Born in Sao José dos Campos, São Paulo, Brazil, and raised by his Brazilian mother and Chicano father, Poranguí Carvalho McGrew spent much of his childhood commuting from Brazil to Mexico to the United States. He was a mere toddler the first time he joined his parents on stage to play the maracas, his musical curiosity piqued. His instrumental repertoire now includes global percussion, guitar, didgeridoo, Native American flute and his voice.
It was his abuelitos who valued education and convinced Poranguí to apply to Brophy College Preparatory in Phoenix. He graduated at the top of his class and was accepted to Duke University as a pre-med student. At Duke, it didn’t take long for Poranguí to realize his values did not align with the bottom-line values of the medical institutions, so he designed his own program, “Healing through Music and Dance: Psychological and Cultural Perspectives,” pulling from the departments of music, dance, neuroscience, psychology and cultural anthropology to explore how music and dance, or movement and sound, play a part in the integration of mind, body and spirit within the context of community.
Describe your genre/style: My father was a DJ, so I would be listening to Santana one minute and then a deep Brazilian groove from Sergio Mendez and Brazil 66 the next, only to end with a funky harmonica solo from War. I describe my music as “world beat” or “world soul.” My style of playing and performance engages the audience by inviting them to not be mere spectators, but rather co-creators in the performance experience.
Do you perform to heal or to entertain? Both. Though it may not be obvious to most, intention is always behind my music, whether it’s playing percussion for a DJ or doing an intimate sound healing concert. My intention may be to take the audience up into a frenzy of energetic catharsis with the batucada, or bring them down into their center with the deep resonance of the didgeridoo.