Growing up in Ipanema in the 50’s was fantastic. Its beaches were beautiful and pure. Ipanema was a neighborhood of mostly family homes with very few buildings and cars. We played soccer in the streets and climbed trees. It was peaceful.
I was very fortunate that my parents loved good music. I was brought up listening to Antonio Carlos Jobim, João Gilberto, Dorival Caymmi, Luis Bonfá, Louis Armstrong, Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra, Ray Charles and many others.
I am self-taught. My way to learn was playing along with the vinyl records of the Brazilian musicians and American Jazz masters. I have always been a curious person and life has been my teacher.
At fourteen Duduka formed his first Samba Jazz Trio, called Bossa Trio, with his brother Miguel playing the bass. For many years they played numerous Bossa Nova/Samba Jazz concerts and also on various television shows.
Bossa Nova and Samba Jazz had just been created a few years back and so much amazing music was coming out as a result. It was an extremely rich musical time in Brazil.
In the early 70's Duduka co-founded The Samba Jazz Sextet, Mandengo with Raul Mascarenhas (tenor sax), Mauro Senise (alto sax), Barrozinho (trumpet), Tony Botelho (acoustic bass) and Tomas Improta (piano). Mandengo performed together for many years until Duduka moved to New York in 1975.
Since then, Duduka has also played and recorded in Brazil with Haroldo Mauro Jr, Sergio Barrozo, Alfredo Cardim, Ion Muniz, Toninho Horta, Victor Assis Brasil, Claudio Roditi, Tenorio Jr, Dom Salvador, Cesarius Alvim, Edison Maciel Ricardo Santos, Edson Lobo, João Donato, Nana Vasconcelos, Mario Adnet , Nivaldo Ornelas, Paulo Jobim, Jacques Morelenbaum, OSESP (São Paulo Symphony Orchestra), Milton Nascimento, Dori Caymmi and Raul de Souza amongst many others.
In New York, Duduka followed his dream of playing with American Jazz musicians, where he could blend the musical cultures of Brazil and the US.
When I arrived in New York it was a much different musical scene then today. Samba Jazz was not on the map at that time. I am very proud to be one of a few musicians who in the late 70's helped revive the Brazilian Jazz scene in New York City.
After moving to New York, Duduka established numerous Brazilian Jazz groups. One of these groups, Brazilian Express appeared on a National PBS television special in 1981.
Duduka’s New York Samba Band performed at the Blue Note, Fat Tuesday’s, The Village Gate, One Step Down, and many other venues. In 1986 Duduka formed the Brazilian Jazz All Stars, which featured artists Bob Mintzer, Randy Brecker, Eliane Elias, Romero Lubambo, Nilson Matta, Café and Gilherme Franco.
Most recently, Duduka was a founding member and co-leader of Trio Da Paz, nominated for the Indie Awards as best Latin Jazz Group in 1993 and winner of the Jazz Journalists Association Awards for the best Brazilian Jazz album of 2002 (Partido Out).
Duduka has appeared on over 200 albums and performed with artists such as Antonio Carlos Jobim, Astrud Gilberto, Gerry Mulligan, John Scofield, Wayne Shorter, Tom Harrell, Eddie Gomez, Rufus Reid, Lee Konitz, Herbie Mann, Jorge Dalto, Joe Henderson, Kenny Barron, Emily Remler, Nancy Wilson, Slide Hampton, Toshiko Akiyoshi, Gil Goldstein, Joanne Brackeen, Marc Johnson, George Mraz, John Patitucci, Renee Rosnes, Bill Charlap, Maucha Adnet , Phil Woods and Steve Allee amongst many others.
From 1984 to 1999 Duduka was a member of the faculty at the Drummers Collective NYC, conducting workshops and private lessons. He has also conducted workshops and master classes in Brazil, Europe and Asia. Duduka is the author of the bestseller instructional book and CD, Brazilian Rhythms for Drumset (Alfred Publishing Co., Inc).
In 2002 Duduka's first solo album, Samba Jazz Fantasia (Anzic) was nominated for the 45th Grammy®. In 2009 his Brazilian Trio album, Forests (Zoho), was nominated for the 10th Latin Grammy.
Duduka's current projects as a leader & co-leader:
Duduka Da Fonseca Quintet featuring Anat Cohen (saxes & clarinet) Guilherme Monteiro (guitars) Helio Alves (piano) and Leonardo Cioglia (acoustic bass)
Duduka Da Fonseca Trio featuring David Feldman (piano) and Guto Wirtti (acoustic bass)
Trio Da Paz with Romero Lubambo (acoustic guitar) and Nilson Matta (acoustic bass)
Brazilian Trio with Helio Alves (piano) and Nilson Matta (acoustic bass)
Duduka Da Fonseca & Helio Alves – “Samba Jazz and the music of Jobimfeaturing Maucha Adnet (vocals), Claudio Roditi (trumpet & flugelhorn), Toninho Horta (guitar & voice), Helio Alves (piano) George Mraz (acoustic bass).
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