PRD Mais Bio
PRD Mais is a collection of young and talented percussionists who combine the rich musical heritage of Brazil with an innovative mindset shaped by a limitless range of contemporary influences. Founded by Bernardo Aguiar and Gabriel Policarpo, the group is an outgrowth of their original joint project Pandeiro Repique Duo (PRD); a virtuosic showcase that redefined the capabilities of those two drums. Bernardo has followed in the footsteps of great pandeiristas before him by further expanding upon the capabilities of this incredibly powerful instrument, and Gabriel has developed a rich timbral palette on the repique, which was previously linked almost exclusively with the samba tradition from which it was created. Since 2009 they have shared their concept of "melody of rhythm" across the globe by placing these two instruments, intimately connected with Brazilian culture, in a broader musical context that embraces international genres while remaining true to their roots. After several years of performing as a duo, they decided to join forces with like-minded musicians in an effort to take their unique sound and add more (or in Portuguese, to add "mais"), and PRD Mais began to take shape. The additions were formidable: Bóka Reis, a master of the Bahian timbal renowned for his inventive phrasing; Brian Potts, a versatile percussionist from the US who adds the multi-faceted Xylosynth and is a literal doctor of pandeiro; and the brothers Guilherme Oliveira and Gustavo Oliveira, directors of the Salgueiro samba school's "bateria furiosa," born from the samba tradition, yet driven by the modern possibilities of electronic percussion.
October 27, 2017
In 2016 the group traveled to Philadelphia to record their debut album Rittenhouse at Rittenhouse Soundworks, a studio run by close friend and fellow percussionist Jim Hamilton. There they were joined by two world-class woodwind specialists: Carlos Malta, one of the world's most influential Brazilian musicians and Chris Bullock, member of the powerhouse group Snarky Puppy. The album was conceived as an audiovisual project, with equal weight given to the sonic and visual aspects of the work. The audio was recorded by Peter Tramo and then mixed by Marcos Suzano, a revolutionary Brazilian percussionist who transformed his field and inspired generations of musicians thereafter. To capture their performance visually, PRD Mais invited Daniel Lobo and Micael Hocherman, prominent filmmakers in the Rio de Janeiro artistic community, to film the session in a first-rate manner. This collaboration, between Brazilian and American musicians, audio engineers, and filmmakers, produced an album of eleven tracks—each with a high-quality cinematic video of the live recording session. While these videos are immersive and breathtaking, PRD Mais shines even brighter in live performance. Each individual brings their own unique skill set that serves as part of a larger musical tapestry, but their common roots allow for seamless communication and spontaneity onstage. As powerful as a samba batucada, yet with all the sensitivity of a chamber orchestra, PRD Mais captivates audiences with musical prowess and undeniable joy.