Come August, the world’s attention will be riveted on Rio de Janeiro as it hosts the XXXI Summer Olympic Games. Rio is also the birthplace of Brazil’s iconic sound—samba—from its lavish carnival themed floats to its neighborhood pagode samba gatherings.
The Peabody Award-winning program Afropop Worldwide, hosted by Georges Collinet, has intensively researched samba on the ground in Rio and has created a thoroughly entertaining and enlightening series on the origins of samba in Rio in the 1880’s to its modern manifestations. These programs are part of Afropop’s sub-series Hip Deep. Listeners will also hear a profile of the beloved singer Jorge Ben Jor who first began to experiment with fusions of samba, bossa nova, rhythm ‘n’ blues and soul in the early 1960s and has not stopped recording and performing since then. The series also tells the lively story of legendary Luiz Gonzaga, who popularized the roots pop style Baião from the country’s impoverished northeast to the entire country. The series concludes with The Mighty Amazon about the bustling pop music scene in the Amazon region, once a cultural backwater of Brazil but no longer.
Click here to listen to the entire Hip Deep Rio series.
Afropop also encourages you to let your listeners and their high school and college age kids explore our popular educational web site, The Story of Samba at the Dawn of Modern Brazil complete with a timeline, archival photos and discussion questions.