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Carlinhos Pandeiro de Ouro

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Carlinhos Pandeiro de Ouro is a master of the *pandeiro*, a rhythm instrument similar to a tambourine that is the national instrument of his native Brazil. He performs, records and teaches extensively. 2011, photograph by Alan Govenar
Carlinhos Pandeiro de Ouro, Santa Monica, California, photograph by Roger Poirer
Carlinhos Pandeiro de Ouro competing for the Golden Tambourine award, Brazil, 1966, courtesy Carlinhos Pandeiro de Ouro
Carlinhos Pandeiro de Ouro with the biggest *pandeiro* in the world, Brazil, 1967, courtesy Carlinhos Pandeiro de Ouro
Carlinhos Pandeiro de Ouro, Sylvia's Samba Show poster, Sweden, 1970, courtesy Roger Poirer
Carlinhos Pandeiro de Ouro and Sylvia Vrethammar, Hotel Gloria, Brazil, 1970, courtesy Roger Poirer
Carlinhos Pandeiro de Ouro performing with Trio Pandeiro de Ouro, Sweden, 1970, courtesy Carlinhos Pandeiro de Ouro
Carlinhos Pandeiro de Ouro signing his *pandeiro* for Liza Minelli, Carnaval, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 1972, Courtesy Carlinhos Pandeiro de Ouro
Carlinhos Pandeiro de Ouro and Swedish pop star Sylvia Vrethammar, Sweden, 1972, courtesy Carlinhos Pandeiro de Ouro
Carlinhos Pandeiro de Ouro, news article about Sylvia's Samba Show, Sweden, 1973, courtesy Carlinhos Pandeiro de Ouro
Carlinhos Pandeiro de Ouro, news article about Sylvia's Samba Show, Sweden, 1973, courtesy Carlinhos Pandeiro de Ouro
Carlinhos Pandeiro de Ouro with Sylvia Vrethammar, Ed Thigpen and fellow musicians, Sweden, 1974, courtesy Carlinhos Pandeiro de Ouro
Carlinhos Pandeiro de Ouro playing a *cuica* drum at a jazz festival, Norway, 1974, courtesy Carlinhos Pandeiro de Ouro
Carlinhos Pandeiro de Ouro, *Globo* newspaper article, 1977, courtesy Carlinhos Pandeiro de Ouro
Carlinhos Pandeiro de Ouro album cover photo, Ipanema, Brazil, 1980, courtesy Carlinhos Pandeiro de Ouro
Carlinhos Pandeiro de Ouro and a friend, courtesy Carlinhos Pandeiro de Ouro
Carlinhos Pandeiro de Ouro posing at a publicity photo shoot on Ipanema Beach, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 1981, courtesy Carlinhos Pandeiro de Ouro
Carlinhos Pandeiro de Ouro during Mangueira Carnaval parade, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil, 1981, courtesy Carlinhos Pandeiro de Ouro
Carlinhos Pandeiro de Ouro parading with Mangueira during Carnaval, Brasil, 1982, Courtesy Carlinhos Pandeiro de Ouro
Carlinhos Pandeiro de Ouro on Mangueira hill, for a *Globo* newspaper photo shoot, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 1994, courtesy Carlinhos Pandeiro de Ouro
Carlinhos Pandeiro de Ouro demonstrating *tamborim* technique, Santa Monica, California, 2008, photograph by Roger Poirier
Carlinhos Pandeiro de Ouro, Santa Monica, California, 2008, photograph by Roger Poirier
Carlinhos Pandeiro de Ouro, Santa Monica, California, 2008, photograph by Roger Poirier
Carlinhos Pandeiro de Ouro performing with Vinicius Moreira and Fernando Ebano in Santa Monica, California, 2008, photograph by Roger Poirier
Carlinhos Pandeiro de Ouro and a young percussion student, Summer Night Lights program, Los Angeles, 2009, photograph by Roger Poirier
Carlinhos Pandeiro de Ouro and Simon Carroll teaching percussion for the Summer Night Lights program, Los Angeles, 2009, photograph by Roger Poirier
Carlinhos Pandeiro de Ouro encounters his friend, renowned percussionist Alex Acuña, at NAMM 2010, photograph by Roger Poirier

When he was 7 years old in his hometown of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Carlinhos de Oliveira began beating on his mother’s cake pans. Soon he was playing the pandeiro, Brazil’s national instrument, which is similar to a tambourine, and in time changed his name to Carlinhos Pandeiro de Ouro. The pandeiro can be tuned, and a master player can make it sound like a drum set. Carlinhos visited the favelas, Rio’s poor and working-class neighborhoods, home to the performing associations known as samba schools. He saw many classic performers and recalls watching Ruso do Pandeiro, who had played with Carmen Miranda, spinning his pandeiro on his fingers.

