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Mocidade Independente de Padre Miguel

Musicians or bands:

Grêmio Recreativo Escola de Samba (GRES) Mocidade Independente de Padre Miguel

Biography and commentary:

Mocidade Independente de Padre Miguel is a samba school (marching band of Brazilian carnival) in Rio de Janeiro (founded in 1955, located in the poor neighborhood of "Padre Miguel"), which leaves compositions that entered in all other schools and thus history. The "Padre Miguel" for example (invented by the head Mestre André in 1958), refers to a fast restart figure immediately after stopping, typical of batucada, and demands the best samba skills and reveals the best batucadas. The basic snare drum ("caixa") phrase presents the rhythm of Bossa Nova by accents, the one the most used by jazz-samba drummers (from the first record of its kind, of the same name, from Stan Getz, 1962) and it is retaken even in the funk style. It is reminiscent of some snare rhythms of New Orleans Brass Bands and is sometimes mistakenly called "Brazilian clave", because the clave is an instrument played in Cuba and Africa, but not in Brazil. There are recent records (made in France in the 1970s) of "Mocidade" entitled "batucada fantastica" or "bateria nota 10" (in all modesty), the maximum score (the bateria is the percussion band of the samba school) in Rio carnival (this notation is a Brazilian carnival tradition, just for the honor, but now bring in a lot of money from sponsors to prepare for the following year). The schools of Rio parade are ranked by categories of excellence, as in football, and the school of Padre Miguel has been repeatedly "champion". Since 1990, the "Mocidade" is one of the best 12 samba schools who have the honor to march from Sunday to Monday ("Grupo Especial"), and even if most of the participants are volunteers (even among musicians), the floats and costumes funding is "pharaonic" (especially because of the many rare bird feathers in Amerindian tradition) and each is selected (many foreign percussionists trying to get selected as "substitute" in these prestigious schools, and they also provide advanced training courses as well as they introduce children). Today, when the school is parading, it brings together so many participants, that when the head reaches the end of the "Sambadrome" (avenue reserved for the parade in Rio at the annual carnival) the rear is not yet started to march (over 300 percussionnists play together)! This school is known for his taste for virtuosity and improvisation and represents for me the golden age of the samba de Enredo ("with story", played during the Rio carnival). It was surely the main inspiration of Aquarela in Paris, percussion band which I was part, in its early days (1990s) and jazz samba drummers ("bossa nova"), each Rio "school" having its own compositions, choruses and breaks.

Marc De Douvan, publication in French: January 3, 2006 (for the translation in English: July 12, 2015)

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© 2005 Marc de Douvan Crédits Mentions légales