10 Afro-Brazilian Classics, As Selected by Afrobeat Orchestra Bixiga 70

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The 10-piece Afro-Brazilian orchestra Bixiga 70 are soon touching down for a multi-date tour in the Polar Vortex that is currently New York City, and they’ve prepared some of their favorite tracks that trace back to their sound’s inspiration for the occasion. Named after their neighborhood in their home of Sao Paulo, the group blends Afrobeat, jazz, and an array of beats from Brazil’s palette to create a high-voltage live show that is not to be missed.

The orchestra is headed to the winter edition of globalFEST this Sunday at Webster Hall, along with an international mix of sounds from Kevin Johansen, Puerto Candelaria, The Nile Project, Zap Mama, Emil Zrihan, Emel Mathlouthi, and more. Grab your tickets here.

Orquestra Afro Brasileira – "Saudação ao Rei Nagô"

As the name says, regardless of what comes before or after, this orchestra is the definition of Afro-Brazilian music, and their first record dates from 1957. The dialogue of percussion and horns in this track is really amazing.

Pedro Santos e Sebastião Tapajós – "Mungangá"

Pedro Santos is one of our favorite artists of all time: a self-taught musician, instrument inventor, and genius songwriter, although he’s still not very recognized. This track is a homage to orisha Oxalá.

Os Tincoãs – "Cordeiro de Nanã"

Os Tincoãs is one of our favorite groups of all time, a huge influence for us with their sublime vocal arrangements and their adaptations of traditional Afro-Brazilian chants to modern ’70s music. This adaptation was so strong that it can be heard in lots of terreiros (candomblé or umbanda houses) throughout Brasil.

João Donato – "Emoriô"

João Donato is one of the biggest artists in Brasil since the ’50s and we’re happy to be working with him on his new album. This track is an absolute classic and can be heard in many terreiros as well.

Grupo Zambo – "Dialeto"

Grupo Zambo is a folklore group from Bahia and their album is simply a gem with its mythical and delicate vibe.

J.B. de Carvalho – "Cangira"

This track was also recorded by Os Tincoãs with the name “Deixa a Gira Girá,” and we did a version of it on our second album. Here is the version of master J.B. de Carvalho, one of the biggest names in this kind of music. Dedicated to orisha Iansã (or Oyá).

Goma Laca ft. Juçara Marçal – "Ogun"

Juçara Marçal is one of the best singers in Brasil nowadays, and is part of one of our favorite bands in São Paulo: Metá Metá. Part of the Goma Laca project, with arrangements by maestro Letieres Leite, who’s head of Orkestra Rumpilezz from Bahia, this chant for the orisha Ogun was recorded at our studio, Traquitana, in Bixiga.

Gilberto Gil – "Babá Alapalá"

Gil is one of our biggest influences, and more specially his Refavela album from 1977 which carries heavy influence from the time he met Fela Kuti in Nigeria. This track talks about ancestry through the figure of Babá Alapalá, son of Xangô.

Antonio Carlos & Jocafi – "Simbarere"

Just the craziest jam by the samba-jóia architects Antonio Carlos and Jocafi, with the presence of Pedro Santos on “special effects.”

Candeia – "Saudação a toco preto"

From the 1971 album Seguinte: Raiz, this track by samba legend Candeia sounds very Afrobeat, but in a completely Brazilian way. Horns, drums, and a crazy organ back up his thunderous voice to make this track an absolute winner.