Historical Collections of Northeastern Folk music

The Discoteca Collection: Missão de Pesquisas Folclóricas (Smithsonian Folkways HRT15018). Collection of 1938-vintage field recordings from northeast Brazil featuring a variety of folk music forms.


Afro-Brazilian Musical Traditions


Afro-Brazilian Religious Songs: Cantigas de Candomblé/Candomblé Congs from Salvador, Bahia, Brazil. (Lyrichord Archive Series LAS-7315) Available at Candomblé (Ketú and Gege-Nago) music recorded during religious ceremonies in Bahia (1967-1975).



Capoeira Angola from Salvador, Brazil (Smithsonian Folkways SWF40465)

Capoeira Angola 2: Brincando na Roda. Grupo de Capoeira Angola Perourinho. (Smithsonian Folkways SWF40488)


Bloco Afro/Maracatu

Canto Negro: Ilê Aiyê. (Warner Music). Bloco Afro music from the group Ilê Aiyê available on iTunes.

Best of Olodum.  (WEA International). Bloco Afro music from the group Olodum available on iTunes.

Official Site of Maracatu group from Recife Nacão do Maracatu Porto Rico:

Olodum: Official Portal of the Olodum bloco afro at


Caboclo Music of the Interior

Forró, Baião, Banda de Pîfano

Brazil Forró: Music for Maids and Taxi Drivers (Rounder CD-5044). Compilation of forró artists available on iTunes.

Brazil Classics 3: Forró etc. (Luaka Bop/Sire). Compilation of forró available iTunes

Flute and Drum Music from Northeastern Brazil: João do Pife and Banda de Pífanos Dois Irmãos (Nimbus Records). Banda de Pífanos music. Available on iTunes.



Séria O Melhor do Repente Nordestino (Cantoría de Viola) Series of six recordings (Volumes 1-6) featuring Cantoría de Viola singers. Available on iTunes.

Musique du Monde: Brasil-Aboio and Embolada du Nordeste (Buda Records). Compilation of Northeastern aboio and embolada singing available on iTunes.



Selected Popular Music CD Recommendations (all available on iTunes)

Gilberto Gil, Canções do Eu, Tu, Eles. (Warner Music Brazil). Northeastern music recorded by Brazilian superstar Gilberto Gil available on iTunes

Moraes Moreira, Alto Falante (Som Livre). Bahian popular singer Moraes Moreira available on iTunes.

Chico Science e Nação Zumbi, Afrociberdelia: (Sony Music Brazil). Mangue beat from Recife avail.

Spok Frevo Orquesta, Passo de Anjo (Biscuito Fino).  Recife carnival frevo from the Spok Frevo Orquesta available on iTunes.

Cantoria 1: Elomar, Geraldo Azevedo, Vital Farias and Xangai (Kuarup). Exploration of the cantoria tradition available on iTunes.



The Brazilian Sound: Samba, Bossa Nova, and the Popular Music of Brazil by Chris McGowan and Ricardo Pessanha (Temple University Press). Informative general overview of Brazil’s folk and popular music with chapters on Northeastern-derived traditions. Website at contains many suggestions for recordings and video resources.

Focus: Music of Northeast Brazil by Larry Crook (Routledge). Examines historical and contemporary music of Northeast Brazil.



Maria-Brazil. Web site devoted to  Brazilian music and culture with loads of links and descriptions.

Salvador da Bahia, Brazil The Deep Guide to Brazil’s Essential City. Coverage of music and culture of Bahia’s capital city with videos and other links.