Marcel Camargo was born and raised in São Paulo, Brazil to a "musical extended family;" he started learning to play guitar, percussion and sing with his uncle. At the age of 16 he moved to the United States where he graduated high school and later earned his B.A. in Ethnomusicology from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). His interests in school were varied but he was particularly attracted to folk music from different parts of the world; taking full advantage of being in the United States, Marcel focused his studies on America's great folk idiom, Jazz. At UCLA Marcel had the honor of studying under some of Jazz's most significant musicians - Kenny Burrell, Billy Higgins, Harold Land, Gerald and Anthony Wilson. He also spent two years studying traditional Ghanaian music under master drummer Kobla Ladzekpo, with whom he later visited Ghana.
Since his graduation from UCLA, Marcel has been making his living as a professional musician in different locations all over the Unites States and internationally. He currently resides in Los Angeles, working both as a sideman and as a frontman. His own project is called Marcel Camargo And The Brazil You Never Heard, an ongoing concert series that features Marcel's arrangements and compositions in the context of a chamber orchestra. The music the group plays is a mix of Brazilian, Classical music and Jazz. Though the pieces don't always come from Brazil, the arrangements tend to add a Brazilian twist to everything.
His main job as a sideman is playing guitar and singing back-up vocals for international pop star Michael Bublé. His other sideman work has been diverse, ranging from working with legendary Brazilian and Jazz musicians - such as with Sérgio Mendes, Bebel Gilberto, Tom Harrell, Airto Moreira, Arthur Verocai and ever rising star Gretchen Parlato - to doing collaborations with R&B/Hip Hop icons - like MeShell N'Degeocello, Seu Jorge, Flying Lotus, Chris Dave, Talib Kweli, Bilal, Pharoahe Monch (all via Miguel Atwood-Ferguson) - to touring and recording with artists like Macy Gray, Inara George (from Merrick, the Bird and the Bee), Quadron, the Watson Twins, Missy Higgins. He has also been featured as a guitarist on films like Rio 2, TV shows like "Dexter" (on Showtime) and "Supernatural" (the WB).
As an educator, Marcel has lectured on a variety of musical subjects such as music theory, musicianship, composition, songwriting, group performance and guitar. He has taught at several institutions such as the California State University Northridge (CSUN), Shepherd University in Los Angeles, the Larchmont Music Academy in New York, the French-American Lyceum Kennedy in New York City and the South Pasadena Music Conservatory in California.
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