Dendê is a percussionist, singer, composer, bandleader, teacher, and multi-instrumentalist. He’s been a professional musician since the age of 14, when he appeared in the frontline of Timbalada, Carlinhos Brown’s superstar percussion ensemble. Since 2001, he’s been splitting his time between New York and Bahia, and has played with Mongo Santamaria, Giovanni Hidalgo, Zakir Hussain, David Bryne, and Vinicius Cantuária. His own bands include the folkloric music and dance troupe Ologundê, the acoustic Samba de Três, and Arrastão do Dendê, a traditional Afro bloco (samba party band), but it’s as leader and principal songwriter of his flagship band that Dendê has made his greatest impact.

"...Dendê, from Brazil, merged a strutting beat and annunciatory salvos on a single drum..." -NY Times

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