|Cultural origins||between 1987 and 1994, Bahia, Brazil|
|Typical instruments||Guitar - Bass - Drums - Brass instrument - Agogô - Percussion instrument - Atabaque - Pandeiro - Cavaquinho|
|Music of Brazil|
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.
Samba-reggae arose in the context of the black pride movement that occurred in the city of Salvador de Bahia, around the 69, and it still carries connotations of ethnic identity and pride for Afro-Brazilians today. Bahia's population has a large proportion of dark-skinned Brazilians who are descendants of African slaves who were brought to Brazil by the Portuguese in the 17th and 18th centuries. These Afro-Brazilians played a major role in the early development of samba, which first took form in a Bahian style of dance and music called "samba de roda", probably in the late 19th century. Samba de roda was brought to Rio de Janeiro by Bahians around 1900, where it was combined with harmonic and rhythmic elements from European influences (such as chorinho and military marches). By the 1930s, samba de roda had developed into the faster, more harmonically complex Rio-style samba that is now played in Rio's Carnival. Through the middle of the 20th century this new Rio-style samba spread throughout Brazil. Of note, the low pitch bass that was heard on beats 1 and 3, and the higher pitched surdo on beats 2 and 4 in Bahia, brought by the slaves, was changed in Samba-the low pitch was moved to beats 2 and 4.
The paradoxical result was that samba was brought back to Bahia from Rio, but now in a highly altered form, and no longer associated with Afro-Brazilians. Thus, in the mid-20th century, the city of Salvador had many samba schools that were modeled on the samba schools of Rio, as well as blocos (informal street percussion groups), both of which performed Rio-style samba in Carnival parades every year. Yet, ironically, black Brazilians did not participate in these Carnival parades or in the blocos, since they were not allowed to participate.
Samba-reggae represents an effort by black Brazilians to develop a Carnival parade music that they could call their own, and to form all-black or mostly-black blocos with which they could parade during Carnival. The afro bloco music was very different because they aimed to recreate and strengthen their community through their music.
Ilê Aiyê, was founded in 1974. Like many blocos, they are not just a large band but also a community group with an active social focus. They paraded in the 1975 Carnival, with a new music that was quite literally a blend of samba and reggae. Ilê Aiyê's founders aimed to create a music blending influences from the revered Jamaican artists, Bob Marley and Jimmy Cliff, with elements of the older, Bahian style of samba (samba de roda). Ilê Aiyê wanted to distinguish their music from the increasingly rapid samba of Rio de Janeiro, so they deliberately chose a slower tempo than is used in Rio, and avoided the high-pitched percussion instruments that are particularly associated with the Rio Carnival (cuíca and tamborim). These musical choices were consciously made as a political statement. All of Ilê Aiyê's lyrics always have political and social content, and typically profile some aspect of African history.
Many other afro blocos were founded shortly afterwards, and all played the same rhythmic pattern. At the time, it was known simply as "the music of the afro blocos" or "the rhythm of Ile Aiye". Musically, Ilê Aiyê's major innovations to samba were the addition of a new 3rd surdo playing rapid rolls with two mallets, the addition of a reggae backbeat played by the snare drums (caixas), and the creation of a new clave pattern that is a blend of samba-de-roda clave with a reggae backbeat. They retained many aspects of samba, such as samba's 3 surdos, and a repinique (repique) pattern that was played with hand and stick.
The second major development in this new genre occurred in 1979, with the founding of the influential group Olodum. This group was founded as a bloco afro, which is a "Bahian Carnival Association highlighting African heritage through music, dance theater, and art."By 1986 they had established themselves as the premier performers of a new genre of music. Olodum was led during these years by the leader Mestre Neguinho do Samba, who had previously been drum leader for Ilê Aiyê. Neguinho introduced a key innovation: the old, samba-derived, style of playing the repinique, with hand and stick, was eliminated, and the repiniques switched instead to playing rapid rolls with two wood or plastic rods. This style of playing is derived from Candomblé, an Afro-Brazilian religion. The resulting rapid-fire clatter of the repiniques, along with the distinctive driving roll of the 3rd surdo, gives samba-reggae an unmistakable sound.
During the carnival of 1986, this new style of music, known as samba-reggae, made its debut. Olodum had combined the traditional samba with sounds from a number of other Caribbean music genres, including: merengue, salsa, and reggae. The toques, or "drumming patterns", that categorized the samba-reggae beat was composed of "a pattern in which the surdo bass drums divided themselves into four or five interlocking parts. Against this, the high-pitched repiques and caixes filled out the pattern with fixed and repeated rhythms in a slow tempo, imitating the shuffle feel of reggae."In 1986, the phrase "samba-reggae" was used for the first time to describe the music of Olodum, and, by extension, of the other afro blocos as well. Olodum became progressively more well known, and recorded with Paul Simon, Michael Jackson, and many prominent Brazilian musicians. Over time, most afro blocos converted to Olodum's style of playing the repinique. In the 1990s, Ilê Aiyê finally converted to the Olodum two-rod style.
