Pedro Abrunhosa is a songwriter. All of his records have his own lyrics and music.
He was born in Oporto in 1960. He started his studies in classic music at a very early age. He finished the songwr course at the Conservatório de Música do Porto, and then worked with professors Álvaro Salazar and Jorge Peixinho. He studied Music Pedagogy with Jos Wuytack. At 16 years old, Pedro Abrunhosa was already teaching in Escola de Música do Porto (Oporto Music School). He worked as a Music teacher within the official education system in Portugal, at the Hot Clube School in Lisbon and at the Escola de Música Caiús.
In 1982, he founded Escola de Jazz do Porto and Orquestra de Jazz do Porto (Oporto Jazz School and Orchestra), where he also worked as a maestro and composer.
As a double bass player, he worked with Joe Hunt, Wallace Rooney, Gerry Nyewood, Steve Brown, Todd Coolman, Billy Hart, Bill Dobbins, Dave Schnitter, Jack Walrath, Boulou Ferré, Elios Ferré, Ramon Cardo, Frankie Rose, Vicent Penasse and Tommy Halferty.
He started to focus his main activity as a songwriter and composer. His several travels around the world and his love for literature give him the inspiration to produce music and he still uses this process today.
In 1992, he founded CoolJazzOrchestra and Máquina do Som, creating funk music in Portuguese. The band Bandemónio was founded soon after, accompanying the artist on his 5 first records, with all tracks written and composed by Pedro Abrunhosa.
“Viagens”, his debut album, was edited in 1994. The album was a huge hit and reached 3 x platinum status in Portugal. The album featured James Brown’s saxophone player, Maceo Parker. He did more than 200 shows in just 2 years. The album tour included shows in the United States, Canada, Brazil, Macao, France, Switzerland, Spain, Luxembourg and Italy.
In 1995, the artist released the maxi single “F” and the book also entitled “F”, which caused an unexpected impact.
He wrote the song “Se Eu Fosse Um Dia O Teu Olhar” for the soundtrack of Portuguese movie «Adão e Eva», which broke all box office records in Portugal and won him his first Globo de Ouro award.
In 1996, he released his second album, “Tempo”, which reached 4 x platinum in Portugal. For this album, the artist worked in Minneapolis, Memphis and New York with Prince’s band, New Power Generation, and Tom Tucker, his main sound engineer. Portuguese artists Carlos do Carmo, Opus Ensemble and Rui Veloso also featured on the album.
He wrote, composed and produced the musical “Rapaz de Papel”, included in Festival dos Cem Dias. Later on, he recorded all the songs in the album “Amanhecer” by Diana Basto.
He’s invited by Caetano Veloso to perform a joint show in Expo 98.
He’s invited by film director Manoel de Oliveira to star in the male lead role in the movie «A Carta», shot in Paris, Italy, New York, Lisbon and London. He co-starred with actress Chiara Mastroianni. With this movie, awarded with the Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival, he had the opportunity to do the famous “La Montée des marches”.
His songs were recorded and performed in Brazil by artists such as Caetano Veloso, Maria Bethânia, Lenine, Zélia Duncan, Elba Ramalho, Zeca Baleiro, Sandra de Sá, Syang, Rio Soul, Edson Cordeiro, etc. The song “Balada De Gisberta” (2007) is performed at a theatre play, with the same name and based on the song. It is still on stage.
In 1999, he released his third record, “Silêncio”, recorded in Battle, Sussex. “Silêncio” is a key record for the band’s career. Pedro Abrunhosa broke with all the clichés of fame and being on the spotlight, and record sales showed it, so the album just went 1x platinum.
In 2002, he released his 4th album, “Momento”. This album was a huge success, a sales hit and had a lot of airplay on Portuguese radio stations, reaching 2x platinum record status when the music industry was already living through the digital phenomenon. For two years, the song “Momento” was the most played in Portugal.
In 2003, he released the triple album, “Palco”, from the live concerts with Bandemónio and Prince’s HornHeads. Palco reached 2x platinum record status with sales above 72,000 copies. This record included duets with Lenine and Zélia Duncan.
In 2004, Pedro Abrunhosa closed Rock in Rio Lisbon. Also in 2004, he released the book “Canções”, which sold out, with of his sheet music of his biggest hits.
In 2007, he released his fifth album, “Luz”. Maria Bethania recorded, in Brazil, covers from this record.
In 2008, he founded Comité Caviar, changing the sound and image, recording the sixth album, “Longe”. It reached double platinum.
I 2013, he released his seventh album, “Contramão”. The recorded included duets with flamenco singer, Duquende, and with fado singer, Camané, It was, once again, a hit both in sales and airplay and also double platinum.
In 2015, Pedro Abrunhosa founded BoomStudios, recording studios for himself but soon became the most important and well-equipped European spaces for recording. Several generations of Portuguese musicians and international stars went by these studios, including names such as Ryuchi Sakamoto, Charlie Watts, Pete Doherty, Lenine, Zélia Duncan, to name a few. He founded Boom record label, to edit young rising talents of Portuguese pop and rock music. Soon, he will create a classic catalogue, his eternal passion, and also a jazz catalogue.
Besides songwriting, Pedro Abrunhosa also gives several master classes, conferences, lectures and speeches all over Portugal, mostly in universities, libraries and cultural organizations. He as a columnist for TSF radio, Fórum Estudante, Magazine Artes e MaxMen magazines. He also wrote columns for Visão magazine and Público newspaper.
He writes songs for other people, if asked to do so and if he feels a connection with the performer. Lucinda Williams, Lila Downs, Maria Bethânia, Ana Moura, Carlos do Carmo, Camané, Lenine, Duquende, to name a few, have sung his songs.
After two years in the making, his next album will be released in October 2018.
1994 – Viagens
1996 – Tempo
1999 – Silêncio
2002 – Momento
2007 – Luz
2010 – Longe
2013 – Contramão
2003 – Palco
2005 – Intimidade
2011 – Coliseu
1995 – F
1997 – Tempo – Remixes e Versões
1998 – Pedro Abrunhosa
2005 – Intimidade
2011 – Coliseu
Pedro Abrunhosa created the original sound tracks for: «A Carta», by Manoel de Oliveira, «Amour en Latin», by Serge Abramovic, «Adão e Eva», by Joaquim Leitão, “Novo Mundo” and the video “150 Anos de Bonfim”.
Pedro Abrunhosa wrote the musical “O Rapaz de Papel” for Expo 98 Exhibition, and about 40 songs were later on recorded and released. He also wrote the original songs for theatre plays “Fool for Love” by Sam Sheppard, “The Birthday of the Infanta” and “Teia”.
3 Globos de Ouro awards
Bordallo de Imprensa award
Prémio Osório – SPA
4 BLITZ awards
4 Rádio Nova Era awards
Prestige award – Nova Gente magazine
Best Sound track Award, Spain (“Novo Mundo”)
2 awards for Best Composer, RCL.
“Telemóvel de Ouro” award, for beating the download record with his songs
Arco-Íris award in 2007 by Associação ILGA Portugal for the song “Balada de Gisberta”, of the album Luz.
Gold medal for cultural merit, awarded by the city of Gaia.