Itaiguara Mariano Brandão (born October 31, 1968) is a New York City-based recording artist and bassist/guitarist. A native of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Brandão has toured internationally and recorded extensively with a wide range of Latin and World Music artists such as: Dom Salvador, Marcos Valle, Chuck Loeb, Angelique Kidjo, Bebel Gilberto, Paulo Braga, Randy Brecker, Paul Winter, Paquito D'Rivera, Claudio Roditi, Carlos "Patato" Valdes, Robin Eubanks, Jovino Santos-Neto, Dave Kikoski, Emílio Santiago, Elba Ramalho, Guilherme Arantes, Romero Lubambo, Vinicius Cantuária, Horacio Hernandez, Hugo Fattoruso, Paula Morelenbaum, and Jacques Schwarz-Bart, among many others. He has recorded on major labels such as Sony BMG as well as on numerous independent labels. Brandão has been one of the most sought-after Brazilian bassists in the Northeast and freelance musicians in the United States, having completed nearly 6,000 performances in the past 20 years.
A product of musical influences as diverse as traditional samba, progressive rock (Yes, Rush), flamenco (Paco de Lucía) jazz (John Coltrane, Branford Marsalis, Herbie Hancock) and pop, Brandão's upbringing was steeped in a rich musical fabric. He began studying piano and music theory at the age of 7 and by age 13 he was playing classical, chorinho and other Brazilian styles on acoustic guitar and electric bass. He made his professional debut performance in Rio at the age of 15.
Itaiguara Brandão attended Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA and studied jazz improvisation with the legendary Charlie Banacos and arranging with Mike Longo (Dizzy Gillespie's music director for 9 years). He was awarded a Berklee Achievement Scholarship for musical excellence in 1995 and graduated summa cum laude in 1997. Brandão also holds a degree in Telecommunications Engineering from Pontifícia Universidade Católica (PUC) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (1991).
Brandão is a contributor to the educational book/CD "Inside the Brazilian Rhythm Section," by Nelson Faria/Cliff Korman - a guide for bassists, guitarists, pianists and drummers on the eight most dominant styles of Brazilian music: samba, bossa nova, partido alto, choro, baiao, frevo, marcha-rancho and afoxé. (Publisher: Sher Music, 2005)
Itaiguara Brandão served as musical director for the Paulo Braga Band from 1999 to 2003. The creator, Paulo Braga, is known as the father of Brazilian drums. Braga played with Antonio Carlos Jobim for fifteen years and is currently part of The Jobim Trio.
Brandão was awarded a permanent resident visa issued by the US government to foreign artists with extraordinary abilities. The name Itaiguara [ee-tahy-gwahr-uh] has its roots in an indigenous dialect of Brazil and roughly translates to "water that flows from the stone."
1996 Bambule - Mas Que La Fuerza
1997 Sublimes - Sublimes
1998 AnaLu - Guerreira
2000 Vera Mara and Paul Meyers - Brasil & Company
2001 Nelson Faria and Cliff Korman - Inside The Brazilian Rhythm Section
2002 Suzy Schwartz - Vento
2003 Helio Alves and Cadence Trio - Yatrata
2004 Cidinho Teixeira and Friends - Live At Zinc Bar
2006 Susan Pereira and Sabor Brasil - Tudo Azul
2006 Florian Poser's Brazilian Experience - Live In Berlin
2007 Vera Mara/Cidinho Teixeira - Luz Maior
2007 Vanderlei Pereira - Live At Zinc Bar
2008 Portinho Trio - Vinho Do Porto
2008 Gina and The Hahas - You Are The Lady
2009 Yoham Ortiz - Yoham Ortiz Concept
2009 Be - Mistura Natural
2009 Yuko Ito - Mania de Voce
2009 Mauricio Zottarelli - 7 Lives
2010 Oriente Lopez - Aguas Profundas
2010 Dom Salvador - The Art Of Samba Jazz
2011 Eliano Braz - Eliano Braz and Rabeca do Forro
2015 Itaiguara - Awakening