Samba Coco Raízes de Arcoverde

Afro-BrazilianArrasta PéCocoDubElectronicMaracatúNortheastRootsSamba de RodaXaxado
Maybe because of advances in loudspeaker technology in the 1960s and beyond, music that began pre-electricity is often unfairly assumed not to stand up to the loudness of electronic music today. The intensity of the Calixto family’s samba de coco immediately banishes this nonsense from anyone who hears it. This is music that over the last twenty years have blown away festival crowds on bills alongside electrified music of all flavors.

Assis, Damião and Lula Calixto come from the desert-like backlands of Northeast Brazil, moving to the city over fifty years ago when their father found work putting up electrical poles. The Calixtos are one of three principal families—along with the Gomes and Lopes families—that have championed a strongly Afro-Brazilian style in a territory more known for a combination of Portuguese and indigenous cultural elements. Their music tells the rest of Brazil and beyond that black Brazilians are an crucial and under-reported part of the history of this area, located not far from where Quilombo communities of escaped enslaved Africans resisted European colonial rule.

“The story behind the trupé step in samba de coco is that it used to tamp down the dirt floor of a thatched roof mud house that has just been built. Sophisticated, nimble samba stepping won’t do: This job requires a heavier stomp that sounds like a freight train thundering past. The dancers leave their mark on each place where they perform, microphones placed near their feet to add them to the other percussion in the mix.” – Dan Sharp, Associate Professor of ethnomusicology at Tulane University, USA

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Tracks on Kafundó Records