© 2013 Womad Ltd
Company Reg. No. 2734599
Place of registration : England
Registered address :
While Brazil remains best-known, musically speaking, for the samba a sound whose percussive rhythm will echo across France this summer some of its most creative artists of the past decade come from an area far away from Rio. The north-eastern state of Bahia is home to sounds as diverse as the bloco-Afro of Olodum (who have collaborated with Paul Simon), the funk-fuelled heavy rhythms of Carlinhos Brown (star of 1997s WOMAD festival at Rivermead), and the polyrhythmic beats and sensual vocals of Margareth Menezes.Menezes shot to fame in 1989 when she opened for David Byrne on the Rei Momo tour and, as the former Talking Head cheerfully admits, blew him off stage. Since then, her CDs including Elegibo (1990), Kindala (1992) and Gente de Festa (1995) have sold well around the world. While her earlier albums were rooted in samba-reggae, she has branched out over the years, bringing pop and funk influences to bear.The sound of Bahia is redolent of Africa the Spanish brought their slaves here and 80 per cent of the population is descended from them. Menezes has said that this African influence gives Bahian music its spiritual quality, and it also remains a music of rebellion and protest. Although Menezes and her band use western instruments, there remains a roots element in the line-up in the frequent use of instruments such as the berimbau (a plucked bow with a gourd resonator this originally came from Cape Verde) and the cavaquinho (whose nearest equivalent is a ukelele) as well, of course, as a full array of Brazilian percussion.