Henrique De Almeida

Associate Professor
617 747-6238

"I make a living playing the drums, so I play a lot of different things. I didn't plan this. If you have to pay rent and survive playing music, I think you get good real quick. Since it was really a necessity, I couldn't say no to gigs. That's how I started."

"I've played Afro-Cuban music with some of the greatest Afro-Cuban musicians, like Giovanni Hidalgo, Hilton Ruiz, and Dave Valentin. I played in Brazil, of course, and I toured with a lot of the Brazilian pop artists there. Then I came to Berklee and played big band with Phil Wilson and Wayne Naus here and ended up touring with some of the best jazz big bands in the country, such as the USAFA Falconaires. I played funk with James Brown's bass player for a while, Jimmie Moore. Then I got heavily interested in rock, jazz, and fusion and performed with some of my favorite fusion artists, such Steve Hunt, Baron Brown, Matt Garrison, Bill Summers, and others. I went to New Orleans and played a lot of Delta blues. So I was very lucky to play the different styles with people that have some sort of ownership of the music."

"There is a thread in this music. What they have in common is these little rhythmic cells, things that are actually from Africa and other ancient places. This is in Brazilian music, in Afro-Cuban music. It's in calypso, it's in New Orleans music. So there is a little musical DNA that's in all of them. It's like cooking. If you understand what curry does, what salt does, what pepper does, what garlic does, what olive oil does, you can play with food. I tell that to my students in every class: I don't want them to play rhythms; I want them to play with the rhythms."

Career Highlights

 

  • M.M., music performance, University of Southern Mississippi
  • B.M, jazz composition, Berklee College of Music
  • Performed for two presidents of the United States, a vice president, and a secretary of defense
  • Toured or recorded with Steve Hunt, Nat Adderley, Bill Cosby, Antonio Hart, Christopher Holiday, Donny McCaslin, Chris Speed, Igor Butman, Dave Valentin, Scotty Barnhart, Tiger Okoshy, Larry Coryell, Jeff Berlin, and many more
  • Served in many different capacities with the military, including recording and touring  nationally and internationally with the United States Air Force PA Band Program
  • Artist and clinician for Yamaha Drums, LP Percussion, Vic Firth Sticks, Paiste Cymbals, HQ Pads, Evans Drumheads, and Earthworks Microphones
  • Works with some of the biggest names in the TV industry and commercial world, including HBO, Victoria's Secret, and David Jones department stores
  • Performances at the prestigious Carnegie Hall and tours all over the the world
  • Writes articles for Modern Drummer magazine
  • Performs at PASIC conventions and numerous jazz festivals around the world