Francisco Marques was born on October 12th 1978, in São Paulo, Brasil. He moved to the Washington D.C. area with his family in 1980. While in elementary school, his first exposure to a musical instrument was through piano lessons . At age 15 he began taking several years of private guitar lessons at The Guitar Gallery in D.C. with Stewart Payne. He continued his study of music at Colby College, Maine, where he focused on classical guitar but expanded his study of different instruments and musical styles including the West African Drumming Ensemble with master drummer Jordan Bennisan (www.jordanbenissan.com) from Togo West Africa. In 2000 Francisco graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Music and moved to Boulder, Colorado where he quickly began to play at local venues; The Fox, Tulagi, and The Bluebird Theater (Denver) with the band “Bobby Milk”, opening for bands like Devotchka, The North Mississippi All Stars and the Dirty Dozen Brass Band.
In 2003 Francisco’s musical career took a decided turn towards the Brazilian after taking a few private lessons from the local Brazilian specialist, Mitchell Long (www.mitchelllongmusic.com). It wasn’t long before he was playing with the Brazilian band, Sambadende (www.sambadende.com) and soon after, started his own Brazilian quartet, Ginga (www.gingaband.com) with Boulder’s woodwind specialist, Greg Laliberte. The band began with Gonzalo Teppa (www.myspace.com/teppagonzalo) on upright bass and Chris Lee on drums and soon incorporated renowned guitarist Bill Kopper (www.billkopper.net). The project that studied the musical traditions of both Venezuela and Brazil soon became a strictly Brazilian endeavour after Raoul Rossiter joined the ensemble and Gonzalo returned to Barquisimeto, Venezuela.
Francisco continues to bring Brazilian culture and music to life in Colorado and wherever he performs and teaches.
- Adjunct faculty at Naropa University, MUS215:Music Hemispheres Course/Brazilian Rhythms 2009, 2011, 2013.
- Faculty at California Brazil Camp (www.calbrazilcamp.com) 2011, 2012, 2013.
- Boulder Samba School board member.
- Co-Founder of Ginga (www.gingaband.com).
- Member of Sambadende (www.sambadende.com)
- Instructor and director of the local samba/pagode student ensemble, Chegando Lá.