A contemporary percussionist and educator, Marcus Santos is a native of Salvador city in Bahia, Brazil. Having been raised in the uniquely rich African-influenced culture of Bahia, Marcus has passionately committed his life to the study, preservation and teaching of Afro-Brazilian music and heritage. His dedication to this cause has earned him a variety of opportunities and international success. After first studying music at the Universidade Federal da Bahia, Marcus received a scholarship to the Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA, where he received a Bachelor of Arts in the performance of hand percussion, and the Outstanding Musician and Community Service Through Music awards. His talents as a musician have landed him appearances on NBC, TV Globo (Brazil), as well as numerous venues around the world, including the Hard Rock Café (Orlando, USA), Rock In Rio (Brazil), Buddha (Mexico), Lincoln Center (New York, USA), Parco della Musica (Rome, Italy), Holland Festival (Amsterdam, Holland) and the Museum of Fine Arts (Boston, USA). As an educator, Marcus has led numerous workshops in Afro-Brazilian percussion at MIT, Harvard University, Brown University, Universidad Central de Venezuela and Berklee College of Music. He currently works as the co-founder and Artistic Director of AfroBrazil.org, an organization whose mission is to promote and teach Afro-Brazilian music and culture in the United States. He has also released "A Modern Approach to Pandeiro"; an instructional DVD on pandeiro playing that is now internationally distributed with subtitles in six languages. Marcus has shared the stage with 10-time Grammy award winner Paquito DíRivera, the Gipsy Kings and Mambolada (Brazil). In 2000, Marcus worked as director of percussion for a nationally broadcast Flamenco dance television special in Brazil called Gitana, and in 2001 he also recorded the Mambolada's album, Larica Maria, which sold more than 100,000 copies in Brazil alone. In 2007, Marcus was awarded with an endorsement from the world's leading producer of percussion instruments, Latin Percussion and the world leader producer of sticks, Vic Firth. In July 2007, Marcus taught and led a parading group of 300 drummers in Cleveland, OH alongside Paul Simon's percussionist, Jamey Haddad. In October of that same year, Marcus taught Master Classes and performed in Pittsburgh at Drum Talk 2007, a festival that also featured Giovanni Hidalgo (Dizzy Gillespie), Mickey Hart (Grateful Dead) and Zakir Hussain (John McLaughlin). Also in October, Marcus performed at the Sony Pictures movie 'Dancing with Shiva' along with Cyro Baptista (Herbie Hancok) and directed by Grammy Award Winning director, Johnatan Demme (Saturday Night Live, Philadelphia, Silent of the Lambs). In November, Marcus performed at the world's largest percussion event, the Percussive Arts Society International Convention (PASIC), held in Columbus, OH. In January 2008, Marcus recorded the DVD Musically Speaking II produced by BOSE that will be distributed in 33 countries, including China and Japan. In March, Marcus toured Italy with the show La Passion by Grammy nominee Osvaldo Golijov. In April, Marcus received the most prestigious award from the Brazilian community in the US. The Brazilian Immigrant Center honored him with the 'Outstanding Arts Performer' award. Marcus' passion for Afro-Brazilian music and culture comes through in each of his performances, classes and workshops.
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