Luciano Perrone

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Luciano Perrone is considered by many as the father of Brazilian drumming. He was the first to record a samba on the snare drums, and helped his longtime collaborator, Radamés Gnattali, to renovate the…
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Luciano Perrone is considered by many as the father of Brazilian drumming. He was the first to record a samba on the snare drums, and helped his longtime collaborator, Radamés Gnattali, to renovate the Brazilian orchestrating style by using more space for the drums. The son of conductor Luís Perrone and pianist Noêmia Franklin Batista Perrone, he started to take music lessons very early with his father, and, at seven, as a choir soloist, performed with Enrico Caruso and Gilda Dallarizza in the opera Lodoletta. At 14, he started to play professionally at the Cinema Odeon. Soon, he was working with consecrated names like Simon Boutman, Rafael Romano, Chamek, and, ten years later, Osvaldo Cardoso de Meneses; he performed regularly in the best cinemas, casinos, and theaters, and with the best orchestras and jazz bands. In 1927, he began to record at Odeon (followed two years later by Victor and Columbia), when he introduced the samba beat to the snare drum while recording. In 1929, he met Radamés Gnattali, with whom he would develop an important collaboration in the decades to come. In this collaboration, orchestration was innovated through the liberation of drums for embellishments through the percussive use of the orchestra. Gnattali dedicated to him "The Samba em Três Andamentos" and "Bate-Papo a Três Vozes," in which Perrone was highlighted as soloist. In 1931, he backed Sílvio Caldas in the Brasil do Amor revue, and three years later became part of the cast of the Rádio Cajuti as an orchestral member, followed by an appearance on Rádio Transmissora. He was hired by Rádio Nacional at the time of their foundation in 1936, working in virtually all formations until 1961. In 1938, he wrote "Ritmo de Samba na Cidade" for percussion and orchestra, and, in the next year, participated in the historic recording of "Aquarela do Brasil" (Ary Barroso), interpreted by Francisco Alves with arrangements by Gnattali. In 1941, he performed at the Radio Mundial (Buenos Aires, Argentina). Nine years later he was elected by popular vote in a contest for the best drummer of the year, repeating the deed in 1951 and 1952. In 1960, with Radamés and his sister, Aída Gnattali; Edu da Gaita; Chiquinho do Acordeon; José Menezes; Vidal; and Luís Bandeira, he toured Portugal, France, England, and Italy in the 3rd Caravana Oficial da Música Popular Brasileira. In Lisbon, Portugal, he performed with the local symphony and appeared on Portuguese TV. In Paris, France, he performed at the UNESCO, at the Sorbonne, and was on TV as well. In London, England, he performed at the University of Oxford, the Royal College of Art, Alhambra, and Wilgmore. In Rome, Italy, he played at the Antici Palace and was featured on Italian radio and TV. He worked at Rádio MEC from 1961 to 1968, when he retired. In 1963, he was hired by TV Excelsior and, in 1967, with his LP, Batucada Fantástica (Musidisc), won the Charles Cros Academy International Record Award. He commemorated 50 years of professional activity in 1972 by recording Batucada Fantástica, Vol. III. In 1994, he was paid tribute for his 70-year career when he retired definitively.