Global rhythms to your Spotify: Brazilian Samba! Here’s our very first playlist.
Have you been craving an outdoor barbecue? Some dancing? Perhaps a Brazilian style churrasco! Well, now you can #TravelFromHome and host your own Brazilian churrasco: quarantine style! Listen along with this Samba playlist on Spotify, curated exclusively for our Jetset readers, and organized in chronological order.
What is a Churrasco? What is Samba?
A churrasco is a Brazilian style barbecue with every kind of grilled meat and cheese that you can imagine. My personal favorite is chicken heart! Trust me, it might sound gross, but it is definitely worth a try and will be the most tender piece of meat you’ve ever had. For vegetarians and vegans, you can replace the meat with veggies and still drink plenty of caipirinhas because the most important part of our churrasco at home is the samba music!
The infamous Brazilian samba is originally from Angola and the kimbundu word, semba, meaning belly movement. The musicality of samba is carried by the batucada rhythm that is repetitive and fast paced and joined by a cavaquinho (guitar), tamborim (tambourines), pandeiro (hand held drum), and cuíca (large drum). In 1930s Brazil, the music was heavily appropriated from the comunidades (communities) as a political tool to further expand a cohesive Brazilian identity in order to look “better” in the eyes of the international community. Along with the expansion of samba came Carnaval, both as cultural exports. As a result, samba was introduced to other music genres such as American jazz and rock. This progression of samba can be seen in the playlist.
The queen of samba, Elza Soares, is still very active in her late 80s and has sung samba all around the world. Her powerful voice embodies the spirit and long history that samba carries. One of her songs from the playlist, “Malandro” (Rascal), is infused with key elements of samba and Afro-Brazilian culture such as capoeira (Brazilian martial arts) and comunidades. Later in the playlist, you can also listen to one of her newer songs, “Libertação”, from her 2019 album Planeta Fome. “Libertação” blends samba rock and electronic music; perfectly displaying how the genre has continued to develop over the years. Elza sings “Agô, agô, agô é libertação” referencing the Afro-Brazilian Umbanda religion and the continuous fight for liberation of those in the comunidades.
The last key element of our churrasco is the samba dance which is just as complicated as it looks. Here is a video that will get you off to a good start, but to fully learn the dance you must practice every day. After one caipirinha, you will certainly have the confidence to give it a go. Now you have everything that you need to host the best Brazilian churrasco!
Vamos e aproveita! (lets go and enjoy!)