Algerians will get to know this week the Brazilian Chorinho, a rhythm that was born over 130 years ago in the southeastern Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro. On October 10th and 11th, Choro & Cia, a group based in Brazilian capital BrasÀlia, will perform in two locations in Algeria.
They will show their music at the Palais de la Culture Moufdi Zakaria, and the Maison de la Culture Rachid Mimouni, in Boumerdes, 50 kilometers east of the capital. The performances are part of the programme of event "Algiers, Capital of Arab Culture 2007."
"This will be the only performance by a Brazilian group during the 'Algiers, Capital of Arab Culture' program. Algerians know very little of Brazilian music. Chorinho is going to be a great novelty," said the advising minister at the Brazilian embassy to Algiers, Fernando Igreja. According to him, it was the group itself that contacted the embassy to perform in the Arab country.
Monday, October 8, the group performed in Tunis, capital of Tunisia. The trip of Choro & Cia to the Algerian capital is being paid for by the Algerian Ministry of Culture, and by the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Relations.
The Brazilian group is comprised of four musicians: Ariadne Paixão, who plays the flute and is a teacher at the Brasília School of Music, as well as playing the instrument in the Cláudio Santoro National theater Orchestra; percussionist and composer Amoy Ribas, Pedro Vasconcellos, who plays the cavaquinho (a small four-string instrument typical of Brazil) and Fernando César, who plays a seven-string acoustic guitar and is the coordinator at the Raphael Rabello Brazilian School of Choro.
The performance will feature compositions by major names in Brazilian popular music, such as Pixinguinha, Jacob do Bandolim, Avena de Castro, and Ernesto Nazareth. Choro music is considered to be the first musical genre to appear in Brazil. It is rooted in 19th century European music, which was mixed with African rhythms in Brazil.
During the group's stay in the Arab country, the musicians will participate in radio and TV shows to promote Brazilian music. Last year, the Algerian capital also received a Brazilian music group, Banda de Pau e Corda, from the northeastern Brazilian state of Pernambuco, which played in the 3rd Festival of Cultures and Civilizations of World Deserts, in Algiers. "The group enjoyed good acceptance. The people really enjoyed it," said Fernando.
Banda de Pau e Corda has been chosen to represent the culture of the Brazilian northeastern backlands. The rhythms showcased included the Frevo and the Maracatu, which are typical of the semiarid region in northeast Brazil.
Starting in 1996, the League of Arab Countries, by means of the Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization, selects one city every year to receive the Capital of Arab Culture title, aimed at showcasing the wealth of the Arab cultural heritage in arts and literature.
This year, several exhibitions of Arab books from the Maghreb region and others are taking place in Algiers. Literary meetings are also being promoted, including a festival of poetry written by women.
In November, a tribute will be paid to Palestine, bringing together writers from the country. National and international theater plays will also be featured, as well as conferences on Arab theater, female theatrical creation and homage to the most prominent figures of theater in the Arab world.
A special fund worth 5.5 billion Algerian dinars (US$ 75.6 million) was created in order to cover the cost of the events, according to the country's Ministry of Culture.
Performances by Choro & Cia in Algeria
Date: October 10th
Time: 09:30 pm
Place: Palais de la Culture Moufdi Zakaria, in Algiers
Date: October 11th
Time: 09:30 pm
Place: Maison de la Culture Rachid Mimouni, in Boumerdes