Fabio Oliveira

Fabio Oliveira is a performer with a wide variety of professional experiences as a percussionist, singer, improviser, and conductor, working regularly in solo, chamber, orchestral, and artist accompaniment settings and navigating consistently between traditional Brazilian music, Jazz, and European Classical Music. Transversing these traditions is an important and distinctive feature of his work. He has performed throughout the Americas, Europe, and Asia, has worked or collaborated with notable classical composers such as Roger Reynolds, Steve Reich, Philippe Manoury, Helmut Lachenmann, Flo Menezes, Chaya Chernowin, Michael Gordon, and Paulo Guicheney, and has recordings released on Tzadik, New World Records, Mode Records, and Naxos Classical. As a scholar, he’s theorized and published about traditional Brazilian Pagode and Samba Music, as well as multiple-percussion performance – dealing with music by Aperghis, Xenakis, and Tutschku, preparing performances with live electronics, text translation in Instrumental Musical Theatre, composer-performer collaboration, and instrument building.

As a performer of Traditional Brazilian Music (voice and percussion), Fabio has been a featured artist in California, New Jersey, and NYC. He’s accompanied well know Brazilian artists, including Diogo Nogueira and Lenine. As a percussionist and conductor of the Brazilian Big Band – Banda Pequi, between 2009-2019 Fabio recorded a CD with Leila Pinheiro, a DVD with Nelson Faria and João Bosco, and accompanied Monica Salmaso. He also participated in the recording of the DVD “Mães D’Água” accompanying singers Mart’nália, Luciana Mello, Margareth Menezes, Daúde, Paula Lima, and Alaíde Costa. Fabio Oliveira was also a band member of the samba group Heróis de Botequim for 5 years, traveling and playing shows throughout Brazil and recording in their 2017 DVD.

Since 2019, Dr. Oliveira has been the Director of Percussion Studies at Rowan University (NJ, USA), a position he previously held at the Federal University of Goiás – Brazil, between 2009-2019. A serving member of the Percussive Arts Society New Music/Research Committee since 2019, Fabio hosts the 2023 Focus-day titled “Latin American Percussion Music”, curating five concerts at the November 2023 Indianapolis PAS International Convention. Having performed at the PASIC feature opening night concert in 2004, he has been back over the years to perform and present clinics. He has also been a percussion judge and consultant to the Samba Carnival Parades in São Paulo – Brazil, between 2017-2019. Dr. Oliveira holds degrees from the São Paulo State University – Brazil (BM – 2001), the University of Massachusetts at Amherst (MM – 2004), and the University of California at  San Diego (DMA – 2009).

Over the last 15 years, Fabio has taught percussion at some of the most important music festivals in Brazil, including FEMUSC, CIVEBRA, Sesc-Pelotas, FEMUSA, and Tatuí (amongst others). During his 10-year tenure at the Universidade Federal de Goiás (2009-19), Fabio created and taught a university-wide course called “Singing Modern Samba”, a large campus-wide favorite with between 100 and 150 students each semester. For this course, in 2018, students focused on the recorded repertoire of singer Amelia Rabello, and for their final exam, had a chance to perform the full set with Mrs. Rabello herself and Julião Pinheiro. Dr. Oliveira has taught Brazilian music in the USA since 2003 and has been on the Faculty at the Cazadero Brazil Camp (2008), as well as Choro Camp New England  (2022 and 2023). He is a founding member of Samba de Terreiro do Brooklyn and can be heard weekly at Barbés as a member of Regional Samaúma

Here’s Fabio on marimba playing a classic from Ernesto Nazareth, “Fidalga”, accompanied by Cesar Garabini on 7-string guitar. Cesar will also be on the Choro Camp teaching staff in 2024.

The following video was recorded at Rowan University in the fall of 2022 with Fabio on pandeiro, Fernanda Silveira on cavaquinho, Cesar Garabini on 7-string guitar and Ian Coury on bandolim. All four will be with us at Choro Camp New England in 2024. The tune is one that will serve you well in a roda just about anywhere, “Murmurando” by Fon-Fon.