Private Instruction

 Guitar, Cavaquinho, Bass, Samba percussion, music theory

Group Classes

Samba and Forró percussion, song and harmony



"I am a professional jazz drummer performing 120 gigs a year.  When I found myself in a Brasilian combo with hand drums, I needed to get serious with a crash course and took a private and group lesson  (with our entire combo) with Francisco.  He was able to start with the basics and able to quickly move to to my own level.  A fabulous instructor with passion who made it fun, and can explain concepts in many different ways to match his students.  He gave me the confidence I needed to play this music live, and the knowledge to further explore it on my own.  His joy for this music comes out in his teaching: watch out -- his passion is contagious!  I will definately study again with Francisco whenever he comes to my area - he raised my own level and that of our combo.  I wish I had not postponed it for so many years -- don't make the same mistake - do it now while you can!”                                                                 -Ed Stalling; professional Jazz Drummer


"Francisco's classes and workshops are so much fun. It doesn't matter if you have been playing for years or picking up a drum for the first time, Francisco is able to meet you exactly where you are. His explanations are clear and he is so patient. I really appreciate the way he starts his classes with the foundation and then builds from there. He breaks down the music into smaller sections so its not overwhelming. When I'm in the class, i feel challenged and success at the same time. I would recommend the class to anyone!”

                                                           -Collen Killelea; student


"“I value the energy and fun of class. Wednesday night is a highlight of every week! More and more I feel like I am integrating with the group, becoming a valued piece of the ensemble. The camaraderie of the samba scene in Boulder/Denver is wonderful, and these pagode classes are one the epicenters of that scene. I never played samba before this, and I have learned a ton in not very much time at all.”

                                                           -Corey Garretson: student






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Francisco Marques is a multi-instrumentalist and singer who performs and teaches Brasilian music in Colorado and beyond.  He is a dynamic performer and educator who can go from lead singer, cavaquinho player and singer for Ginga to a supporting role in the rhythm section playing bass and percussion for Sambadendé.

His dedication to the study and craft of traditional Brasilain roots music has earned him the honor of being a faculty member at California Brazil Camp for 5 years. He has been teaching samba, choro and forró in Boulder and throughout the Front Range for over a decade and is regular adjunct faculty at Naropa University, teaching Brasilian music every other year for their Rhythm Hemispheres course since 2011.

Lives: Colorado, United States


  • Ginga               
  • Sambadende         
  • Grupo Chegando Lá
  • Bateria Alegría
  • Faculty @ California Brazil Camp
  • Adjunct Faculty @ Naropa University




Cultivated in Boulder, Colorado and comprised of some of the best jazz, classical and salsa musicians on the Front Range, Ginga is THE powerhouse Brazilian band in Colorado. They can bring an audience to a quiet purr with a sultry Bossa Nova or blow the roof off the evening with a full blown Carnaval style samba dance party.

The seven principal members of the band are Francisco Marques (cavaquinho, bass, percussion, vocals), Greg LaLiberte (flute, saxophones, percussion, vocals), Victor Mestas (keyboards), Bill Kopper (acoustic 6 & 7 string guitars, electric guitar), Raoul Rossiter (drums, percussion, vocals), Carl Dixon (percussion, vocals), and Vincent Gonzalez (percussion, vocals).



Sambadende has been sharing the energy of Brazilian music with its loyal fans since 2001. Each show in their hometown of Boulder, CO draws a packed house and the powerful combination of drums and vocals never ceases to bring new fans off the street. Focusing on the street ensemble rhythms from the northeast of Brazil, Sambadende adds to its loyal following each time they perform.

The group was created with the intention of sharing not only the soulful music of Brazil, but also the inherent community feeling that is so evident in all Brazilian music. Sambadende was created in 2001 by Ty Hammes, who having lived in Salvador and having performed with Olodum and other blocos in Bahia wished to recreate that sound in the local music scene in Boulder. With the addition of Chico Meira, from Rio de Janeiro, Sambadende expanded its repertoire to include samba do quintal, coco, jongo, MPB, afoxe, maracatu, forro, and other rhythms.

The current members of Sambadende are Chico Meira (Vocals, guitar, cavaquinho), Ty Hammes (timbal, congas, repenique, pandeiro), Nafisa Ramos (surdos, vocals, tantan), JJ Rademaekers (drum kit, percussion), Ian Brighton (sax, flute, vocals), and Francisco Marques (bass, vocals, percussion).



chegando Lá

Based out of Boulder Colorado, Grupo Chegando Lá is an eclectic group of musicians who began as a study group, gathering weekly to play and study samba in the samba de mesa or pagode format. After years of study the group has become one of the main attractions at The Laughing Goat in Boulder.  The students and Francisco convene there on the 4th Thursday of every month to bring as small taste of Brazil to the community.