Musica: Brazil
James Hayes-Bohanan, Geographer
Updated January 30, 2008

This is the part of my MUSICA site where I put the music of or reasonably close to Brazil!

Check this out: User rochaf64 has a list of Brazilian music entitled Tanz die Samba mit Mir. I have enjoyed about half of the CDs on the list, so I am sure the rest are great (for those who like this sort of thing).

Toquinho  Brazilian friends recommended a way to learn a lot more about Brazilian music -- see what is current on You Tube. As of June 2007, over 19,000 videos are posted, and those at the top of the list include both some classics and some interesting new stuff!

I am interested in music primarily as a way of learning about place -- and how people identify with place. For this reason, I have to recommend this amazing film most highly. I learned more in two hours than I had in years of listening to Brazilian music.

Favela Rising describes how José Junior and Anderson Sá invented AfroReggae, an entirely new musical form, from within their own community. Vigário Geral is one of 600 favelas in Rio de Janeiro. It is a neighborhood of 30,000 people in self-built homes with no government resources. It was the site of a vicious war among neighboring drug gangs and the police.

This film shows how people in the community defied popular wisdom by taking back their own streets and involving youth in something positive. Do not miss this film! It is available on Netflix.

Afro Reggae
I learned about this movie from a Brazilian colleague, and shortly thereafter saw it at the Cablecar Cinema in Providence, where the local chapter of YUGA presented it.
Favela Rising

The links CD covers below represent some of the pieces I play when giving presentations about Brazilian music.

Amazonia En Canto

"Descendo o Madeira" by Binho is one of my favorites from this collection by local musicians in Porto Velho , my home-away-from-home in Brazil. It is a beautiful song that describes the manatees and dolphins that are found -- amazingly -- in this river city thousands of miles from the ocean.
  Renato Teixeira Xangai

Renato Teixara is an amazing guitarist whose work is inspired by the beauty of the Amazon region. His song "Nao Rio Mais" is a fun listing of all of the tributaries of the river, in order.
"Era Casa Era Jardim" is just a beautiful song.
  Brazil Classics
This compilation by David Byrne first made the regional music of Brazil's Northeast accessible to a global audience. The song "Asa Branca" is about the ongoing drought of the region, describes a season in which "my horse died of thirst, and my cow of lack of water."
ASA BRANCA -- David Byrne himself (but it sounds better on the CD)

Cordel do Fogo Encantado


Estrela de Fogo 2

Amor de Novela

Stan Getz & Joao Gilberto

The Girl From Ipanema

Brazil Classics
O Samba

A Deusa Dos Prixas

Angelique Kidjo
Black Ivory Soul


Brazil Classics
Beleza Tropical


Brazil Blue

Nem Uma Lagrima

Capoeira de Angola

Homenagem aos Mestres


Mama Africa

Sandy & Junior

14 and 16

Na Pressao Lenine

Jack Soul Brasiliero

Mamonas Assassinas

1. 1406

11. Bois Dont Cry

Zuco 103
Outro Lado

Zambumba no Mar

Note to educators: This web site is a supplement to live presentations that I have enjoy presenting for college audiences, teacher training, and K-12 assemblies. Please contact me to discuss the possibilities of a presentation at your school, conference, or university. My collection of resources is much larger than that presented here; I can customize a presentation to suit your group's needs.
Dr. James Hayes-Bohanan