Tag Archive: Brazilian music

We have already talked about “capoeira” on this blog (an Afro-Brazilian art form that combines elements of martial arts, music and dance). It’s very popular in the Northeast of Brazil, where it can often be seen on the streets of Bahia.

If you are interested to learn more about it, you may be excited to hear of a new Brazilian movie that has just been released called “Besouro” (Beetle in English). The story is set in Bahia in the 1920s, and is based on a legendary capoeira fighter called Besouro, who uses his skills to fight the harsh conditions which the black population in Brazil had to face even after the abolition of slavery. Besides showing part of Brazil’s history, the movie also presents some strong elements of the Brazilian culture, such as Candomblé – an Afro-Brazilian religion that uses the power of different saints to help people to achieve their goals.

Apparently, the production has cost millions of dollars and counts with the action director Huan-Chi Ku (from Kill Bill and Matrix). The soundtrack is one of the best features of the film, with important national bands, such as Mestre Ambrósio, S/A, Nação Zumbi, Eddie, Otto and Junio Barreto.

The film was directed by João Daniel Tikhomiroff, a veteran in the world of advertising who makes his directorial debut with “Besouro”.

Curious to know more? Then have a look at the trailer below:

luiz gonzaga2This week, Brazil paid tribute to Luiz Gonzaga, a famous folk singer and songwriter that will complete 20 years of death next month. Known as the king of baião, he was responsible for the promotion of this gender of northeastern music throughout the rest of the country.

Born in 1912 in the state of Recife, Gonzaga grew up to the sound of the instrument that his peasant father played and that was going to be his symbol: the accordion. He used to accompany his father by playing the zabumba (type of bass drum) and singing at parties and religious celebrations. In 1930, he left home to join the army and toured Brazil with an army band.

After noticing that the northeastern immigrants missed the music from their hometowns, he started to give listeners the sort of music they craved to hear: xaxados, baiões, chamegos and cocos. In 1939, decided to dedicate his life to music, Gonzaga left the army. Then he started to play at talent shows and at radio programs, which made him popular enough to start making records. The emblematic song of his career was Asa Branca.

Luiz Gonzaga died of natural causes in 1989, leaving behind a deep and poetic understanding of the northeastern truth; of the pains and sensibility of an extraordinaire people.