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Frevo is a dance and musical style originating from Recife, Pernambuco, Brazil, traditionally associated with Brazilian Carnival. The word frevo is said to come from frever, a variant of the Portuguese word ferver (to boil). It is said that the sound of the frevo will make listeners and dancers feel as if they are boiling on the ground. The word frevo is used for both the frevo music and the frevo dance.
The frevo music came first. By the end of the 19th century, bands from the Brazilian Army regiments based in the city of Recife started a tradition of parading during the Carnival. Since the Carnival is originally linked to Catholicism, they played religious procession marches and martial music, as well. A couple of regiments had famous bands which attracted many followers and it was just a matter of time to people start to compare one to another and cheer for their favorite bands. The two most famous bands were the Espanha (meaning Spain), whose conductor was of Spanish origin, and the 14, from the 14th regiment. The bands started to compete with each other and also started playing faster and faster, louder and louder.
Tough men used to precede the band, opening space to its parade by bullying people on the streets and threatening them with capoeira (Afro-Brazilian martial art and dancing) and knives. Eventually, when the bands met each other in the streets, fights between the capoeiristas were inevitable. These fights normally ended up with many wounded and even dead.
In order to end the violence, the police started to pursue the capoeiras and arrested many during their exhibitions. The latter reacted in a clever way by carrying umbrellas instead of knives and also disguising the capoeira movements as dance movements. The frevo dance was born.
Frevo is more than 100 years old (1907) and naturally it has developed throughout this time to reach its current form.
In the same spirit of competition that created it, Frevo was developed by transforming the capoeira movements into the quasi-acrobatical movements of the dance. Each dancer worked hard in order to develop a new movement which required much rehearsal, strength, endurance and flexibility and the fight between the groups moved from the physical to the aesthetical field. Frevo dance movements include jumps, coordinated fast leg movements, leg flexions, tumbling, etc.
Frevo dance is now known as passo and Frevo dancers as passistas. The clothes of the passistas also developed from regular clothing to a skimpy attire that is more appropriate for the movements. They are also very colorful, so they can be more visible in the crowd.
The umbrella also developed from regular black umbrellas with wooden handles to a small and also colorful umbrella. Umbrella movements are part of the dance and doing acrobatics with them is a common practice. It's not uncommon to see passistas throwing umbrellas in the air, do some movement, and catch them again. They also pass the umbrellas between their legs. The most common movement is just swinging the umbrella and passing it from hand to hand while executing regular movements.
Starting in the 1950s, one of the biggest contributors to the passo is the master Nascimento do Passo. It's said that he added more than 100 different movements to the dance since then. He also founded the first Frevo school in Recife in the late 1990s. The image of the passista is one of the most prominent icons of the carnival of Pernambuco.
American pop-star Cyndi Lauper is dancing the frevo when she sings her song "Maybe He'll Know".
Frevo-de-Rua (Street Frevo), the most common meaning of the word "frevo", is an instrumental style, played in a fiery fast tempo with brass instruments, namely trumpets, trombones, saxophones and tuba. It is frequently perceived by American ears as resembling polka.
Frevo-de-Rua bands can often be found playing during football matches in Recife, forming a sort of pep band. A well-known Frevo-de-Rua tune is called "Vassourinhas". A famous conductor in this style is Maestro Duda. In the 2000s the best-known ambassadors of the frevo is the Recife-based big band SpokFrevo Orquestra, led by sax player Inaldo Cavalcante de Albuquerque, better known as Spok. These are 17-18 professional musicians - including two virtuoso drummers and a percussionist - who have made it their mission to introduce the world to frevo music. They embarked on their first US tour in March 2012.
Frevo de Bloco is also sung and played with string instruments. Capiba was the most famous composer in this style, but one can also cite Getulio Cavalcante. Claudionor Germano (singer) and Antonio Nóbrega (singer and dancer) are two of Frevo de Bloco greatest performers.
Adaptation of frevo compositions for smaller formations, commonly without a brass section and made up by Bahian-guitars, drums, bass, electric guitars and a singer. The style developed in the early 1950s in Bahia, spurred by a performance given by the "Clube Carnvalesco Misto Vassourinhas of Olinda" in Salvador (Bahia State) and later by the band Trio Elétrico Armandinho, Dodô & Osmar, gave origin to the trio eléctrico tradition of the Bahian carnival.