In the 1990s, the samba-reggae genre continued to evolve with the group Timbalada, which, under the musical direction of Carlinhos Brown, revived the nearly-extinct folk drum timbal (a tall, high-pitched hand drum) and begin to use it in stage shows. Timbalada also developed a rack of 3 surdos and 1 repinique that could be mounted on a stage and played by a single player. This device is known as a "bateria de surdo", a drumset of surdos. (The 3rd and 4th surdo parts were combined in a single drum.) Timbalada is a stage band and not exactly a Carnival street bloco, though they first appeared in the Carnival of 1992. Their music is considered to be a blend of samba-reggae with African elements. Many afro blocos now use the timbal, as well the rack of 3 surdos for stage situations that do not involve parades.
In the 1990s, a style of pop music that was influenced by samba-reggae in its creation, is known as Axé Music (ah-SHEH) was popularized by such singers as Daniela Mercury, Margareth Menezes, Armandinho and others.
Samba-reggae is played in medium tempo around 90-120 beats per minute. The surdos (bass drums) play a 2/4 rhythm with swing time while other instruments provide contrasting rhythms in straight and syncopated time. On the whole, samba-reggae is straighter (less syncopated), slower, and less swung than Rio-style samba. There are many styles of samba-reggae, distinguished by different clave patterns. Olodum's three original styles (samba-reggae, reggae, and merengue) are still played today. Ile Aiye sometimes still plays its old version of samba-reggae; and in addition, Ile Aiye also frequently plays merengue-like patterns that are known in North America as "afrosamba". In addition, samba-reggae groups may also play styles derived from the original Bahian samba-de-roda, from its modern urban descendant ("samba duro"), or from axé pop music.
There are typical 3 or 4 surdo (bass drum) parts in samba-reggae. The surdos are 50 cm deep, shorter drum than the classic Rio size of 60 cm. Surdos in samba-reggae are usually worn quite low on the body with a waist strap; in Rio they are more likely to be worn higher and with a shoulder strap. In samba-reggae, the first (largest-diameter) and second (next largest) surdos keep the beat, typically with the lowest drum hitting beat 2 and the higher drum hitting beat 1. Together, the first and second surdos of samba-reggae are known as the "fundos", the back, presumably because they always stand in the back row of the samba-reggae band. The third surdo plays the classic third-surdo part of samba. The fourth surdo is tuned very tightly and plays rapid 16th-note rolls with two mallets, which gives samba-reggae its unmistakable rumbling sound. Some modern afro blocos are eliminating the third-surdo part or combining it with the fourth-surdo part.
The rest of a samba-reggae band is usually composed primarily of snare drums (caixas), and repiniques (a slightly longer, high-pitched drum with no snare/strings; also called "repique"). These may play a reggae backbeat, son clave, bossa clave, "Brazilian clave" (Mocidade/merengue style), or a variety of other clave patterns, depending on the particular piece of music being played. Samba-reggae repiniques are typically 25-cm or 20-cm (10-inch, 8-inch) in diameter so are slightly smaller-diameter than the 30-cm (12-inch) repiniques of Rio, and are worn lower down on the body, and are played with two long plastic sticks. The repinique may also play loud variations, rolls, and improvisation fills, similar to the role of the third surdo in Rio-style samba. It also plays call-ins to start the entire band. Typically only 1 lead repinique player does these fills and calls; other players do not alter their parts outside of their set arrangement. A drum leader, or mestre, leads the entire band with hand cues and/or a whistle. In Olodum, the mestre typically leads with hand cues only and no whistle; this was Neguinho's style of leading.
Olodum only uses caixas, repiniques and surdos. Other groups may incorporate additional instruments, such as timbal, atabaque, and tamborim.
Samba-reggae bands frequently number 100 drummers or more, plus an amplified singer and a small band who ride on a sound truck.
Samba-reggae has given rise to a style of African-influenced dance derived from Afro-Brazilian and candomble dance moves. In a social setting, samba-reggae dances tend to be done in a follow-the-leader fashion, with a few skilled dancers initiating moves in a line in front of the crowd, and the whole crowd then following along. In addition, samba-reggae drummers often dance while they drum. The third- and fourth-surdos do short choreographies, using their mallets to emphasize arm moves. Most dramatically, the fundos (first and second surdos) frequently take center stage to do elaborate, showy mallet lifts and throws, and tossing their huge drums high overhead.
