Mauro Refosco

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Mauro Refosco
Born Joaçaba, Santa Catarina, Brazil
Genres Alternative rock, forró, jazz, funk rock, experimental rock, IDM, electronica
Occupation(s) Musician
Instruments Percussion, marimba
Years active 1994–present
Associated acts Red Hot Chili Peppers, Atoms for Peace, Dirty Projectors, Forro in the Dark, David Byrne, Lounge Lizards, EXO-TECH

Mauro Refosco is a Brazilian percussionist. He is best known as the former recording and touring percussionist for the American rock band Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Early life and education[edit]

Refosco was born in the southern Brazilian state of Santa Catarina. He obtained a bachelor's degree in Percussion from the São Paulo State University in 1990 and moved to New York City, in 1992, to pursue additional education. He graduated from the Manhattan School of Music with a Masters in Percussion in 1994.[1][2]


After completing his masters program he started recording and performing with various American artists.

He has written and produced music for Off-Broadway productions, composed soundtracks for films and performed as a member of various bands.

Refosco is a member of the experimental supergroup Atoms for Peace and the forró band Forro in the Dark. Refosco also was briefly a member of Dirty Projectors.

Forro in the Dark[edit]

Forro in the Dark is a New York City-based group of Brazilian musicians who play a modern update on forró, a traditional music that originates from the Northeast of Brazil[3] On October 16, 2002 (Refosco's birthday), he invited some friends over for a forró-style jam session at Nublu, a nightclub located in the East Village district of New York City. The group was such a hit that they started a weekly residency at the club.[4] Their public prominence increased due to their extended residency at Nublu, where they came into contact with prominent New York influence David Byrne, who helped propel further recognition for the band when they collaborated on Forro in the Dark’s 2006 album Bonfires of São João.[5]

The band have released two albums and one EP so far including 2006's Bonfires of São João, 2008's Dia de Roda EP and 2009's Light a Candle.

Atoms for Peace[edit]

Refosco performing during a David Byrne and Brian Eno Tour at Zoellner Arts Center in 2008.

In 2009, Refosco joined Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist, Flea and Radiohead singer, Thom Yorke in their side-project, Atoms for Peace.[6] in order to perform his solo work live.[7]The band released their debut album, Amok in 2013 and embarked on their first tour from July 2013 to November 2013.[8]

Red Hot Chili Peppers[edit]

In 2011, Refosco performed on several tracks of the Red Hot Chili Peppers' album, I'm with You along with the b-sides compilation, I'm Beside You, which was released in 2013. Refosco joined the band's touring lineup as a percussionist in 2011 for their I'm with You World Tour. During the band's encores, Refosco along with the band's drummer, Chad Smith would usually start off with a lengthy drum/percussion jam showing off both musicians abilities. Refosco was featured on all of the band's live releases from the tour, which came to an end in April 2013. [9] He would again hit the road with the band for another tour with dates all over the world scheduled from May 2013 to June 2014. Refosco provided percussion on two songs for their 2016 album The Getaway however he would not join them for the tour to support the album. Refosco made a surprise appearance during the band's July 20, 2017 performance in Rome where he provided percussion on "The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie".[10]

Other work[edit]

Since 1994, he has toured with David Byrne,[3] most recently from 2008 to 2009 in support of his collaboration with Brian Eno, Everything that Happens Will Happen Today.[11]

Refosco has also been featured as a member of the music department, mainly as a percussionist on various movie and television projects including the 2007 animated movie, Surf's Up in which he wrote the song, "Forrowest" with Forro in the Dark. The song also is featured on the soundtrack.

Refosco has also recorded with Dirty Projectors on their self-titled album.

Refosco is currently on tour with David Byrne in support of his album American Utopia.


with Forro in the Dark

  • Bonfires of São João (2006)
  • Dia de Roda (2008)
  • Light a Candle (2009)

with Red Hot Chili Peppers

with Atoms for Peace

with David Byrne

with Jota Quest

  • Funky Funky Boom Boom (2013)

with Dirty Projectors

Soundtrack / film / television[edit]


  1. ^ "Folha de S.Paulo - Serafina 24 - 25/04/2010". Retrieved 2018-05-29. 
  2. ^ "Mauro Refosco: a internacional percussão brasileira". O Globo (in Portuguese). 2015-02-05. Retrieved 2018-05-29. 
  3. ^ a b Fusilli, Jim (2009-11-29). "Forro in the Dark's Mauro Refosco on Moving Your Hips to Forró Music, Working with Radiohead's Thom Yorke - Speakeasy - WSJ". Retrieved 2012-07-07. 
  4. ^ "Forro in the Dark (Official Website)". Retrieved 2009-12-09. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ Pareles, Jon (2010-04-07). "A Thinker Finds His Funk". The New York Times. 
  7. ^ "Meet Mauro Refosco, Thom Yorke´s New Percussionist". 2009-09-29. Retrieved 2012-07-07. 
  8. ^ Makarechi, Kia (2013-03-21). "Red Hot Chili Peppers' Chad Smith On Thom Yorke, Coachella And Lobbying Lawmakers In D.C." Huffington Post. 
  9. ^ "Red Hot Chili Peppers Roar Back at Secret California Show | David Fricke". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2012-07-07. 
  10. ^
  11. ^ Brody, Meredith (2009-06-27). "Friday Night: David Byrne at the Greek Theatre - San Francisco Music - All Shook Down". Retrieved 2012-07-07.