Today we’d like to introduce you to Bruno Cunha.
So, before we jump into specific questions, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I started playing when I was only three years old. I would be hitting chairs with toothbrushes like a drummer or keep disturbing my father while he was playing the guitar because I wanted to play his guitar. My father, the reason why I am what I am today, saw all of that and invested in me, not only money but time, love, and support.
He was always giving me instruments to play, putting me on many music schools, showing me how to practice stuff, asking me what I learned or what I was practicing. I was always waiting for him to come home so I could show him the new stuff I discovered, played, or learned.
I started studying music when I was 5-years-old. Since then, I never stopped. I studied in many different places in Brazil. I started with drums but two years later I fell in love with the strings. I learned other instruments such as piano, bass, flute, and singing. In my 13/14 years, I was kind of giving up on music because even though I loved music, I hated studying. When I was 16, I recorded an EP and started working at an office. I hated that job so much, so deep in my heart that I understood what made me happy was music. So I started studying even harder than I always did. I wanted to know everything about music. Every little detail. I left my old job and started working more with music. Teaching, performing, producing, recording.
In my 21 years, I decided to travel to the US to study more and help my career. All the journey to come here was a sacrifice. I had to save up a lot of money, work double-time, every day, sacrifice many things. I even did crowdfunding and performed every Sunday on street. My father was there, every Sunday helping me carry heavy instruments and gear. But everything went fine here I am today. I met so many good people here and had so many cool experiences. I could play in front of one of my idols, Cory Henry, even though I bet he didn’t even notice me there. I worked in an upcoming Netflix series, produced many different artists, studied, even more, all the instruments I knew or start learning others. There were so much more I can’t even remember.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
The harder of all is being so far away from my family. My mom, father, brother, sister, nieces, my dog. Man, it is hard. It’s been two years since I arrived here in the US and I haven’t gone to Brazil yet. That is the hardest thing.
But you know, not having money is hard and I believe I speak in behalf of most musicians. Specilly for being an international student, not allowed to work legally, make things hard. I never spent money to do something fun. Not even eat out. Always saving and doing everything I could to cheap my experience here.
But since the beginning, there were so many obstacles just like everybody. When I was saving up money to come to the US, every Sunday was so hard. Finding a spot to play, bringing the gear, packing, loading. Super hard. I had many bad experiences during my work too. Teaching, performing. I had bad students, bad gigs, just like any other musician out there.
We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
I am a musician, multi-instrumentalist (main the electric guitar), producer, teacher and composer from Brazil. My main genre is Jazz/Jazz Fusion, but I do play/produce/write/ for other genres. I will not lie and say I am the best guitar player or the best producer or the best teacher. But I try to be as good as I can in all the fields inside the music. If there is an instrument, I want to play it. If there is a subject, I want to teach it and make you understand. If there is some arrangement to be done, hey, here I am. Writing charts, producing, composing, performing (many different instruments and sometimes two at the same time), teaching, transcribing, writing charts, arranging. Anything, anything at all I will do. I believe this is what is strong in me. I am virtuoso on my main instrument and I can be virtuoso in any other field inside the music.
Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
My father is the first one. Again, he is the reason why I am what I am today. Heraldo Paarmaan was one of my innumerable teachers that made the difference in my music education. Agnes Tamas, a friend who coached me in my life and career. Because of her, this whole US idea came and I kept pursuing and never gave up. Of course, my mom. Always teaching me how to be a better person, helping me in hard moments. My whole family always supported me, so they are people who made me be what I am today. Chris Kapica, CCM’s Dean (California College of Music). This guy believed in me and made me push myself to become a better musician and person. I have learned so much from him that I feel he is a Wikipedia of music. There were more people I just can’t remember right now, but I would like to thank everybody who passed in my life and somehow helped me to be a better musician and person.
- I do teach private music lessons. Any instrument, any subject (ear training, theory, harmony, rhythm). I charge $50 per class
- Website: http://bcunha1000.wixsite.com/brunocunha
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: http://instagram.com/brunocunhamusic/
- Facebook: http://facebook.com/bcesarcunha
- Other: http://youtube.com/bcunha1000
Pics by Victor Cunha and Athilla Levi