Tag: samba music

Martinho da Vila, “Lusofonia” (2000)

I’ve been meaning to post about this album for the longest. I was introduced to it around 2007 and it became a fast favorite, introducing me to rhythms, history, artists, and lands of the “Lusophone” world. Cabo Verde, Mozambique, São Tomé e Príncipe, Angola, Guinea Bissau. Maybe it can be called a fusion album — samba and  lots of pandeiro but with lilting bass lines, cheerful horn arrangements and guitar riffs that are undoubtedly African. It felt like traveling without moving. It may have been the first time I heard different Portuguese language accents besides Brazilian in song. I was already a fan of beloved living samba legend Martinho da Vila, and this album made me appreciate his oeuvre even more.


I’m tempted to skip ballad “Vasco da Gama” (ft. Mart’nalia) and slow march/marchinha “Viva Timor Leste” (ft. Luis Represas), which recount significant histories pertaining to the Portuguese empire. One covers exploration/conquest, the other revolution, so I guess I appreciate the balance there. Taking the album as a whole I can dig that those songs were included for their slower tempos and rounding out the variety of rhythms. Besides, I’d rather learn history via song than read it, and I always appreciate a larger historical context for the music I enjoy.

Favorite track: “Carambola (São Tomé e Príncipe)”.

Mayer Hawthorne’s “Christmas Caipirinhas” Mixtape

I know it’s past Christmas already, but I had to share this mixtape. Those of you already educated on Brazilian music will recognize many of these classic samba funk and MPB (Musica Popular Brasileira) tracks. Those just getting started, enjoy! Track list below.

01 Doris e Miltinho – A Pedida É Samba
02 Djavan – Serrado
03 Cravo e Canela – Preco De Cada Um
04 Tenorio Jr – Nebulosa (Haircut Edit)
05 Tamba Trio – O Amor Que Acabou
06 Jorge Ben – O Telefone Tocou Novamente
07 Maria Bethânia – Último Desejo
08 Quarteto Em Cy – Tudo Que Voce Podia Ser
09 Jongo Trio – Feitinha Pro Poeta
10 Os Novos Crioulos – Mar Afunda
11 Emilio Santiago – Bananeira
12 Burnier e Cartier – Mirandolina
13 Orlandivo – Tamanco No Samba
14 MPB4 – Palhaços e Reis
15 João Donato – Amazonas
16 Marcos Valle – Mais do Que Valsa

(Download this mix free at Soundcloud)

Is Samba the same as Zumba?

Not exactly….samba is often included in Zumba workouts.

Many people are just now becoming aware of samba dance thanks to the popularity of the “Latin-inspired” Zumba dance-fitness program. Zumba brings together many different types of dance and each instructor creates a specific workout including their choice of various dances. Samba can be one of the dances included.
Also, Zumba is a registered trademark, samba is not.

What does samba look like? Like this:

There are several styles of samba dance including samba no pé, gafieira, axé, and samba rock. Rio and Bahia styles of the basic samba step also differ. There are also several samba rhythms including samba reggae, partido alto, samba canção, samba enredo, and samba de roda.

My samba class tends to focus on teaching the basic Rio style samba and incorporates elements of afoxé, Afro-Brazilian and Orixá movements. I tend to incorporate bits of house and hip hop as well.

As dance tends to be in general, both samba and Zumba are great ways to have fun while being active!

Music Recommendations

Here are some favorites I use in my dance classes. I believe all these artists and tracks are easy to find online. Artist names appear on the right:

“Carolina” by Seu Jorge
“Pega Eu” by Bezerra da Silva
“Love Love” by Toty Gira
“Abertura do Jogo” by Os Batuqueiros
“Aquarela Brasileira” by G.R.E.S. Imperio Serrano

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