Claudio Oliviera on the beat: Sign up for this drumming masterclass at Backyard Chennai
You can take Claudio Oliviera out of Sao Paolo, but not vice-versa. Despite performing and conducting masterclasses across the world, the 48-year-old musician carries his heritage proudly wherever he goes. “I come from a background where I had to play many styles from rock to jazz and, while teaching music, I try to cover all that I have learnt myself,” he says, ahead of a workshop by Swarnabhoomi Academy of Music (SAM), where he teaches drums. Having conducted lessons in countries like USA, France and Portugal, he has also been a faculty member at Beethoven Conservatory of Music in São Paulo, and also recorded and toured with Brazilian artistes and groups like Beto Bertrami, Fabiano de Castro, Denise Assunção, Sizão Machado, and others.
“Brazilian music is very well blended with beautiful harmonies, melodies and strong African influences in their rhythm. A lot of our music comes from the streets made in small ensembles and it reflects in the volume of the sound, the subtleties and the rhythm,” he says, having started as a drummer at the age of 15. He later participated in a number of percussion ensembles in São Paolo, and also with Brazilian bands in Los Angeles, where he studied at Los Angeles Music Academy, under the tutelage of accomplished drummers like Ralph Humphrey and Mike Packer. “I’ve had the opportunity to play with some musicians and artistes that I really admire. Recently, I had the privilege of playing with pianist Antonio Guerra in New Delhi and it was a blessing to share the stage with such a great musician and human being,” he shares, adding that his inspirations include mostly Brazilian composers like Hermeto Pascoal, Antonio Carlos Jobim and Chico Buarque.
Expressing his wish to take part in musical projects in India, Claudio says, “At the SAM workshop, I will explore the Brazilian music history and break down important rhythms, besides performing some popular Brazilian standards.” Having being in Chennai for a quite a while, he doesn’t surprise us when he says, “I have a big admiration for Carnatic music, especially for konnakol (an ancient style of vocal percussion). I recently attended the Patri Drum Fest here and it was an amazing experience.”
August 3. 6 pm to 8 pm. At Backyard. Rs. 500.