written on T. Bruce Wittet’s article on Modern Drummer Magazine USA
about the Montreal Drum Fest, “From behind the drum set, Vera
Figueiredo took the audience from the Brazilian rainforest into the
clubs and concert halls of the world. Jaws dropped at her unique
presence, approach, and distinctive licks”. And, having been nominated
by British Rhythm Magazine the “Queen of Samba”, other Brazilian
and international publications have pointed out Vera Figueiredo’s
Vera has worked hard to divulge Brazilian Music around the world by
performing in a number of festivals and giving clinics and master
classes all throughout her career, having performed in Scotland,
Northern Ireland, England, Gales, Mexico, Chile, Italy, Spain, Portugal,
Argentina and United States.
She has played as a guest in some of the greatest international drum and
percussion festivals: Percfest Memorial Naco, Drum Ladies Fest
and Italy PAS - Percussive Art Society (Italy), The Ultimate
Drummers Weekend (Australia), Mendoza International Drum Fest
(Argentina), PercuSonidos Festival Internacional de Percusiones
(Mexico), AGP Drum Event (Luxembourg), Days of Percussion
(Sweden), Drum Fest – Primer Festival Internacional de Batería y
Percusión (Chile), Cape Breton International Drum Fest
(Canada), KOSA International Drum Event and PASIC – Percussive
Arts Society Convention (USA). Brazilian festivals: PAS Brazil
Chapter, Salão da Bateria, I Encontro Percussivo REC-PEC,
Girls On Drums and Batuka! Brasil.
In Germany, Vera performed at Musikmesse Frankfurt, Dresdner
Drum Festival, and Drumtrainer / PAC – Percussion Art Center,
alongside percussionist Dudu Tucci. In Spain, she played at La Rioja
Drumming Festival, sharing the stage with Tommy Aldridge, Ray Luzier,
Aquiles Priester, among others; in Portugal, with drummer Carlos Sobral;
giving classes, master classes and clinics. In Brazil, she has played in
São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto, Adamantina, Ipatinga, São João da Boa Vista,
Salto, João Pessoa, Curitiba, Porto Alegre, Natal, Brasília, Ponta
Grossa, Santo André, Limeira and Rio de Janeiro, besides the SESC
unities in Itaquera, Jundiaí, Osasco, Sorocaba and Ribeirão Preto.
As a member of the Avon Orchestra, playing with Diana King (USA),
and renowned Brazilian artists such as Zélia Duncan, Milton Nascimento,
Rita Lee, Leila Pinheiro and Margareth Menezes.
With the third album of her career, the Vera Cruz Island, she
revealed herself living a moment of maturity as a drummer and composer.
“Vera Cruz Island is like a photo album of Vera’s soul: intense, full of
beautiful landscapes and very passionate towards her art!” - Régis Tadeu
(Batera e Percussão Brazilian magazine). “Your drumming is so
powerful and full of tradition.” – Ken Micallef (Modern Drummer
magazine - USA). Based on this album, the play-along book Vera Cruz
Island – Brazilian Rhythms for Drumset was released by Hudson Music.
The book has worldwide distribution and is also available on e-book
format. Vera first two albums were Vera Figueiredo & Convidados
and From Brasil.
A DVD with Vera’s instructional videos, Ritmos Afro-Brasileiros
(Afro-Brazilian Rhythms) and Influência Afro-Cubana (Afro-Cuban
Influence) was released with English subtitles. She’s also released the
DVD Os 40 Rudimentos (The 40 Rudiments). Her performance can also
be checked in The Ultimate Drummers Weekend 11th Birthday DVD,
along with Thomas Lang, John Blackwell Jr., Jimmy DeGrasso, Andrew
Gander, Gustavo Meli and other world-class drummers. The festival is
held in Melbourne, Australia.
In 1990, Vera founded the IBVF – Instituto de Bateria Vera Figueiredo,
which became one of the most important drum and Brazilian percussion
schools in Brazil. IBVF is located in the capital of São Paulo
state. A couple of years later, Vera created the IBVF Produções,
an agency dedicated to produce music events. One of these events is
Batuka! Brasil, which appears on the list of the most remarkable
world drum and percussion festivals. The festival has been held in São
Paulo city since its first edition, in 1996. Batuka! Brasil has
had fifteen editions and two album releases with artists who played at
the festival, as well as winners of the National Drummers Contest/Batuka!
Masters, which is part of the event lineup.
Vera Figueiredo was on the cover of the #119 Modern Drummer Brazil,
the #143 Batera & Percussão and #4 Eco magazines, as well
as #106 Modern Drummer Brazil, in this case alongside Damien
Schmitt, Dom Famularo and Robby Ameen. This edition’s cover story was
recorded with a Brazilian electric guitar quartet featuring Herald
Paarmann (Former Ultraje a Rigor Band). She also performed in São Paulo
and Vila Velha cities, during the Sabian Brazilian Tour along with Dom
From 2000 to 2015, Vera Figueiredo was a member of the TV show Altas
Horas band (Globo channel). Despite the band don’t make part of the
TV Show anymore, the band keeps performing as Garotas do Programa
Vera has written articles for Modern Drummer Brazil Magazine, and
has currently been performing her solo concert project called
Brasileira, with Vera Figueiredo Trio. This concert is a
preview of the album Vera has been working on. It was registered on
video and published online when performed at the Anchieta Theater (SESC
Consolação), in São Paulo city. The concert was also held in other SESCs
unities, in Campinas, Sorocaba, Ribeirão Preto and Jundiaí.
In 2016, she travelled to Sardinia, Montesilvano/Pescara (PAS Italy) and
Lavagna, Italy, to give clinics and masterclasses about Brazilian
In 2017, she performed as guest in the following events, which took
place in Santa Catarina, Brasil: Sabian Day Brasil, TUM Sound
Festival and 20th Festival de Música de Itajaí.
Vera Figueiredo was the curator of SESC Osasco Project, Ecos Musicais
(Musical Echoes) for one year. The goal of this Project is to stimulate
the production of original music from new artists based in this city.
She participated of the documentary “100 years of jazz, the longest
impromptu of the History”, produced by the TV show Caminhos da
Reportagem and dedicated to jazz. The documentary was broadcasted by
TV Brasil Channel. To Canal Brasil channel, she was the guest of the
program O Som do Vinil, hosted by Charles Gavin. It was an episode
dedicated to the Brazilian drummer Milton Banana. Vera written and
recorded a song dedicated to him called Mr. Banana. It is one of
the Vera Cruz Island album tunes.
In 2018, Vera keeps working on spreading her knowledge about Brazilian
rhythms. She gave clinics in Catanduva and Araçatuba, both located in
São Paulo. She also was one of the jury’s members of the Hit Like a
Girl (US), a female drummers contest. She’s going to perform her "Brasileira"
concert at SESC Itaquera (June 23th) and to be one of the guests of the
III Percussão em Foco, a percussion event that will take place in
Itajai, Santa Catarina (July 15th).
In August, Vera is going to perform at the TUDW – The Ultimate
Drummers Weekend, in Melbourne, Australia, alongside renowned
drummers and percussionists, such as Benny Greb, Alex Acuña, Pete
Lockett and Dom Famularo.
Besides working as events producer, dedicate her time on composing for
her next album, as well as present her concert, Brasileira, Vera
also has played in other projects, such as Soulmates, a trio also
formed by Lito Robledo (bass) and Marcos Romera (piano), and the group
Martins, Estebez & Figueiredo, together with Paulo Martins (bass)
and Giba Estebez (keyboards). She’s also performed with the singer Sol
Alac (Argentina) and Haley Peltz (USA).