Tag Archives: Frevo

Recife and Olinda: Brazilian Carnival beyond Rio


Giant dolls in the streets of Olinda
Olinda's Carnival/2009. Photo by Raul DS/Flickr

By José Alberto Gonçalves Pereira*

Rio, Salvador, Recife or Olinda? Which town promotes the best carnival in Brazil? It is a very arguable question and I reckon I´m not the right person to answer it. You might distrust my response if I told you that I am traveling this week to the Northeast to enjoy my ninth carnival in Olinda and Recife. These neighboring towns on the coast of the state of Pernambuco are among the best places in Brazil for those interested in popular street culture. Olinda and Recife dispute the trophy of best carnival of Pernambuco – or maybe Brazil. Both cities have common cultural features, especially the lead carnival rhythm, frevo, a high-speed march played by brass bands, that includes umbrella-swinging and steps derived from capoeira.

No one in Brazil is crazy to deny that Rio stages the most beautiful samba carnival in the world. Also, I would be dishonest if I did not pay tribute to the exciting Salvador carnival, which brings together a multitude to its streets to sing and dance animated by trios elétricos (trucks equipped with a powerful sound system and a band on top of it) and blocos afros (Afro-Brazilian cultural groups). Both carnivals deserve your attendance at least once in your terrestrial life. Continue reading Recife and Olinda: Brazilian Carnival beyond Rio

Starting 2010 with Brazilian music

New Year in Copacabana

In the last day of 2009, a gift to rock your New Year Party: a list of cool podcasts of Brazilian music. Sure, the hosts do a lot of talking, but waiting for the songs definitely pays off.

Caipirinha Appreciation Society – Produced for the University of London’s Open Air Radio, it offers “wonderfully under-exposed Brazilian music of all styles, regions and time-periods”. One of their latest podcasts presents artists influenced by Afro-Brazilian cults, such as umbanda and candomblé.

Coquetel Molotov – The best of 2009 offered by Radio Universitária AM, of Recife (state of Pernambuco). Caetano Veloso, Erasmo Carlos, Banda Gentileza, Céu, Lulina and Zé Cafofinho, among many others.

Farofa Moderna – Jazz, samba, frevo – only the best of Brazilian instrumental music hosted by the MTV portal. The latest podcast includes Airto Moreira, Bocato, Hermeto Pascoal and Sivuca.

Tropicalia MPB – Weekly French program on Brazilian music.

Enjoy the music and have a scrumptious 2010!