Brazilian Music

Brazil gauchos rio grandeBrazilian music speaks to my soul like no other music I’ve heard on the planet — so much so I’ve often said the stork got lost and I was supposed to be born in Brazil!

It feels like it belongs in those places inside of me that fill with joy when I’m out in nature, or when I see a child smile at discovering a bug, or when I just wake up another day with the sun on my face.

It also feels like it belongs in those places inside of me filled with love, yearning and even a sorrow that feels like “well, I tried, but hey, I’m still alive” instead of a bottomless pit. It just feels like my favorite celebration of life!


Brazilian music is as varied as the sun and rain across this huge country — yet it all possesses a magical delight not found anywhere else in the world.

From a composer’s and musician’s perspective, I’m always seeking out origins — and I listen and feel my way rather than see and think, working with my music by ear and heart only.

I believe that everyone’s ears and hearts have all the “PhD” one needs to discover what any particular music is all about.

With that in mind, let’s embark on an adventure for just a taste of Brazilian Music!

Indigenous Music

These days, to hear indigenous Brazilian Music in person, you’ll have to travel to the enclaves of the indigenous tribes, except for a couple of Brazilian Music artists like Marlui Miranda, who are bringing some of Brazil’s indigenous music to a wider audience.

-Marlui Miranda-Kworo Kango

Brazil Capoeira Music

Bahian Music

Afro-Brazilians from the Bahia region have arguably had the greatest influence on music in all of Brazil and especially on the music of Brazil that has spread throughout the world.

Here, the martial art form of Capoeira, which masqueraded as a “dance” originally developed by Brazilian slaves from Angola, is practiced with its accompanying music.

Capoeira has spread throughout the world, with not only the martial art being taught but the Capoeira music as well.

A lot of different Brazilian Music styles, in addition to Capoeira, originate in Bahia.

Capoeira Bahia Brazil

Brazil Sertao

Sertão Music

In the Sertão of Northeastern Brazil, sometimes it doesn’t rain for years! The reality of this life seeps into this style of Brazilian Music — but notice, the joy and celebration of life, nonetheless, are still there!

Asa Branca

Brazil TiradentesII Minas Gerais

Minas Gerais Music

The music of Milton Nascimento and his friends from Minas Gerais started out having a special name: Clube da Esquina — The Corner Club, and upon listening, you find it must be a very special corner of the world. It is intriguing and yet peaceful. Milton Nascimento’s music has, of course, become much larger than Minas Gerais. In fact, it almost seems larger than life — he is an amazing talent treasured world-wide.

Milton Nascimento & clube da esquina – um girasol da cor de seu cabelo 

Milton Nascimento – Tudo o que vocé podia ser


Rio Grande dol sul Music

When you get as south as you can go in Brazil you’ll encounter the gauchos and their music in Rio Grande dol Sul like Renato Borghetti. If a film were made here, the soundtrack alone would be interesting enough to capture my attention, let alone the lives of the gauchos and gauchas!

Brazil Rio Impanema Beach

Rio Music

The mingling that happens in a big city could be said to always present the opportunity to make exciting music — but no big city has produced the magical music of Rio.

From the samba of Carnaval created by the migration of Afro-Brazilians to the big city looking for work and mingling with the cariocas already there to bossa nova created by a Bahia native, João Gilberto — distilling samba down to it’s entrancing bare essentials, teamed with a composer, Antonio Carlos Jobim, with magical melodies and harmonies coming out of his hands, and a poet, Vincius de Moraes, who knew how to put Brazil in words — to MPB initially created by eclectic individuals proclaiming their rights in the face of a military coup that tried to say they didn’t have any — the music of Rio has enchanted the world!

Joao Gilberto – Chega de Saudade

Elis Regina – Arrastao Legendado

Escola de Samba Camisa Verde e Branco Carnaval 2011 – 3º Ensaio Técnico Sambódromo do Anhembi

A friend of mine from Sao Paulo told me recently how amazed she was to be floating on a gondola in Venice and listening to Ary Barroso’s Aquarela do Brasil!  Does she realize what her native music has done to the rest of the world?

There are, of course, so many more styles of Brazilian Music than I could cover in this excursion — so go explore!


Chris McGowan and Ricardo Pessanha.

The Brazilian Sound: Samba, Bossa Nova and the Popular Music of Brazil.Rev. ed. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2009

Ruy Castro.

Bossa Nova: The Story of the Brazilian Music That Seduced the World.Chicago: Chicago Review Press, 2000

CliqueMusic Editora Ltda.

AllBrazilianMusic. 2000 – 2011. March 3 2011 -


Eliyora Entertainment™LLC.  © Paradunai™LLC.  All international rights reserved.  All trademarks property of Paradunai™LLC.  All personas, concepts and original songs created and performed by Sherese Chrétien.