Rogério Duprat, Brazilian MPB Pioneer Dies at 74

Rogério Duprat, a well known figure in Música Popular Brasileira (MPB), died October 27 at a hospital in Sao Paulo.

Born in Rio De Janeiro in 1932, Duprat lived in São Paulo and it was there in the early sixties that the he developed an interest in the avant-garde and that would lead him to studying in Europe with Karleinz Stockhausen and Pierre Boulez.

Returning to Brazil, Duprat wrote scores for Walter Hugo Khouri’s films. Against the background of military dictatorship, Duprat met the leaders of the Tropicália movement, Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil; drawn to the movement by their determination to absorb universal culture and revolutionize Brazilian music.

In 1968, he wrote several arrangements for the seminal Tropicalia album which involved Caetano, Gil, Tom Zé, Gal Costa, Os Mutantes, Nara Leão and Torquato Neto and played a decisive role in liberating the sound of the groundbreaking albums of Os Mutantes.

Rogerio Duprat’s solo LP A Banda Tropicalista Do Duprat was released in 1968 when he was at his peak. Sao Paulo was living a modernist dream, classical music was in the air and so was psychedelia. Duprat audaciously fused these elements.

In later years, Duprat spent time writing jingles but was slowly forced to withdraw from his artistic activities due to hearing problems. He retired to a farmhouse in the São Paulo countryside.