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Boa noite, meu povo! Good evening, my people! Estão afim de ouvir um sambinha? Are you the the mood for a little samba?
That samba music likes to rejoice and get the blues based on cantar (singing) all night long, watering everything down with a lot of cerveja (beer) and cachaça, is not new for those who know the traditional festas (parties) of this typically Brazilian musical genre. Between the altos e baixos (highs and lows) lived by the samba, its prime and its decadence, the samba always resisted the test of tempo (time), renewing itself and its “malandro”* way of being. As the composer and interpreter Nelson Sargento used to sing, the samba “agonizes, but it does not die”. João Nogueira, from Rio de Janeiro, is one of the major names responsible for the renewal that the traditional samba earned in the 70’s and, in this year of 2018, we celebrate the 40 years of the release of “Vida Boêmia” (Bohemian Life), one of the most important albums dedicated to the bohemian style and the traditional carioca samba circles.
*Brazilian slang that means mischiveous
A confessed admirer of Noel Rosa, one of the greatest composers and bohemians of the genre, Nogueira distinguished himself from his fellow musicians of humble origins, living in the favelas and hills of Rio de Janeiro, for being born into a middle-class household. João Nogueira lived the magic world of the ruas e bares (streets and bars) of the Rio suburbs. From this bohemian universe, he got the richness of his músicas (songs) and built his trabalho (work) as a mirror of the little joys and daily pains, portraying the vida (life) of the sambists like few others. João defined his samba as “samba-de-calçada” (sidewalk samba), made with the unique energy of the streets, together with the povo (people).
In the doze (12) songs that make up the album “Vida Boêmia”, Nogueira does not just pay homage to traditional samba, but an writtes an open letter, a declaration of amor (love) full of irreverence about the nightlife in Rio, its adventures, memories, dances, pains, nightmares and loves. Owner of a very personal and unique style of singing, full of rhythm and melody, with an unmistakable balance, João Nogueira easily moved through the sub-genres of samba, from seresta to samba-exaltation.
It was after this record that João Nogueira decided, along with his amigos (friends), to create a project to revitalize the samba and the street carnival of Rio de Janeiro, which was increasingly losing space on the radios. This project would be the name of his next album, “Clube do samba”, whose headquarters were his own residence in a suburb of Rio de Janeiro. Are you curious to hear the sambas that João Nogueira dedicates to bohemian life? Ouça (listen) to the album here!