As a live musician, world soul artist and one-man orchestra Poranguí weaves ancestral songs and indigenous rhythms from around the globe. Creating his performances from scratch using looping technology, Poranguí’s live grooves range from meditative to dance party, moving the body, lifting the spirit, and transcending the divide between performer and audience. An evening with Poranguí might take you on a journey from deep, earthy didgeridoo grooves to high-vibe ecstatic Brazilian beats to blissful African kalimba lullabies. Serenades and storytelling to beat boxing and booty shaking: Together, these make an unforgettable experience.
As a DJ, Poranguí performs funky tribal world house sets that integrate live instrumentation, a hybrid of his organic indigenous sound with a potent electronic bed that moves large dance floors. And in sound design and media production roles – including film soundtrack contributions – Poranguí’s work is informed by experience with photography and filmmaking.
As a therapeutic bodyworker providing individual sessions in private practice, Poranguí draws on his academic background in neuroscience, his family legacy in the healing arts, and his training as a licensed massage therapist. His “Myorhythmic Release” technique combines the healing properties of sound, movement, and breath, supporting clients from all backgrounds and health conditions in finding freedom from the limitations and suffering of old patterns and trauma.
Poranguí’s integration of these practices – music, healing arts, and arts education – makes him a valued resource for and contributor to retreats, arts centers, school programs, festivals, and special events.
For Poranguí, this rich practice of music, healing, teaching, performance, and creative collaboration represents the intersection of journeys both personal and professional.
“Growing up among such different worlds (cultural, linguistic, spiritual) challenged me as a child. Now I look back and see the blessing it afforded me, to serve as a bridge for others. It taught me to appreciate the salient threads that connect us in our collective human experience. It informs my art and pushes me to find new ways to tell the stories of our ancestors in a way that we can all hear it – in the midst of our contemporary culture.”
Born in São José dos Campos, Brazil to two artists – a Brazilian mother and a Chicano father – Poranguí grew up in the cultures of Brazil, Mexico, and the Southwestern U.S., steeped in a richness of musical, healing, and ceremonial traditions from birth.
He attended a Jesuit Catholic high school in Arizona, spending weekends with his mother in the Native American communities who had welcomed her to their families and ceremonies. After high school, Poranguí spent a year studying in China and then teaching English through the use of music in Vietnam. On scholarship to Duke University he created an interdisciplinary undergraduate major combining music, movement, and medicine. Soon after graduation from Duke, he became certified as a massage therapist, following in his grandmother’s footsteps, and returned to Arizona as his base.
As his uniquely interdisciplinary career has unfolded, Poranguí has embraced its many opportunities:
He has taught on the faculty of the Phoenix Conservatory of Music, has been recognized as a Teaching Artist for the Arizona Commission on the Arts since 2008, and focuses on providing a safe and fun environment for all learners to explore their inherent and often untapped creativity and musicality. He has worked extensively in the field of behavioral health and prevention, has designed curriculum for community and state agencies, and has had the privilege of working with marginalized youth in both Brazil and the U.S., using the arts to build resiliency and community.
As a musician proficient in world percussion, guitar, voice, and numerous indigenous instruments including didgeridoo and pre-Columbian flutes, he has been featured on albums ranging from Latin jazz to Brazilian batucada, and his musical compositions have been used in independent theatrical and film productions. Poranguí has traveled and performed internationally with renowned artists, with highlights including a European tour, recording with the BBC in London at the Jazz Café, as well as the PBS Singer-Songwriter Series, and performing as the featured artist for SXSW Yoga Soundscapes Series. Further testament to his range are his role leading 10-piece Afro-Brazilian ensemble Grupo Liberdade and his improvisational collaboration with artist Eric Zang using African, Brazilian, and Middle Eastern melodies with a rich rhythmic foundation of organic and electronic beats.
In sound design and media production, Poranguí recently worked with director Mitch Schultz (“DMT: The Spirit Molecule”) and executive producer Aubrey Marcus on “Ayahuasca,” a documentary set in the Amazon. He has been part of innovative collaborations such as a New Media art installation at the Contemporary Museum of Art in Raleigh, North Carolina. And he has used the lens of film to explore cross-cultural themes dealing with the globalization and translation of traditional art forms, earning honors including the John Hope Franklin Student Documentary Award and funding from both Duke and Princeton University.
The work continues to unfold. For Poranguí, this diverse creative practice is not only a profession but a calling.
“Approaching music from beyond the perspective of an entertainer, but rather as a healer, my intention is always to help move the energy in this space. How can I support this audience, these fellow humans, to shake off their funk and remember what it means to be free and fully expressed, what it means to love and be loved, what it means to be more authentically human.”