Recife is the fifth-largest urban area in Brazil with 4,054,866 inhabitants, the second largest urban area of the North/Northeast Regions, and the capital and largest city of the state of Pernambuco in the northeast corner of South America. The population of the city proper was 1,653,461 in 2020. The first slave port in the Americas, Recife was founded in 1537, during the early Portuguese colonization of Brazil, as the main harbor of the Captaincy of Pernambuco, known for its large scale production of sugar cane. It was the former capital Mauritsstad of the 17th century colony of New Holland of Dutch Brazil, established by the Dutch West India Company. The city is located at the confluence of the Beberibe and Capibaribe rivers before they flow into the South Atlantic Ocean. It is a major port on the Atlantic. Its name is an allusion to the stone reefs that are present by the city's shores. The many rivers, small islands and over 50 bridges found in Recife city centre characterise its geography and led to the city being called the "Brazilian Venice". As of 2010, it is the capital city with the highest HDI in Northeast Brazil and second highest HDI in the entire North and Northeast Brazil.
Bahia is one of the 26 states of Brazil and in the northeast of the country, on the Atlantic coast. It is the fourth-largest Brazilian state by population and the 5th-largest by area. Bahia's capital is the city of Salvador, on a spit of land separating the Bay of All Saints from the Atlantic. Once a monarchial stronghold dominated by agricultural, slaving, and ranching interests, Bahia is now still predominantly a working-class industrial and agricultural state. The state is home to 7% of the Brazilian population and produces 4.2% of the country's GDP.
Pernambuco is a state of Brazil, located in the Northeast region of the country. The state of Pernambuco also includes the archipelago Fernando de Noronha. With an estimated population of 9.2 million people in 2013, it is the seventh-most populous state of Brazil, and is the sixth-most densely populated and the 19th-most extensive among the states and territories of the country. Its capital and largest city, Recife, is one of the most important economic and urban hubs in the country. As of estimates in 2013, Recife's metropolitan area was at that time the fifth-most populous in the country, and the largest urban agglomeration in northeastern Brazil. The state, which has 4,6% of the Brazilian population, produces only 2,8% of the Brazilian GDP.
Olinda is a historic city in the Brazilian state of Pernambuco, located on the country's northeastern Atlantic Ocean coast, in Greater Recife. It has a population of 393,115 people, covers 41.681 square kilometres (16.093 sq mi), and has a population density of 9,437 inhabitants per square kilometer. It is noted as one of the best-preserved colonial cities in Brazil.
Samba is a lively dance of Afro-Brazilian origin in 2/4(2 by 4) time danced to samba music whose origins include the Maxixe.
Olodum is a bloco-afro from Salvador's carnival, in Bahia, Brazil. It was founded by the percussionist Neguinho do Samba.
The Carnival of Brazil is an annual Brazilian festival held the Friday afternoon before Ash Wednesday at noon, which marks the beginning of Lent, the forty-day period before Easter. During Lent, Roman Catholics and some other Christians traditionally abstained from the consumption of meat and poultry, hence the term "carnival", from carnelevare, "to remove meat."
The term afoxé refers to a Carnival group originating from Salvador da Bahia, Brazil in the 1920's, and the music it plays deriving from the Afro-Brazilian Candomblé religion. It came to indicate a musical rhythm, named ijexá derived from the ijexá nation within Candomblé. Cultural performances of the afoxés, typically at Brazilian Carnival, incorporate choreography, song, ritual language and ceremonies deriving from the Candomblé religion. In Brazil, afoxé is generally performed by blocos, afros-groups of mostly black or mulatto musicians who are familiar with African Brazilian music. Afoxés are a cultural and religious entity that preserves a tradition of Afro-Brazilian culture.
Carnival blocks, carnaval blocos or blocos de rua are street bands that mobilize crowds on the streets and are the main popular expression of Brazilian Carnival. These parades fall under the term "street carnival", and happen during a period of about one month, beginning before and finishing after Carnival. Carnaval blocos usually perform samba music all around Brazil, but other popular musical styles are present in specific regions, including frevo and maracatu in Pernambuco and axé in Bahia.
