The multi instrumentalist Renato Martins, born in Rio and brought up in Sao Paulo, started to play percussion and piano when he was just four years old. His musical education started at six with maestro Silvio Tancredi, progressing on to study drums and piano concentrating on Brazilian popular music at Zimbo Trio’s School, The CLAM. He also studied classical piano with Professor Leda Maria Chacur Alves, as well as harmony, composition and conducting at Santa Marcelina Arts University.
Renato was self-taught in a majority of his percussion techniques and created new techniques (melodically) for traditional instruments, for example, the moringa (clay pot). He is also known to have applied kitchen utensils as percussion instruments and has been considered a renewer of the Brazilian percussion by the specialized media.
Between 1994 and 1996 he lived in England and played with the tabla player Sarvar Sabri, the sax player Andy Hamilton and other big names of jazz and ethnic music in the country. He participated in festivals like: “Womad” and “The Birmingham Jazz Festival”. He also played at The Queen Elizabeth Hall in London with the percussionist Nana Tsiboe from Ghana.
In 1998, back in Brazil, Renato Martins was the only percussionist to reach the semi finals in the 1st Visa Award of Instrumental Brazilian Popular Music. Since then he worked in collaboration with famous Brazilian artists like: Duda Neves, Sergio Sa, Moacyr Luz, Sa & Guarabyra, Tom Da Terra e Paulo Moura.
Renato Martins is also a musical educator and taught percussion at the 30th and 31st Winter Festivals of Campos do Jordao (July 1999 and 2000). He also teaches privately and does regular workshops at Music Schools and runs percussion courses.
He played at the Heineken Concerts in 2000 beside Andre Cristhovam and the American guitarist Taj Mahal and carried on playing beside some of the big names of the Brazilian instrumental music like: Andre Geraissati, Ulisses Rocha, Nelson Faria, Carlinhos Antunes, Mozart Mello, Roberto Sion, Celso Pixinga, Andre Mehmari and Celio Barros.
In 2003 Renato Martins launched his first solo CD, “Indaia”. The album was celebrated by the media experts and it was released at the most prestigious venue of instrumental music in Brazil, the Instrumental Sesc Brasil, broadcasted by the cable channel Rede Sesc-Senac de Televisao with a big audience.
Renato Martins is based in Brussels since 2004 promoting his solo album and working with several names of the Belgium jazz scene like: Steve Houben, Victor da Costa, Henri Greindl, Daniel Stokart, Daniel Miranda, Maxime Blesín and Osman Martins. He has played at some important venues of Brussels like The Music Village, Theatre Marni, and Theatre Moličre.
He also played with the Armenian group ARAX at the project “Le Monde est un Village”. The concert took place at Theatre 140 and was broadcasted by the TV channel RTBF.
He also played in India at the Sai Baba’s birthday celebration and played in London beside the saxophonist Martin Speake.
He plays with the Boris Gaquere & Renato Martins Duo (CD "Tempo Feliz" on Mogno music).