Geraldo de Oliveira


Geraldo de Oliveira is a self taught musician who started playing percussion professionally at the age of fourteen in his hometown Belo Horizonte, Brazil. Before moving to the United States in 1975, he had already established himself as a prominent percussionist and bandleader who performed a diverse range of styles. In the U.S. he continued to develop his skills as a musician and an educator, performing, recording, and studying at the American Conservatory of Music under Mr. James Dutton. Geraldo has been privileged to work with artists from around the world in both concert and recording settings. His percussion expertise is featured on hundreds of radio and television commercials produced in Chicago, his adopted hometown.

Geraldo has recorded with major Chicago artists including Ramsey Lewis, Judy Roberts, Linda Clifford, Rich Fudoli, Bobby Lewis, Guy Fricano, Gene Chandler, The Chi Lites, Lesley Spencer, Scott Anderson, Chévere, Don Stiernberg, Robin Lukas, Paulinho Garcia, Grazyna Auguscikand others. He was a guest artist on the last album that Buddy Rich recorded in Chicago. On-stage performances include engagements with  the John Mayal Band, Band of Joes, Chévere, Airto Moreira, Flora Purim, Toninho Horta, Barbara Eden, Vic Damone, Aretha Franklin, Yma Sumac, and the Lakeside Singers .

Geraldo’s most recent recording projects include Bob Lewis' "Just for Fun", Sergio Pires' "Umbigo",
Mike Ferro's "Ferro sings Django", Scott Anderson’s “Batizado”, Spider Sallof’s “Like Glass", Band of Joes’ “A Sense of Fairness”, Lesley Spender’s “Postcards from Spain”, Bobby Schiff’s “Late Game”,
John Carlini’s "Further Adventures”, Don Stiernberg’s “Unseasonably Cool”, and Don Stiernberg’s just-released “Home Cooking”.

Geraldo is a guest faculty member for the Birch Creek Music Center in Door County (Wisconsin), a percussion instructor for the Music Institute of Chicago, one of Ravinia’s Jazz Mentors, percussion instructor for Ravinia’s Illumination Program, and performer/instructor for the "University of Chicago Presents” program, sponsored by the University of Chicago and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. As a jazz mentor for Ravinia, he performs with the Mentors Ensemble under the direction of Willie Pickens and conducts weekly Brazilian percussion master classes in many Chicago public high schools.

In 2006, Geraldo returned to Brazil to study contemporary styles of Brazilian music/percussion. In
Rio de Janeiro he studied under Lucas Siavatta, creator of the music method “O Passo” ( masters Durval Ferreira (Northeastern Brazilian Rhythms), Odilon Costa (Rio Street Samba), and Marcos Suzano (Pandeiro).

Geraldo is also a free lance sound engineer/producer and the owner of Cathedral Recording.