OOOOOOOH, Brasil! (Musica Popular Brasilera)

This is Alfredo Moura, the most important composer of Axé (music genre), conducting on a beautiful far east coastal Brazilian day at Bar Saeu Boteco in the Rio Vohelmo neighborhood of Salvador (Population 2.1 million), capitol of Bahia (“Bay” state) on February 17, 2013, the place where Axé was born way back in 1985!

The original Axé recipe: “Add jazz-like solos to Afro-Brazilian percussion and lay over a simple melody.”

Axé is a fusion of the Afro-Caribbean genres Marcha, Reggae and Calypso. It has gone on to influence the Afro-Brazilian genres Frevo, Forró and Carixada.

Axé is a word that serves as a religious greeting for believers of the religions Candomblé and Umbanda and means “soul, light, spirit, good vibe,” in Yoruba (language, people). However, Axé was locally seen as pretentious music at first, and the word for it was given in jest as an insult!

Roots of Axé 1950s: guitarra baiana, an electric guitar-driven style of frevo from Pernambuco
Roots of Axé 1970s: vocals added when Moraes Moreira (singer) of Novos Baianos (group) went solo

Acordes Verdes (Green Chords), a group of house musicians at a jingle factory in Salvador, records a cover of Simon & Garfunkel’s “Mrs. Robinson,” 1983
Axé is recognized in 1985 as a music of Salvador, Bahia, when Luiz Caldas releases album “Magia”
ALFREDO MOURA bandleader/conductor, Salvador Bahia Axé star 1980s
Carlinhos Brown, singer, Salvador Bahia Axé star 1980s
Luiz Caldas, singer, Salvador Bahia Axé star 1980s, album “Magia” 1985
Sarajane, singer, Salvador Bahia Axé star 1980s
Filhos de Gandhi, Salvador Bahia Canaval Percussion Band, 1980s
Olodum, Salvador Bahia Canaval Percussion Band, 1980s (Olodum backed Paul Simon on his “Rhythm of the Saints” album)
Muzenza, Salvador Bahia Canaval Percussion Band, 1980s
Introduced additional Afro-music fusion: electric frevo (style), maracatu (style), Olodum (style), African ijexá (genre), Caribbean merengue (genre)
New style invented: deboche (debauchery), fusion of frevo and ijexá, 1980s
Margareth Menezes (a David Byrne cohort), 1980s-1990s
Carlinhos Brown, percussionist/composer, 1980s-1990s

Axé 1990s
becomes popular – joining the larger category “MPB” (Musica Popular Brasilera)
Margareth Menezes, singer, international Axé star 1990s, album “Elegibô” 1990
Daniela Mercury, singer, international Axé star 1990s, album “O Canto de Citade” 1992

Axé 2000s
Goes Eurodance
Ivete Sangalo (singer)
Cleaudia Leitte (singer)
Axé Bahia (Eurodance/Axé music group) “Beijo na Boca” and “Beso en la Boca” (Spanish version)


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