To me, Forró Roots is almost an identity project. Forró was a big part of my personal growth during the time I lived in Recife, as I became a young adult. I remember well the celebrations of Luiz Gonzaga's Centenary in 2012. There was an explosion of cultural events in Pernambuco: concerts, book launches, plays, museum openings, etc. All with the purpose of celebrating the legacy of the King of Baião. Back then, I already had aspirations of becoming a composer so I sketched some melodies with - my then composition partner - Tiago Patriota. In my mind, I did not want to miss out on that historical euphoria around Luiz Gonzaga; I thought it was important to acknowledge this character who profoundly marked the construction of modern Brazilian music and highlighted the identity of Brazilian Northeast as we know it today.
It was in this mood that I grabbed my guitar, when I first heard about the idea of the Forrobodó Festival. I was still in Boston in a meeting with Beto Camará and Rafael Piccolotto de Lima. Then, I realized how rich the proposal was. I took it as another challenge for my singing dreams. Being in New York brings this kind of challenge: trying new compositions and always looking for musical quality.
I also cannot help but remembering the thrill of singing for the Forró audience in New York, something that always captivates me in a unique way. The joy and will of the dance instructors is such that one cannot help but see their passion. Together with the dancers, they bring their passionate ears very close to the stage, as to better hear our melodies and poems, our vibrations and all the energy exchange between the band and the dancers. I like this! And I find this exchange essential in both shows and classes: distances are eliminated and everyone becomes both an artist and spectator. This is what most touches me the most in New York City.
So, my folks, I can’t wait to be at Forróbodó Festival in New York! I will be at the opening interpreting my own composition "Forrobodó in New York", with arrangements of maestro Rafael Piccolotto de Lima. On Sunday I will also be closing the Festival with Forró Roots, the favorite Boston Forro Trio. Our backpack is full of mixes: Forró with samba, forró with maracatu and novelties from last CD Arrocha o Nó. I want to see the people tightening their belts and tying the knot for another great event that promises to have many surprises and especially the Brazilian music in New York. We want diversity, we want the caboclamix of a forrobodó, epithet that had intention to depreciate, forrobodó, mess, popular dance to blow of blow, but today and soon will be our favorite Brazilian mess. Most of all, it will be our Forrobodó. Who wants to come with me?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR - Tarciso Alves was raised in Pernambuco, Northeastern Brazil, steeped in regional music traditions, folk dancing, and spoken-work poetry. He studied classical singing at the Pernambuco Conservatory And is a self-taught guitarrist and percussionist. His life and work is deeply influenced by popular traditional genres such as Forró, Samba and Coco de Roda, which has influenced his compositions.
Revised by Silvia Sampaio de Alencar.