Latin jazz is a genre of jazz with Latin American rhythms. The two main categories are Afro-Cuban jazz, rhythmically based on Cuban popular dance music, with a rhythm section employing ostinato patterns or a clave, and Afro-Brazilian jazz, which includes samba and bossa nova.
Timbales or pailas are shallow single-headed drums with metal casing. They are shallower than single-headed tom-toms, and usually tuned much higher, especially for their size. The player uses a variety of stick strokes, rim shots, and rolls to produce a wide range of percussive expression during solos and at transitional sections of music, and usually plays the shells of the drum or auxiliary percussion such as a cowbell or cymbal to keep time in other parts of the song.
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.
Axé is a popular music genre originated in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil in the 1980s, fusing different Afro-Caribbean genres, such as marcha, reggae, and calypso. It also includes influences of Brazilian music such as frevo, forró and carixada. The word Axé comes from the Yoruba term àṣẹ, meaning “soul, light, spirit or good vibrations”. Axé is also present in the Candomblé religion, as “the imagined spiritual power and energy bestowed upon practitioners by the pantheon of orixás”.
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."
Batucada is a substyle of samba and refers to an African-influenced Brazilian percussive style, usually performed by an ensemble, known as a bateria. Batucada is characterized by its repetitive style and fast pace.
A samba school is a dancing, marching, and drumming club. They practice and often perform in a huge square-compounds and are devoted to practicing and exhibiting samba, an African-Brazilian dance and drumming style. Although the word "school" is in the name, samba schools do not offer instruction. Samba schools have a strong community basis and are traditionally associated with a particular neighborhood. They are often seen to affirm the cultural validity of the Afro-Brazilian heritage in contrast to the mainstream education system, and have evolved often in contrast to authoritarian development. The phrase "escola de samba" is popularly held to derive from the schoolyard location of the first group's early rehearsals. In Rio de Janeiro especially, they are mostly associated with poor neighborhoods ("favelas"). Samba and the samba school can be deeply interwoven with the daily lives of the shanty-town dwellers. Throughout the year the samba schools have various happenings and events, most important of which are rehearsals for the main event which is the yearly carnival parade. Each of the main schools spend many months each year designing the theme, holding a competition for their song, building the floats and rehearsing. It is overseen by a carnavalesco or carnival director. From 2005, some fourteen of the top samba schools in Rio have used a specially designed warehouse complex, the size of ten football pitches, called Samba City to build and house the elaborate floats. Each school's parade may consist of about 3,000 performers or more, and the preparations, especially producing the many different costumes, provide work for thousands of the poorest in Brazilian society. The resulting competition is a major economic and media event, with tens of thousands in the live audience and screened live to millions across South America.
The timbau or Brazilian timbal is a membranophone instrument derived from the caxambu drum, usually played with both hands. Slightly conical and of varying sizes, it is usually light in weight and made of lacquered wood or metal with a tunable nylon head. It is in the shape of an ice cream cone with the top and the point cut off.
A repinique is a two-headed German drum used in samba baterias. It is used in the Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo Carnival baterias and in the baterias of Bahia, where it is known as repique. It is equivalent to the tik-tik in the non-Brazilian drum kit or to the tenor drum in marching bands. It is tuned very high to produce a tone that cuts through the sound of the rest of the bateria and it is a lead and solo instrument.
The surdo is a large bass drum used in many kinds of Brazilian music, such as Axé/Samba-reggae and samba, where it plays the lower parts from a percussion section. It is also notable for its association with the cucumbi genre of the Ancient Near East.
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.
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.
Timbalada is an Afro-Brazilian musician group from Candeal, Salvador, Brazil. It was founded by drummer Carlinhos Brown, and the composer and percussionist Tony Mola. The musical style is between samba reggae and axé, with strong influences from African music. They are a highly popular group which regularly performs sold-out concerts throughout Brazil.
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.
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.
Neguinho do Samba, born Antonio Luis Alves de Souza, was a Brazilian percussionist and musician. Samba was the founder of Olodum, an internationally known cultural group based in Salvador, Brazil. Samba, a resident of Pelourinho, was considered to be the "father" of samba reggae in Bahia.
A Samba band or samba is a musical ensemble that plays samba music. Samba styled music originates from Brazil.
The Orkestra Rumpilezz is an orchestra of percussion and brass created in 2006 by Letieres Leite. The group's first album won the Bravo! Award for Best Popular Album of the Year 2010 and the Brazilian Music Award in the categories Best New Artist and Best Instrumental Group.