Bahian Carnival is the annual carnival festival celebrated in the Brazilian state of Bahia, mainly in its capital, Salvador. Carnaval is right around the corner in this energetic city, where traditions — culinary, musical, literary and more — reflect a deep Afro-Brazilian heritage. More than anywhere else in this multiethnic country, Salvador is steeped in Afro-Brazilian culture — from the worship of Yoruba deities (orixás), to the acrobatic practice of capoeira, to a cuisine tinge. The event lasts officially for six full days: it starts on a Thursday, then follows the usual five days of carnival. The term may also be used to comprise related events that happen immediately before or after the carnival in Bahia. Therefore, extending the duration for up to twelve days.
Samba-reggae is a music genre from Bahia, Brazil. Samba reggae, as its name suggests, was originally derived as a blend of Brazilian samba with Jamaican reggae as typified by Bob Marley.
Ilê Aiyê is a carnival block from Salvador, Bahia, Brazil. It is located in the Curuzu/Liberdade neighborhood, the largest afro-descendent population area of Salvador. The name stems from the Yoruba language: ilê - home; aiyê - life; which can be interpreted as 'eternal heaven'. It was founded in 1974 by Antônio Carlos “Vovô” and Apolônio de Jesus, making it the oldest Afro-Brazilian block.
Galo da Madrugada is a carnival block from Recife, Brazil. The block was created in 1978 by Enéias Freire. Galos parades every Saturday of carnival at São José (Recife) neighborhood. The main rhythm is the frevo, but other rhythms are also played.
Batalá is an international samba reggae music project. The name Batalá is a combination of the phrase "bate lá" meaning "hit there" in Portuguese and Obatalá (Oxalá), the Candomblé deity who is the father of the Orixas and of all humanity.
Periperi is a subdistrict north of Salvador, in the Brazilian State of Bahia.
Inaldo Cavalcante de Albuquerque, better known as Spok, is a Brazilian sax player who is one of the main frevo composers in the state of Pernambuco. His big band, composed of 18 musicians is considered one of the most important frevo groups in the city of Recife. It has performed in many countries of the world, spreading the frevo rhythm. Spok has played with many other Brazilian artists, such as Raimundo Fagner, Alceu Valença, Antonio Nóbrega, Elba Ramalho, Geraldo Azevedo, Sivuca, Naná Vasconcelos and Rivotrill. Spok has been called the new frevo ambassador for his contributions to the development and spread of the frevo rhythm.
Passo de anjo is the debut album of the Brazilian big band SpokFrevo Orquestra. Released in 2004, the album was praised for its innovation of frevo, which presents some influences from jazz, emphasizing improvisations. The album was firstly released independently. However, two years later, due to its success, it was released again by Biscoito Fino.
Alvacir dos Santos Raposo Filho is a brazilian physician and writer.
Micaretas are off-season celebrations similar to Brazilian Carnival. The micaretas are similar to the Bahian Carnival and very different from the samba school parades that are popular in Rio de Janeiro. The central feature of a micareta is a large truck called a "trio elétrico." The trio elétrico is wired with loudspeakers and has a band performing on the truck's trailer. The truck drives slowly along the streets or sits parked in an enclosed space and a crowd follows the trio elétrico singing, dancing, and jumping to the sound of the music. To be allowed to follow the truck, one must buy admittance to one of the several "blocos" (block). A bloco is an enterprise which obtains permission to participate in the micareta, hires the band, sells admittance, and controls access.
Antônio Carlos Moreira Pires, better known as Moraes Moreira[mo.ˈɾajs mu.ˈɾej.ɾa], was a Brazilian musician and songwriter. During the 1970s he played guitar and sang in the band Novos Baianos, after which he embarked on a solo career recording 29 albums. Moreira was involved in recording 40 full-length albums with Novos Baianos and Trio Elétrico Dodô e Osmar, and two more albums with guitarist Pepeu Gomes. Moreira was one of the most versatile composers of Brazil, mixing the genres of rock, samba, choro, frevo, baião, and classical.
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