The name Itaiguara [ee-tahy-gwahr-uh] has its roots in an indigenous dialect of Brazil and roughly translates to "water that flows from the stone."
Itaiguara Brandão attended Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA and studied jazz improvisation with the legendary Charlie Banacos and arranging with Mike Longo (Dizzy Gillespie's music director for 9 years). He was awarded a Berklee Achievement Scholarship for musical excellence in 1995 and graduated summa cum laude in 1997. Brandão also holds a degree in Telecommunications Engineering from Pontifícia Universidade Católica (PUC) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (1991).
Itaiguara served as musical director for the Paulo Braga Band from 1999 to 2003. The creator, Paulo Braga, is known as the father of Brazilian drums. Braga played with Antonio Carlos Jobim for fifteen years and is currently part of The Jobim Trio.
Brandão has recorded on major labels such as Sony/BMG as well as on numerous independent labels, and played on major venues such as the Nobel Peace Prize concert in Oslo, The Grand Hall of the Moscow State Conservatory, The London Olympics and the Sydney Opera House in Australia. He is a contributor to the educational book/CD Inside the Brazilian Rhythm Section (Publisher: Sher Music, 2005).