Marcos Della Rocha
Photo credit: © Stefan Liebich
Marcos Della Rocha, born in 1986 in São Paulo, began playing drums on his own at the age of 10. He grew up in an environment where a lot of music was available in the form of records and audio cassettes, and he started playing drums like most drummers. Marcos assembled his first "kit" from jars, plastic boxes and metal pieces. It was in 1997, when his family moved to the interior of the state, to Vinhedo, that he received his first drum kit as a birthday present. At first, rock and grunge were the first styles he explored, then he turned to the sound of Chuck Berry, the Beatles, Nirvana and Pearl Jam. Before long, Marcos became interested in Brazilian pop-rock, as well as MPB. He learned on records by Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil, Alceu Valença, Secos e Molhados, but it was João Barone, drummer of Paralamas do Sucesso, who had the greatest influence at the beginning of his apprenticeship. Marcos has also always been interested in Brazilian percussion. Accompanying his parents in amateur samba circles, he began to learn the basic patterns of pandeiro and tamborim. But it was in 2000 that he deepened his knowledge of this instrumentation.
Due to an operation on his right foot, Marcos was unable to play drums for a year. So he deepened his studies of the pandeiro with Marcos Suzano as a basis. The same year he joined the group "Trombada Auê", which toured in the Campinas region (São Paulo). The band mixed progressive rock with Brazilian rhythms, which introduced him to this genre. Since then, he started listening to and exploring the world of Yes, King Crimson, Gentle Giant, Willy Verdaguer and Humahuaca, Mutantes and other groups in the same style.
He went through a period of technical difficulties in accompanying his new idols (including Bill Bruford). His brother Daniel Rocha and Carlos Bauzys, a member of the band he played in, persuaded him to study music formally. In 2004, he joined the Dr. Carlos de Campos de Tatuí Conservatory of Musical Dramatic Art, where he studied symphonic percussion with Agnaldo Silva and Javier Cesares. The following year, he enrolled in the percussion course at the State University of Campinas Unicamp.
During the following five years, Marcos Della Rocha participated in several projects of contemporary percussion and instrumental music groups, Brazilian jazz, among other songwriter projects. Among them, GRUPU - percussion group Unicamp, Coletivo Orquestral Unicamp, Quarteto Sinapse, Alexei e a Banda Toda, Tambaleio, Cumpay Tumbao, Orquestra Heartbreakers, Banda Montuno, Trio Tarrason, among others. During his studies, interest in improvisation grew and Marcos began his formal jazz studies with Pepa D'Elia (Toquinho, Roberto Menescal, Dominguinhos, Gilberto Gil among others).
From 2010 to 2011, Marcos also performed on the musical theatre scene, participating in the edition of scores for shows such as Chicago, Xanadú, Alô Dolly and A Gaiola das Loucas, playing the role of drummer and repetiteur of the orchestra in the latter. In 2011 he made his international debut in France and Italy with the João Silveira Quartet. The following year, he also played at the Ubud Village Jazz Festival in Bali, Indonesia, with the Trio Ventura.
In 2015, Marcos moved to Ghent, Belgium, to continue his jazz drumming studies, following the jazz program of the Royal Conservatory of Ghent, under the direction of Toon Van Dionant, Arnoud Gerritse and Lander Gyselinck. Once in Belgium, he joined projects such as Eclectiv, P'Tit Cons with Bart Maris, Bossa Flor, Sevenz, Laughing Bastards, playing in festivals such as Roselare Jazz, Jazz lab series - Ronse (opening band for Dré Pallemaerts), Jazzenede 2016, Gentse Feesten 2018, Bijloke Muziek Centrum among others. Currently, Marcos is working on the release of Laughing Bastards' latest album "Unananimal" and is also working on an EP of his own quartet Hosha.
Among the projects that participate in the dynamic Bossa Flor, one is the duo SevenZ of seven-string guitars with Benoît Minon and Pierre Gillet, in which he is a percussionist (www.sevenz.be). The group revisits the Brazilian choro in its own way. Marcos joined the Sextet Bossa Flor in 2018 and participated in the recording of the EP "Feminino".