“Enquanto houver desigualdade, seremos resistência!
Quando o afoxé tocar na sua vida, quero vê seus olhos cheios de alegria!
Quem vai quebrar a máquina do mal?!
A felicidade do afoxé é dançar a ouvir o agogô ao som do ijexá.
Vamos dançar com fé é tempo de afoxé!
Voa a mensagem bonita pro mundo saber, devolva em luz aos amigos de Katendê.
Seu espírito de luta vai civilizando.”
Mestre Moa do Katende
At the front of the parade Capoeira Marazul will lead a berimbau Orchestra to celebrate the life of Mestre Moa do Katende, who was stabbed and killed in the run up to last’s year’s General Election in Brazil, when he expressed his support for a socially progressive candidate.
The Berimbau Orchestra is led by Mestre Joãozinho da Figueira from Marazul,
who had a strong relationship with Mestre Moa with support from Manjerico
from capoeira Groves.
The second section of the carnival procession will celebrate the politician and activist Marielle Franco, who was assassinated in 2018, fighting for justice for the minorities in Rio. She denounced illegal police force (militia) activities and was a supporter of human and LGBTQ rights in Brazil.
For this section of the parade, three maracatu bands are collaboration to perform as one group. Baque Luar, Baque de Axé and Baque de Ogum to make a ‘Baque for Marielle’.
At the front of the Baque – the maracatu drum ensemble, leading the song and celebration will be Baque Luar, which has emerged as women’s-only maracatu band specialising in professional stage performances focused on their own compositions. In the run up to carnival and on the day of the carnival parade, Baque Luar will be working Thalita Domingues, from Nação do Maracatu Porto Rico and who also leads Maracatu Asé d’Ori, in Aracaju, Brazil, with Bigato Pereira.
Sam Ward-Hardy will be directing this joint maracatu section on the day of carnival with Bigato Pereira and Thalita Domingues.
Lizzie Ogle, band leader of Baque Luar, has spent a great deal of time in Brazil, performing, recording, researching, composing and supporting traditional music and the work of traditional musicians, in particular Mestre Afonso and Maracatu Nação Leão Coroado.
Mestre Chacon is the leader of Nação do Maracatu Porto Rico, one of the most celebrated maracatu groups from Recife, in Pernambuco, Brazil.
Growing up as part of a religious and cultural group that were in the forefront of resistance has been instrumental in Mestre Chacon’s career. He has become a religious and cultural leader at the center of the impoverished community of the Bode, in the favela of Pina in Recife. Chacon was the lead drummer in the group as a young man and in 2002 assumed the post of Master of the Whistle (it is with the whistle that much of the conducting is achieved), and of Master of the Batuque (drumming group). The group is known for the rich creation of songs and for the instrumental innovation in their drumming.
The final section of the Tambores Livres carnival procession will depict Caboclo 2 de Julho (Caboclo 2nd of July) who is a historical figure believed to have been the leader of a battalion of indigenous and mixed-race fighters in Bahia during the war for independence against the Portuguese. He is celebrated as a symbol of the independence of Bahia, but more than this, he is commemorated as a symbol to remember the forgotten soldiers, battalions of indigenous fighters using tribal weapons, the African slaves and free men, the poor and isolated communities that organised themselves to form the majority of the troops fighting for liberation.
This section of the parade will be led by Marcos Santana with Tribo Band.