Saulo Bortoloso

Latin percussieles in Government of Rotterdam en Rotterdam Delfshaven

Personal introduction

At twelve years old, I started playing percussion in a south-Brazilian folk dance ensemble. Five years later, I was invited by the senior singer and guitarist José Damião, to perform with him in bars and clubs. At the age of 19, I moved to the city of Goiania. I started my formal studies in music, having lessons for congas, pandeiro, western Classical percussion, and music theory. Three years later, I was admitted to the Tatuí conservatoire. An important conservatoire near Sao Paulo city. There I followed the western classical percussion course, but also had ensemble lessons for Brazilian jazz, playing pandeiro, congas, and other percussions. The musical environment of the Tatuí conservatoire was vibrant for Brazilian popular music. Putting the students in close contact with great Brazilian artists such as; André Marques (piano) Cleber Almeida (drums) and Fabinho Leal (electric guitar). During this period, I got to know much more about Brazilian music and its many genres. In the year of 2008, I was admitted at the Sao Paulo State University (UNESP) for the bachelor in western classical percussion. There I performed on the PIAP ensemble, an essential group for contemporary percussion in Brazil. During the PIAP period, I first had contact with the cuíca, a “star instrument” for samba. It was delegated to me to play cuíca in a classical percussion piece. I didn’t want to learn the instrument because I was too busy preparing my graduation recital. Still, in the end, I had to accept it. By coincidence, in the same period, I had workshops with two of the greatest cuíca Masters; Osvaldinho da cúica and Barba do surdo and started to love playing the instrument. In 2012 I began to perform and teach at the Brincante Institute, founded by the Brazilian multi-artist Antonio Nóbrega. In 2014, following an old dream, I went to South-India to study the mridangam drum, luckily, I ended up learning this instrument from one of its significant exponents; guru Karaikudi Mani, with whom I had classes for almost three years, following the traditional gurukulam system, where the student lives in the guru’s house in a full immersion on the learning process. Currently, I’m doing a Master’s Degree in Latin percussion on Codarts, where I have lessons with Nils Fischer (congas) and Udo Demandt (Cajon and percussion setup).

Latin percussion lesson

Latin percussion is a broad subject, having many genres from different parts of Latin-America. Having this in mind, we encourage the students to know different repertoires related to each instrument. This way, the student can choose to study multiple devices or to give focus to a single tool, according to its own aspiration. The student can learn how to play Congas, Bongos, Pandeiro, Reco-reco, Surdo, Agogô, Caxixi, Tamborim, Cuíca, Caixa, Atabaque, Berimbau, and other instruments. Besides that, the student will also learn basic stick technic and music reading notions.



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