Pedro Abrunhosa (born December 20, 1960) is a Portuguese singer, musician and songwriter. Aside from his music, he is known for always wearing sunglasses in public. Abrunhosa also played himself in the 1999 film La Lettre. He is an active spokesman for the Associação Fonográfica Portuguesa regarding Copyright infringement on the Internet.
Abrunhosa was born in Porto, Portugal. After studying at the Ruvina Music School, in 1972 he began his musical studies at the Music School of Porto, under the guidance of Professors Álvaro Salazar and Jorge Peixinho, in the subjects of Analysis, Composition, and History of Music, having already initiated his studies in the double bass. (He has often been approached by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation to attend and participate in the Meetings of Contemporary Music in that same institution.)
Once admitted into the "Conservatório de Música do Porto", he studied musical composition under the direction of Professor Cândido Lima. At that time, he was invited to take part in the Madrid Contemporary Music Group, under the direction of Spanish composer Enrique X. Macias. This afforded him the opportunity to take part in a series of shows performed in Portugal and Spain. In 1981, he received a diploma for the Courses of Musical Pedagogy from Polish Professor Jos Wuytack.
In 1984, he went to Madrid to study with double-bass player Todd Coolman and with musicians Joe Hunt, Wallace Rooney, Gerry Nyewood and Steve Brown. In that same year, he finished the General Course of Composition in the “Conservatório de Música do Porto” and started studying double-bass with Alejandro Erlich Oliva.
In 1985, returning to Spain, he took part in the International Jazz Seminar, and worked again with Todd Coolman, Billy Hart, Bill Dobbins, Dave Schnitter, Jack Walrath and Steve Brown. In that same year, together with Spanish guitar player Joaquin Iglesias, he founded the quartet “Banda de Bolso”.
In 1986, he returned to Spain to participate in the third International Jazz Seminar in Seville where he played with Bob Moses, Chip Jackson, Brad Hartfield, Hoku Kim and Stan Strickland. In Portugal, later that year, he participated in the Seminars of Direction and Interpretation of the Big Band. He was chosen as the double-bass player of the newly formed orchestra. He also participated in two other Jazz Seminars with Danish saxophonist John Tchicai and bassist Peter Danstrup and the American musicians Paul Motion, Bill Frisell, and Joe Lovano.
In 1987, he worked with David Liebman, Billy Hart, Ron Mclure and Richard Beirach in Barcelona. For one year, he taught double-bass at the Jazz School of Hot-Club in Lisbon. He also directed and produced the program “Até Jazz” in the “Rádio Clube do Porto”. Later on, he joined Boulou Ferré, Ramon Cardo, Frankie Rose, Vicent Penasse and Tommy Halferty and extensively toured Portugal and throughout Europe. Additionally, he joined the Teacher’s Quartet of Hot-Club of Portugal and Carlos Martin’s Quartet.
He composed and recorded the music for the films "Amour en Latin", directed by Serge Abramovic, "Adão e Eva" directed by Joaquim Leitão, and "Novo Mundo". He was awarded Best Soundtrack at the Madrid Film Festivalfor the latter . He also composed the music for the theatrical pieces “Possessos de Amor”, “A Teia”, and “O Aniversário da Infanta” (Oscar Wilde). He composed the soundtrack to the video “150 Anos do Bonfim”.
He co-founded the Jazz School of Porto, where he taught Harmony, Auditive Training and Group Music, during three years. He assembled and has conducted the orchestra of the Jazz School of Porto, concomitantly, composing most of its arrangements.
He was a teacher at the Higher Arts School of Porto (Cine-Video area), where lectured on the Formation and Analysis of the Soundtrack and at the Caius Music School on Group Music and Musical Production.
He formed and directed the Cool Jazz Orchestra, a musical group essentially devoted to Rhythm & Blues. After three years of intense work it became "Pedro Abrunhosa e a Máquina do Som", performing original pieces, all of which were composed by Pedro Abrunhosa.
He attained triple platinum, a challenging achievement in the Portuguese market, with over 160,000 copies sold of “Viagens”, as well as performing over 120 concerts across Portugal, the United States, Brazil, Macau, Spain, Luxembourg, France, and Italy, amongst others. It is estimated that he performed before a million spectators.
Under the band name "Pedro Abrunhosa e os Bandemónio", the album F was released. A book illustrating the adventures and trips of the group was also released. The book enjoyed the collaboration of two prestigious individuals in the literary and photographic worlds, respectively: Nuno Galopim and Kenton Thatcher. (www.kentonthatcher.com)
In December 1994, the American music magazine "Billboard" gave him front page billing, sparking the start of his international career.
