Bong Peñera and the Batucada Band

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Bong Peñera and his various band incarnations under the name Batucada are considered the main proponent of Brazilian-influenced Philippine jazz, particularly samba and bossa nova. Peñera and the Batucada band were influenced by Antonio Carlos Jobim, Astrud Gilberto, Sergio Mendes, Bill Evans, Keith Jarrett, and Deodato.

His landmark composition "A Samba Song" has become a world staple in bossa nova and have been performed as covers by Tadao Hayashi, Eddie Katindig, Sitti and Guarana. Among his bandmates were bassist Sonny Nabong, drummer Cesar Yumping , percussionist Nick Boogie, trumpeter Jun Salvame, bassist Paul Candelaria, drummers Fred Alidon, Jun Viray, Harry Tambuatco, guitarrist Edgar Avenir and vocalists Jacqui Magno, Pat Castillo, and Sandra Lim.


  • "...the Batucada is probably the only jazz group that could remain a trio and still retain the sound of a full band. It’s a tease in a way and its diminutive size has baffled many. It plays music that is versatile, universal and certainly rhythmic. Of all the elements that make up the art we know as music, the most fundamental is rhythm. The pulse, the beat—this is the foundation of it all, natural and inevitable, growing our of life itself. The cycle of night and day, the turning seasons of the years, the beat of one’s heart, the steady pace of one’s footsteps" these things are always with us, we are surrounded by rhythm. Thus explains Bong as he points out the particular adherence to the Brazillian idiom and as to why he chose the name "Batucada" which means "beat." Their music is just it –pulsating, never giving too much of forcing too much, sometimes aggressive, sometimes funky, or soulful and seasoned with sophistication and a case definitely beyond their years. There is depth but not the kind that is confined to the intellectual alone, and there is the dynamic creativity evident in their performances: not one piece is repeated exactly the same as it was first played."


  • A SAMBA SONG (Penny Rose Records, Manila, Philippines, 1976)
  • BATUCADA SA CALESA (CBS/Sony, Manila & Japan, 1977)
  • BONG PENERA (Blackgold Records, 1980)
  • DIVERSION (Penny Rose Records, UNRELEASED, 1981)
  • SAMBA CHICAGO (Penny Rose Records, Chicago, USA, 1989)
  • SAMBA THROUGH LIFE: THE BEST OF BONG PEÑERA Vol. 1 (Penny Rose Records, Chicago, USA, 2004)

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