Renato Martins, the multi instrumentalist, born in Rio brought up in São Paulo, started to play percussion and piano when he was just four years old. His musical education started at six with maestro Silvio Tancredi, progressing on to study drums and piano concentrating on Brazilian popular music at Zimbo Trio’s School, The CLAM. He also studied classical piano with Professor Leda Maria Chacur Alves, as well as harmony, composition and conducting at Santa Marcelina Arts University.

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Renato Martins has created new techniques for traditional instruments, for example, the UDU and the CAJON. He is also known to have applied kitchen utensils as percussion instruments. He is considered one of the most respected percussionists in the world and has been described as an innovator of the Brazilian percussion by Brazil’s specialized media.

Between 1994 and 1996 he lived in England and played with the tabla player Sarvar Sabri, the sax player Andy Hamilton and other big names of jazz and ethnic music in the country. He participated in festivals like Womad and The Birmingham Jazz Festival. He also played at The Queen Elizabeth Hall in London with the percussionist Nana Tsiboe from Ghana.

In 1998, back in Brazil, Renato Martins was the only percussionist to reach the semi finals in the 1st Visa Award of Instrumental Brazilian Popular Music. Since then he worked in collaboration with famous Brazilian artists like Duda Neves, Sergio Sa, Moacyr Luz, Sa & Guarabyra, Tom Da Terra e Paulo Moura.

Renato Martins is also a musical educator and taught percussion at the 30th and 31st Winter Festivals of Campos do Jordao (July 1999 and 2000). He also teaches privately and does regular workshops at Music Schools and runs percussion courses.

He played at the Heineken Concerts in 2000 beside Andre Cristhovam and the American guitarist Taj Mahal and carried on playing beside some of the big names of the Brazilian instrumental music like: Andre Geraissati, Ulisses Rocha, Nelson Faria, Carlinhos Antunes, Mozart Mello, Roberto Sion, Celso Pixinga, Andre Mehmari and Celio Barros.

In 2003 Renato Martins launched his first solo CD, ‘Indaia’. The album was celebrated by the media experts and it was released at the most prestigious venue of instrumental music in Brazil, the Instrumental Sesc Brasil, broadcasted by the cable channel Rede Sesc-Senac de Televisao with a big audience.

Renato Martins is based in Brussels since 2004 and has worked with several big names of the Belgium jazz scene like: Steve Houben, Greg Houben, Sam Gerstmans, Victor da Costa, Henri Greindl, Daniel Stokart, Daniel Miranda, Maxime Blesín, and Osman Martins. He has played at some important venues of Brussels like Flagey, The Music Village, Théâtre Marni, Jazz Station and Téâtre Molière.

Renato Martins played with the Armenian group Arax at the project Le Monde est un Village. The concert took place at the Théâtre 140 and was broadcasted by the Belgian radio station RTBF. He also played in India at the Sai Baba’s birthday celebration in November and played in London beside the saxophonist Martin Speake.

Renato Martins met the Belgian guitarist Boris Gaquere in Brussels in 2004. They decided to team up and create the Boris Gaquere & Renato Martins Duo. They released in Belgium the album ‘Tempo Feliz’ in 2006 and have played at important venues in Belgium, Switzerland, France, Spain, Poland, Czech Republic, USA, Brazil, Argentina and Taiwan.

Renato Martins performed with the Boris Gaquere & Renato Martins Duo at the 4º FESTIVAL INTERNACIONAL DE PERCUSSION DE CATALUNYA in Barcelona in February 2009.
Since the beginning of 2009, Renato Martins was the percussionist for the CIRQUE DU SOLEIL’s show called OVO. He toured Canada and the USA with OVO between January 2009 and July 2010.

Renato Martins performed at The NAMM show 2011 in the USA with the Boris Gaquere & Renato Martins Duo presented by LATIN PERCUSSION. The duo also played concerts in San Francisco and New York.

Renato Martins toured Brazil in July, August and September of 2011 performing concerts at important venues and giving workshops at some of the most important music schools of São Paulo. He also performed at the Batuka! Brasil International Drum Festival.

Renato Martins nowlives in Belgium and he is a LATIN PERCUSSION endorser.

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