drummer, percussionist (pitched and un-pitched instruments), composer, arranger, producer
Angelo Silvano Pagliuca Mena “Ange” was born on November 3rd of 1992 in Maracaibo – Venezuela. He has Italian and Spanish ancestry.
He’s a musician, drummer and percussionist, as well as a composer, producer and arranger.
He was raised in a family of artists and intellectuals. His father, Silvano, is an empirical musician and his mother, Anna, is a dancer. His older brother, Silvano, is also a musician.
From an early age he showed an inclination for the arts, especially for the music. In his family environment he was exposed to several musical genres like Italian Popular Music, Flamenco, Venezuelan Folk Music, Latin-American and Caribbean Music, Jazz, European Classical music, Pop and Rock, among others, which would later influence in his artistic expressions.
He started to play the recorder at age 7 taking music lessons under Prof. Renny Morales. At age 9 he started to take guitar lessons under Prof. Jannie González until age 12. Concurrently, he received drum lessons from his father, Silvano Pagliuca and at age 12, he started to study drums under Prof. Wilmer Alfonso Roa. At age 16, he started his classical training at the “José Luis Paz” Conservatory of Music in Maracaibo under Maestro Balbino Sánchez in the department of percussion and at age 17, he started also to study piano under Maestro Jan Oczkowski. During his career he has had the opportunity to attend workshops and masterclasses by musicians like Fernando Valladares, Mike Stern, Mike Mangini, Oscar Stagnaro, José Jensen “Pachín”, Marco Machado. He also participated in the Afro-Venezuelan Percussion workshops by the Ajé Foundation, taught by the sons of the legendary folklorist Juan de Dios Martínez. His interest in composition has brought him to attend classes, workshops and conferences from the maestros Juan Carlos Núñez, Luca Belcastro, Lucidio Quintero, Gerry Weil, among others.
Around the age of 7 years old, he started to participate in musical ensembles, estudiantinas and Venezuelan folk groups, and at the age of 12, in several rock and pop bands. Later, at the age of 17, he started to be part of symphonic ensembles. At the same time, he was starting their first experiments with Jazz, always keeping a high rate of musical activity.
With the passing of the years, Angelo has been building a successful and promising musical career: playing, arranging, composing, working as live and studio session musician, and in this way earning the respect of recognized artistic and intellectual personalities in their home country and internationally.
In the year 2010, he was specially invited by the “Rafael Urdaneta” Zulia State Youth Orchestra, who belongs to the Venezuelan Network of Orchestras, to play at the premiere of “Anita Culebra”, a work by his brother Silvano Pagliuca-Mena, as part of the program of the Young Composers Festival in Maracaibo.
In 2013, he received lessons from the well-known Venezuelan drummer Maestro Andrés Briceño at the “Simón Bolívar” Conservatory in Caracas. Maestro Briceño expressed about Angelo that “he’s got an amazing technical domain of the drums set. He’s one of the better drummers of his generation”. That same year he participated as soloist in the National Percussion Festival of the Zulia State.
In the year 2014, Silvano and Angelo decided to make their own project official: Pagliuca-Mena ensemble, a group which they began working with some years back in theatres, 5-stars hotels, festivals, cafés, bars, social clubs and events in the city of Maracaibo. The musicians in the project might vary depending on the occasion, arriving to play in formations from duo to ten-piece ensemble, but always keeping the two founder brothers.
By the year 2015, he decided to leave the academy and come back to his path of individual search. Since this time, he has worked extensively as a music producer and live and studio session musician for several national and international artists. In conjunction, he has been dedicated to play and compose actively for the music project that he leads together with his brother Silvano: Pagliuca-Mena ensemble.
The year 2016 was very fruitful, especially recording and producing works. Among them it’s important to mention the “Für Elise” project, for the German musical company Sonokraft.
On December 2017 was the launch "El Templo de las Ideas" ("The Temple of the Ideas"), the first studio album by the Pagliuca-Mena brothers. It was completely produced by themselves at their studio, "El Cuartico", in the city of Maracaibo between the years 2016 and 2017. It also features the participation of Albert Mora (bass), Luis Alfredo "Luki" Zambrano (trumpet), Eduardo Vega (tenor saxophone), Francisco Arteaga de Pool (tenor saxophone), Nelson Pacheco (trombone) and Gregory Boza (trombone). Together with the Pagliuca-Mena brothers, they explore the borderlines between the Venezuelan, Latin, Jazz and Classical music in six of his brother Silv original compositions.
Angelo is a very versatile percussionist, able to play with the same domain the drum set, congas, timbales, cajón, darbuka, maracas, as well as vibraphone, marimba, timpani, among others. It’s important to note his work as flamenco percussionist, which has taken him to share the stage with important national and international figures of this referred art. Regarding his work as a composer, it’s noted his work “La Tarabita”, dedicated to this mother, the dancer Anna Mena, in which he merges Flamenco and Jazz elements.
Among the several artists the Angelo has collaborated with are noted: Oscar de León (LatinGrammy winner), Huáscar Barradas (LatinGrammy nominated), Ángela Uzcátegui (LatinGrammy winner), Ulises Hadjis (LatinGrammy winner, university professor, conferencist at Berklee School of Music), Edward Bradley (LatinGrammy winner), Vocal Song (LatinGrammy nominated), Aquiles Báez (LatinGrammy winner, former professor at Berklee School of Music), Alexis Cárdenas (Concertino of the Symphony Orchestra of La Île-de-France), Angelo Pagliuca (worldwide known Italian musician, current musical principal of the Teresa Carreño Theater in Caracas and former conductor of the Venezuela Symphony Orchestra), Luca Belcastro (worldwide known Italian composer), Victor Hugo Márquez (LatinGrammy winner and Venezuelan folklorist), David Rahn (Venezuelan orchestra conductor with international trajectory, current conductor of the Maracaibo Symphony Orchestra), Jan Oczkowski (Polish pianist and accordionist), José Alirio Chirinos (Venezuelan flamenco guitarist), Agustina Parra (Venezuelan singer), Juan Gil (Venezuelan bassist), Esteban Matheus “Esteman” (Colombian singer-songwriter), Antonio “El Tabanco” (Spanish flamenco baila’or), Yanilú Ojeda (Venezuelan filmmaker), Ander Carrero (Venezuelan flamenco singer), “Arti” Hernández (Spanish-Venezuelan flamenco guitarrist), Miguel Hernández “El Gitano” (Spanish flamenco singer), Mirna Maldonado “La Rubia” (Venezuelan flamenco dancer), Tony Yetzer (US-American musician and producer), Carlos Hernández-Mata (Mexican-US-American singer and guitarist), Gloria Enedina Álvarez (Mexican-US-American writer), Marion Sila (French singer, accordionist and composer), Diana Patricia “La Macarena” (worldwide known Venezuelan flamenco dancer), among others. They have also collaborated with institutions such as the Venezuelan Network of Orchestras (“El Sistema”), which invited them to an artistic residence in Caracas to work in the “Alma Llanera” program, a project by El Sistema to preserve the Venezuelan Folk Music.
The music of Angelo Pagliuca-Mena is eclectic, as a product of the continuing search for expression through the art of music, experimenting with several genres and styles of music which join with a very open aesthetic that merges Jazz, Contemporary Music, Classical European Music, Venezuelan and Latin-American Music, Flamenco, among others. All this fusion is noted not only in his rendition of the standards or classics of the universal music, but also in his own compositions, which are a fundamental part of his work.
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