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The Mighty Amazon

The Amazon River basin has long been a mystery to Brazil. Located far from the centers of business and power in the nation’s southeast, the jungle provinces of the Brazilian north have long been ignored by the nation at large. But recently, Brazilians have discovered that the cities and waterways of the Amazon are home to some of the nation’s hottest music. In this Hip Deep episode—a musical history of Pará state, where Afro-Caribbean influences have created a unique local flavor that connects the dots between Brazilian music and the rest of Latin America, we check out the guitar heroes of old-school Amazonian dance bands, investigate the origins of the early ’90s lambada dance craze, and explore the bubblegum bass culture of tecno brega. Featured interviews with singer Gaby Amarantos, lambada revivalist Felipe Cordeiro and ethnomusicologist Darien Lamen, among others.