalalu Festival in Saint Lucia, Joe’s Pub in New York, World Café Live and Johnny D’s in Boston.
Combining Brazil’s rhythm-heavy music with the grooves of afrobeat, reggae, merengue, and other rhythms from around the world, their debut album, Bahia De Todos Os Santos, showcases the band’s sizzling showmanship and versatility.
A former member of Timbalada, Dendê has been performing professionally since the age of 14. With Timbalada, Dende toured all over Brazil, Europe and Asia, and performed and recorded with such artists as Marisa Monte, Gilberto Gil, Carlinhos Brown, Ivete Sangalo and Sepultura. Having left Brazil in 2001, Dende now lives in New York, performing and recording with his groups as well as with artists such as Mongo Santamaria, Zakir Hussain, Giovanni Hidalgo, David Byrne, Melvin Gibbs, Adam Rudolph, Jerry Gonzales, Daniel Moreno, Alessandra Belloni, Tico da Costa and Vinicius Cantuaria. Dende also teaches Afro-Brazilian percussion in the New York City area.
“Their sinuous jams ought to delight fans of Afrobeat and psych-tinged funk.” —Time Out New York
“Dendê, from Brazil, merged a strutting beat and annunciatory salvos . . .”
— New York Times
“. . . an expert amalgamation of Afro-Brazilian and Cuban rhythms.”
The Brazilian music called “choro” is a constant source of surprise. This century-old, ever-evolving form of instrumental music, with diverse roots ranging from classical European salon music to Afro-Brazilian rhythms and instrumentation, is enjoying a wildfire revival in Brazil today, with a new generation of polished instrumentalists.
“Nó Em Pingo D’Água” is the group that is generally credited for first inspiring the new generation to perk up their ears and embrace this instrumental music. Their arrangements are skilled and inventive, making their music whip and swing. Yet they are harmonious, easy on the ear, helping us, the audience, to move forward easily with them and their new twists on the great choro repertoire.
The group consists of the traditional foundation of percussion (Celsinho Silva), guitar (Rogério Souza) and bandolim (Rodrigo Lessa) , spiced with soprano sax and flute (Mario Sève) and bass (Papito). Their shows are a combination of their unique interpretations of the great classic choro masters, with their own compositions that promise to become the classics of tomorrow.
Since their formation in 1978, Nó Em Pingo D’Água has released five recordings under their own name, as well as an impressive collection of appearances on recordings by leading artists. They have toured to acclaim in Denmark, Germany, Holland and Chile. They have earned a number of prestigious awards (Sharp, Playboy, Festivals of Choro [Rio]) as well as garnering praise from critics including Tárik de Souza (Jornal do Brasil), José Domingos Rafaelli (O Globo), writers from Billboard and The Beat (USA), the newspaper Information (Copenhagen) and accolades and endorsements from major Brazilian artists like Paulinho da Viola, Ivan Lins, Ney Matogrosso, Moraes Moreira and Guinga, among others.
With all their considerable achievements, they are still young and passionate about their music. Dynamic onstage, they are also extremely personable and have a loyal and devoted following in Brazil and abroad.
Acclaimed Brazilian guitarists Rogério Souza and Edinho Gerber joins forces with percussionist Ami Molinelli.