In September 1996, he went to Memphis and Minneapolis where he finished the final phase of mixing and mastering of his second album. It was recorded in Porto, Lisbon, Memphis, and Minneapolis. The final mixing process, as well as a substantial portion of the rhythm and voice recording were supervised by Tom Tucker, technical director of Paisley Park and chief engineer on Prince’s latest albums.
Supported by his label - PolyGram - he invited The New Power Generation Horns to collaborate on this album, formed by Kathy Jensen, Kenni Holmen, Michael Nelson, David Jensen, Steve Strand, Ricky Peterson and Paul Peterson (these last two being Prince’s keyboard player and bassist). He also collaborated with Ozzie Melendez (Tower of Power), Carlos do Carmo, Opus Ensemble, and Rui Veloso. “Tempo” (“Time”), was launched at midnight on November 11, 1996. After its first week on the shelves, the album went double platinum with more than 200,000 copies sold in Portugal.
He started his new tour “Tempo Tour 97/98”, with concerts across Portugal, as well as in France, Canada, Switzerland, Brazil, and the United States. In order to further the internationalization of his work, he went to Madrid, Paris, and London to record some of “Tempo” tracks in Spanish, French, and English.
In May of that same year, he returned to London, to film the video “No Way”, with the collaboration of Tony Vanden Ende.
He composed the music and authored the script for the musical “O Rapaz de Papel” (“The Paper Boy”), presented to the public in March 1998, integrated into “O Festival dos Cem Dias” (The Hundred Day Festival") and preceding the opening of Expo 98.
He produced the solo debut album by vocalist Diana Basto, Amanhecer (“Dawning”), published by PolyGram. He was responsible for the lyrics and music. It was recorded together with Tom Tucker, and was mixed and mastered in Minneapolis and Los Angeles.
Invited by Expo 98, he performed his show at the Sony Plaza in September. It was the only performance from Portugal's Expo 98 which was broadcast all over the world.
He was later invited to participate in the Manuel de Oliveira film, “La Lettre” (“The Letter”), together with Chiara Mastroianni and Françoise Fabian, where he undertook the leading role. The film was awarded the Prix du Jury in the 1999 Cannes Film Festival.
He produced his third album of originals Silence, finished in November 1999, which includes the presence of Caetano Veloso’s percussionists, Nina Miranda (of Smoke City) and the strings section usually used by Radiohead and dEUS.
He won four Blitz Awards: Record of the Year, Artist of the Year, Best Song, and Best Group. A Bordalo, an award given by the press; a Globo de Ouro ("Golden Globe") awarded for the song “Se Eu Fosse Um Dia O Teu Olhar”; and five Nova Era Radio awards, given by radio stations and institutions.
In 1999, he gave a number of lectures throughout Portugal, mostly in libraries, schools, and universities, on topics related to artistic production and creation, literature, music and cinema. Some of lectures were published.
In 2002, he performed two shows at the Cultural Center of Belém, after a one year hiatus. “Intimidade” was received favorably by the critics and public alike. The show, backed by IPAE, toured Portugal and proved to be an artistic and box-office success.
His latest album, Momento, was written and composed solely by him. It has the participation of the Helicon String Quartet. Manoel de Oliveira, the famous Portuguese director, directed the short film "Momento", as a video for the first single and title track off the album.
In Portugal, Momento reached double platinum, and was the most played album on radio. Pedro Abrunhosa released the album in Brazil through Universal, with the participation of local artists such as Zélia Duncan, Lenine, Sandra de Sá, and Adriana Calcanhoto. (His songs are performed in Brazil by a number of artists such as Elba Ramalho, Zeca Baleiro, Sandra Sá, and Rio Soul or Syang, among others.)
His first DVD, Intimidade went double platinum in just 2 weeks.
Currently, he is recording and preparing the release of his new album, along with a tour that will run through Portugal, Brazil, Italy, Germany and Switzerland. He is a standing board member of the Portuguese Authors Society.
Since April 12, 2010, his album "Longe" (meaning "Far away") is available in the stores, time when it was also released its latest website - http://www.abrunhosa.com/. The appearance of the site is modified according to the time of the day when you visit it, accompanied by sound effects adapted to time and place that the background images evoke. It was a project developed by two companies of Oporto (Portugal): Basepoint (Development) - http://www.basepoint.pt - and Campo Visual (Design) - http://www.campovisual.com -.
Pedro Abrunhosa is guarded about his personal life.
- Pedro Abrunhosa official website