"...a delicious mix...polyrhythmic power and joyous melodies...an irresistible call to the dance floor."-Boston Herald
Led by master Afro-Brazilian percussionist Dendê, a former member of Carlinhos Brown’s Timbalada, rhythm is always central to Dendê’s music. With roots in the Afro-Brazilian traditions of candomblé and samba de roda their music is comprised of original compositions and arrangements by Dendê. Based in the US and Salvador, Bahia; the group’s music has absorbed the diversity of these cities by blending rhythms ranging from afrobeat to merengue to rumba fusing them seamlessly with more traditional Brazilian rhythms like ijexá, samba and forró. With band members who have played with the likes of Caetano Veloso, Carlinhos Brown, Bebel Gilberto, Angelique Kidjo, Gilberto Gil and Vinicius Cantuária their music is sophisticated and refined with its jazz-like improvisations while still danceable and entertaining with its driving rhythms and gritty grooves.
“...the band grounds lighthearted melodies and reflective vocals in an expert amalgamation of Afro-Brazilian and Cuban rhythms.” - Flavorpill
Since being formed in 2002, the band has performed at venues throughout the US including the Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, SOBs, Joe’s Pub, the Old Town School of Folk Music, The Marquette Waterfront Festival and the Cedar Cultural Center among many others. Additionally the band has appeared in various festivals in the US such as the Lake Eden Arts Festival and Musikfest; as well as the Brazilian Days in NYC, Boston and San Diego; and internationally in Brazil, Saint Lucia and Malaysia. Dendê has been featured in programming on the Brazilian television channel TV Globo and is well known in Brazilian communities throughout the US, Brazil and beyond. Their music has been featured in the National Geographic television show Ma Mirabelle and their CDs Bahia de Todos os Santos (2010) and Back to Bahia (2013) have been featured on radio stations throughout the US and Canada.
As a former member of Timbalada, Dendê has been performing professionally since the age of 14. With Timbalada, Dendê toured throughout Brazil, Europe and Asia, and performed and recorded with such artists as Marisa Monte, Gilberto Gil, Carlinhos Brown, Ivete Sangalo and Sepultura. Now splitting his time between Bahia and the US, Dendê has been performing and recording with his groups as well as with artists such as Mongo Santamaría, Zakir Hussain, Giovanni Hidalgo, Adam Rudolph, Jerry Gonzales, Melvin Gibbs, Vernon Reid, Amayo’s Fu Akristra, Tico da Costa and Vinicius Cantuária. Dendê has also provided educational programs at Juilliard, the Peabody Conservatory, the Eastman School of Music, Brandeis University and the University of Wisconsin among many others. Recently, he was the Schomberg Center’s Distinguished Artist in Residence at Ramapo College. In January of 2012, Dendê returned to Bahia to record his second album, fittingly entitled Back to Bahia. Featuring his original compositions, the album includes a star-studded line-up of special guests including Ilê Aiyê, Magary Lord, Vinicius Cantuária, Melvin Gibbs, Graham Haynes and Sylvain Leroux of Fula Flute. The album was scheduled released in the spring of 2013 and was accompanied by a tour that hit cities throughout the US, Canada, Brazil and Asia.
“The sinuous jams of Dende & Hahahaes ought to delight fans of Afrobeat and psych-tinged funk.” -Time Out New York
“...Dende, from Brazil, merged a strutting beat and annunciatory salvos on a single drum...” -NY Times