Renato Martins & Kai Stensgaard Percussion Duo


The Brazilian world-class percussionist and former Cirque du Soleil artist Renato Martins was described as an innovator of Brazilian percussion by Brazil’s specialized Media. Renato Martins has created new techniques to traditional instruments such as the Udu and the Cajon.

Kai Stensgaard is internationally recognized as a leading concert marimba artist and composer from Denmark. KS is the creator of The Six Mallet Grip and autor of the method with the same title. He has composed several works for six mallets. Many of his compositions and arrangements have been performed by marimba players all over the world. He has been giving concerts worldwide. KS is co-inventor of the Aluphone.

Renato Martins comes from a Brazilian traditional music background and turned his attention later into classical piano training. Kai Stensgaard, an originally classically trained musician, decided later to research the origin of marimba playing in Guatemala and Mexico. The percussionists, apparently coming from opposite directions, propose with the duo a meeting point questioning the need of labeling in music and celebrating the rhythms and colors of percussion in a powerful encounter.



THE SIX MALLET GRIP: how do you hold the mallets, how do you control the mallets, interval changes, excersices and maybe you would like to play one of my six malets pieces for me?

I initially  started developing this technique back in 1980. The last 40 years I have refined the technique and written works especially for this technique. In 2006, I performed in front of colleagues from around the world with this technique at Pasic 2006 in Austin, Texas, USA. Subsequently I have toured the world and taught master classes on this Six Mallet Grip. In 2009 he published the method textbook The Six Mallet Grip in English and Spanish.

FOUR MALLET TECHNIQUE (Stevens Grip): I studied the grip from Leigh Stevens back in 1980. I was the first marimba player in Denmark using this grip and I have a lot of experience in what to do and what not to do. I can get you a Stevens Grip chech up!

METHOD OF MOVEMENT BASED ON THE ALEXANDER TECHNIQUE: Some people get problems from playing. It can be problems in the wrist or in the arm. From studying the Alexander Technique and using it myself, I can give you good recommendation on how to stand and move your body when playing. Musical & technical instruction of a piece of your choise: Maybe you want to play a piece for me and I will tell you what I think and maybe come up with suggestions on how to improve the piece for you.


Creative Percussion Clinic

Renato Martins is a world class master percussionist and a musical educator. He has performed percussion clinics, master classes and workshops in festivals, cultural centers, music schools and universities in Brazil, Argentine, Qatar, Spain, Czech Republic, Poland, England, Belgium and other countries in Europe.

The Creative Percussion Clinic, a mixture of concert and workshop, presents Renato Martins’ unique techniques on his main ethnic percussion instruments, the UDU and the CAJON, nowadays largely used in all music styles.
Renato Martins also demonstrates his creative percussion and the results from his research of new techniques and new approaches to creative percussion, such as the use of everyday objects as percussion instruments.

DESCRIPTION: a mixture of concert and workshop using:

– playback tracks
– video presentation:

history, technique and application of the UDU and the CAJON
the use of everyday objects as percussion instruments
amplifying the UDU and the CAJON
the importance of creativity in the musical career with concrete examples such as the experience working for CIRQUE DU SOLEIL and the audition process

– performance of live original compositions for vocals and percussion instruments with the use of loop station (“concert” content)
– composition and improvisation for percussion ensemble

TYPE OF VENUE: concert hall, theater (stage), large music classrooms
TARGET PUBLIC: musicians, music students of all instruments (not only drummers and percussionists) and regular public