Tuesday, June 2, 2009

BBC: Brasil, Brasil-From Samba to Bossa (Part 1 of 3)

Comprehensive review of Brazilian music in a three-part series which tells the story of the styles and the artists that have captured the world's imagination for decades.

The series starts in the days of slavery, when an estimated 4 million Africans were forcibly moved to Brazil, and traces the development of samba from the poor black areas of Salvador and Rio, where it was initially banned, to its fusion with European styles and its move to the mainstream.

The programme follows the career of samba's most successful and glamorous international star, Carmen Miranda, and the growth of the samba schools that dominate the Rio carnival. It traces the fight-back by musicians from the poor Northeast, who used a rival style, forro, to sing about the harsh realities of their lives, and shows how politics helped the development of a sophistcated new samba-jazz fusion, bossanova, from the Fifties, that was to bring international success to Joao Gilberto and Tom Jobim.

The programme ends with the military coup that ended the optimistic, easy-going bossa era.


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