Fabrizio de Francesco (Defra) was born in Lugano (in the Italian part of Switzerland) in 1963. He studied at the Lugano-Trevano Technical College, focusing on electronics, acoustics and psychoacoustics. He is fluent in Italian, French, English and Portuguese.

While in Switzerland, Defra performed as a drummer and vocalist in several rock groups. Afterwards he sought to build from his educational background and accepted the position of Artistic Director for Butterfly Production, Quattrini Spettacoli and other production companies. In this capacity he became experienced in effectively organizing concerts of local and international artists. This experience led to assisting in the production of the Lugano Jazz Festival (Estival Jazz di Lugano) in 1982.

In 1985 he visited Brazil as a reporter for the first Rock in Rio Festival. He returned to Rio later in 1987 to settle and to further pursue his career in musical production and reccording, mixing, mastering.

His first job that year was at the República da Música Studio, where he was the audio and technical manager. He recorded many works for Moraes Moreira and many other artists between 1987 and 1992. During this time he also worked on many concerts, some of them live recordings, as audio manager where he directed the P.A. (Front of House) and stage monitoring systems.

The success of his studio and concert work has enabled him to move on as a free-lancer, recording many Brazilian and international artists as Ron Carter, Sadao Watanabe, Mike Stern and many others.

Defra's production credits span from 1993 to the present:



  • At the end of 1992 with a lot of technique and creativity, wins (between ca. 400) competition for the traditional Samba School Salgueiro with the very famous samba-enredo Peguei um Ita no Norte (aka Explode Coração), which then gave the title to Salgueiro in the 1993 Carnival.

  • He was co-producer for keyboardist and composer Luciano Alves' album entitled Baobá (1993) and later did the same for Mosaico (1995).


  • With the composer and multi-instrumentalist Carlos Malta he recorded, mixed and co-produced O Escultor do Vento and operated the concert responsible for launching the same album at the Rio Free Jazz Festival in 1997. Both album and performance went on to be named Best CD and Best Show of the Year, respectively, by the newspaper 'O Globo' at the end of that year.


  • In 1999, he produced the album Semente for the homonym group (today Semente Prog).


  • He produced Carlos Malta's last three albums including Pimenta, which was recorded live and without overdubs, and was awarded four stars by Jornal O Globo. Jazz Time Magazine recommended Pimenta as one of the best works of 2000. He also produced Malta's works Pixinguinha Alma e Corpo with string quartet and winds solos, and Tudo Coreto with Coreto Urbano. Last studio work with him and the group Pife Muderno was Paru, published in 2006.

  • He was also the producer of Cordas & Marfins, by pianist Helio Célso, at the beginning of 2000.


  • His recording and mixing credits includes work for film, television and theater. He recorded and mixed soundtracks for the feature films Tiradentes directed by Oswaldo Caldeira and O Toque do Oboé by Claudio McDowell. His work for television includes the soap opera Mandacaru by Walter Avancini and the documentary Os Pantaneiros. For theater he worked on the operas A Dança dos Signos directed by Oswaldo Montenegro, and As Tias do Mauro Rasi by Mauro Rasi.

  • He also has been involved in a variety of other special and distinctive efforts. One such project includes audio manager for the event Sérgio Ricardo, 50 Anos de Carreira, which featured Chico Boarque, Elba Ramalho, Alceu Valença, Zélia Duncan, Telma Tavares, Marina Lutfi and Symphonic Orchestra in the Municipal Theatre of Rio de Janeiro.


  • He was one of only three producers and managers for the project '500 Anos de Som', a huge undertaking of which he was producer, and recording and mixing manager for the whole effort.


  • In April 2000 he recorded live the Alto Xingu Indians and Carlos Malta for Vetuia in Brasilia, a featured event for 'Day of the Indian' (Dia do Índio). The event was sponsored by the Secretariat of Culture of the Federal District, in the Memorial of the Native Peoples. Aritana, the head of the Indian Nation, said that "no one had ever been capable to capture their sound that way."

  • He was the Producer of the albums A Drop in The Ocean (2004) and Tsion (2012), by the multi-instrumentalist Sergio Benchimol.

  • Has been invited by the Swiss TV’s Director Jacky Marti to produce a series of eleven radio broadcasts entitled Rio-Brasil!, on air every Sunday between July and September 2006 at RSI Rete1.

  • He was the Audio Director for renowned playhouse Mistura Fina in Ipanema (2007-2008).

  • He is the producer with bassist Augusto Mattoso of his albums Reflections (2015), Colours (2016) and Apocalypse Trio (2017).

  • Co-producer, with Robert Weinstein, of Shula Ruth Weinstein's album Small & Taller Tales (2015).

  • ... (to be completed)

His music experience over the past four decades has given him great depth and understanding of recording and sound systems. Interested in creating the most enjoyable listening experience possible he has designed and planned the architecture and acoustics of dozens of recording, rehearsal and multimedia studios, both in Switzerland and Brazil. This includes maintenance and tuning of acoustics and equipment to his activities in order to achieve a high-level of performance and quality.


He also actively seeks to learn new technologies in recording and sound equipment available today.

Thanks to Mr. Robert Morgan