At the invitation of the legendary singer Jamelão, the young musician became a member of the highly regarded Mangueira School when he was about 14. Carlinhos became skilled at juggling, known as malabarismo, and other techniques. He raised the bar for pandeiro players performing in the spectacular annual Carnaval parade. Soon he turned professional and worked with Rio’s top musicians and composers.

Carlinhos drew international attention when, in 1966, he won a national contest to find Brazil’s best pandeiro player, beating out 500 other contestants for the Golden Tambourine award. Since then, he was been known as Carlinhos Pandeiro de Ouro—Carlos of the Golden Tambourine. He has represented his country in performances before the Japanese and Swedish royal families and in a command performance for England’s Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip. He has performed in additional films and on Brazilian television and has appeared internationally with such acclaimed musicians as Herbie Mann, Sergio Mendes, Sadao Watanabe, Ed Thigpen, Toots Thielmans, Martinho de Vila, Beth Carvalho and Maria Bethania.

In the 1970s, Carlinhos spent six months of each year touring the European music circuit, both as an accompanist and with his group, Trio Pandeiro de Ouro. After marrying an American singer in 1983, he moved to Hawaii. While there, he teamed up with a Japanese taiko group and helped the drummers incorporate Brazilian rhythms into their music. They performed together with the Tokyo Symphony. In 2002, he relocated to Los Angeles. While continuing to perform widely and to participate in the Mangueira Carnival in Brazil, he teaches at the 18th Street Arts Complex in Santa Monica, California, and at California Brazil Camp, near Cazadero, each year. A 2006 master musician’s grant from the Durfee Foundation supported work with apprentices.

Carlinhos plays a number of instruments, but his primary means of expression is the pandeiro. He is also a fine craftsman who makes Brazilian instruments by hand.

Discography
Asmussen/Thigpen Quartet. Resource. CD Stunt 637386.
Weisman, Alan. Liminality. CD Cavallino Music LimREC018.

Filmography
Pandeiro de Ouro, Carlinhos. How to Play Pandeiro. Paws Films Studios. DVD 293152.

Watch

Carlinhos Pandeiro de Ouro, courtesy National Endowment for the Arts and Carlinhos Pandeiro de Ouro

Carlinhos Pandeiro de Ouro rehearsing with advanced students, courtesy National Endowment for the Arts and Carlinhos Pandeiro de Ouro


Carlinhos Pandeiro de Ouro, 'Para Quem Pode,' courtesy National Endowment for the Arts and Carlinhos Pandeiro de Ouro

Carlinhos Pandeiro de Ouro, interviewed by Nicholas R. Spitzer, 2011 National Heritage Fellowship Concert, Bethesda, Maryland, courtesy National Endowment for the Arts


Carlinhos Pandeiro de Ouro, interviewed by Nicholas R. Spitzer, 2011 National Heritage Fellowship Concert, Bethesda, Maryland, courtesy National Endowment for the Arts

Carlinhos Pandeiro de Ouro, interviewed by Nicholas R. Spitzer, 2011 National Heritage Fellowship Concert, Bethesda, Maryland, courtesy National Endowment for the Arts


Carlinhos Pandeiro de Ouro, 2011 National Heritage Fellowship Concert, Bethesda, Maryland, courtesy National Endowment for the Arts

Listen

Carlinhos Pandeiro de Ouro answers the question 'What is a pandeiro [tambourine]?' Telephone interview by Alan Govenar, July 19, 2011

Carlinhos Pandeiro de Ouro answers the question 'When did you start playing the pandeiro?' Telephone interview by Alan Govenar, July 19, 2011

Carlinhos Pandeiro de Ouro talks about rhythms and the history of samba, telephone interview by Alan Govenar, July 19, 2011

Carlinhos Pandeiro de Ouro talks about his performance style, telephone interview by Alan Govenar, July 19, 2011