Luthier Rodrigo Fontenele is a percussionist, cofounder of the band Ponto de Equilíbrio and Carioca by heart. Shortly after the turn of the millenium, he decided to make his passion for music his profession. He started working as an instrument maker and built djembes and different hand drums in his workshop under the companies’ former name ‚Construsom‘. Around 2005, Rodrigo specialised in the production of percussion instruments, above all concentrating in making quality pandeiros and tamborins. In his early years as an instrument manufacturer, he started cultivating his passion for pandeiros by selling homemade instruments under his name.
In the beginning he used his shop Maracatu Brasil in Rio as a sales platform. Then he met Scott Finer from the US who in those times was living in Rio on account of his passion to the little frame instrument and who shortly after founded the website pandeiro.com. With his profound knowledge, he made an important contribution during the creating process of the Estudante modell. Scott included the pandeiro in his assortment and helped make it known beyond the boarders of Brazil. Only shortly after, Rodrigo’s pandeiros had made themselves and him a name in the music scene; they expanded delivery to pandeiristas in more than 24 countries all over the world. In search of new attainments and in order to improve his techniques of instrument building, he got in touch with Marcos Suzano who inspired much of his work. After meeting several times and a lot of pandeiro talk, Rodrigo started applying new building techniques with light wood and also developed special sound characteristics on his jingles. Rodrigo is a luthier who likes experimental working, but who always returns to his true passion - the pandeiro. Today he has more than 10 product lines in his programme and is well known for his high-quality hand crafted instruments which he manufactures with lots of accuracy and love to detail.