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Meet Marcelo Bucater

Today we’d like to introduce you to Marcelo Bucater.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Marcelo. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I am a drummer/percussionist from São Paulo – Brazil based in Los Angeles since 2013.

At eight years of age, I began singing and playing the keyboard at the church in the countryside of São Paulo, a city called São José do Rio Preto where I grew up. I only started to play the drums at ten years old but it took a moment until my parents enrolled me for drum lessons. They finally agreed to let me learn to drum after I broke and “crashed” all the pots and buckets my mom had at home while trying to make my own kit. From then on, I took it very seriously and I’ve always known that it was what I wanted to do professionally. After my parents realized how important that was for me, I was very fortunate to have their enduring support and encouragement to pursue my dream.

After finishing my bachelor degree in music performance in Sao Paulo and working with several Brazilian artists I decided to move to LA in 2013 to continue my studies in order to pursue an Associate of Arts degree in drum set performance at Los Angeles College of Music (LACM) and a Master’s degree in Jazz Studies at the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts).

Being versatile at playing a drum set, percussion, or a hybrid set, and learning to quickly adapt to diverse situations and musical styles have opened many doors over the last few years. These skills lead to performances with artists of different genres all over the world.

I am currently a member of the Drum Faculty at LACM in Pasadena, CA, teaching private and group lessons. I am also one of the members of the Little Brazil Trio that just released an album entitled “Vem” which I am very excited about. As a sideman, I had the chance to produce, record and perform with independent artists and renowned musicians such as Carrie Underwood for the 51st ACM Award, Adam Levy (Norah Jones), Darek Oles (Pat Metheny), Scott Henderson (Chick Corea), Philip Bynoe (Steve Vai), John Avila (Oingo Boingo), Gemini (Justin Bieber), Natalia Spadini, Andrew Murdock (Linking Park), Duques, and Phat Cat Swinger just to name a few.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Being a musician is like being constantly in a roller coaster full of ups and downs. The difficulties came from different fronts: the move to California with the challenge of the language and a tight budget. Then there’s adapting to a completely different culture, work environment, habits and being far from my family and friends. We always have at least two ways of seeing the same thing, I believe the struggles are there to make you stronger and reassure that you are on the right path, always growing from those moments. Not saying that it’s easy but there is always a lesson to be learned.

We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
I believe the best way I express myself is when I am playing, finding completely vulnerable moments where I am serving the music, totally open, translating my emotions through my art, connecting myself to that moment and improvising. I get a different result every time, and experiences that could’ve only come at that moment. I also love being an educator, having the chance to share some of the knowledge and experiences that I’ve acquired through this journey.

I don’t like calling myself a specialist in something but I definitely focused my studies over the years more in Brazilian Music, Jazz, and World Percussion.

I am constantly searching for broadening my scope, palette, and musical experiences, combining sounds and colors, while at the same time explore a path of personal discovery to hone my artistic voice and career path.

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
I was very fortunate to have a chance to study with renowned musicians such as Jeff Hamilton, Joe LaBarbera, Ralph Humphrey, Randy Gloss, Edu Ribeiro.

I am also very lucky to have an amazing and supportive wife who is also a musician (a great singer); she understands all the ups and downs in a musician life.

Can’t forget my parents and my brother who has always been there for me, supporting me in the good and bad moments.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Marco Cayres, Bruno Justi, Emanuel Giella, Deniz Bozok, Jonathan Richards

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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