Brass heavy music from the Amazon. Tracks selected from Mestre Cupij's 6 studio albums. Check!
Camet, a historical little Amazonian town on the shores of the river Tocantins, is the birthplace of the scorching music known as Siria; a cross pollination between the music of the inhabitants of the Quilombos, (a Brazilian hinterland settlement founded by escaped slaves of African origins) and the Indigenous People of the Amazon Rainforest. It is a breathing, pulsing, emphatic beat, and the modernised version of this local music, created by Mestre Cupijo, has been igniting street parties and traditional festivals across the state of Par (Nothern Brazil) for decades. And at last in 2014, the combustible sound of Siria will be celebrated internationally as the feverish, tropical sound of the summer!
Foretelling his talent to flow between cultures, Cupijo was named after a local river when he was born in 1936, into a family of musicians. His father, Mestre Vicente Castro, was also known as Mestre Sicudera, the musical director of Centennial Euterpe, one of Brazilï's oldest bands, founded in 1874.
At 12, Cupijïo started to play the clarinet. He became proficient at piano, mandolin, and guitar, although the instrument that came to personify his sound was the alto saxophone. Waltz, mambo, bolero and an assortment of dance hall music became part of Cupijo's repertoire, but it was CarimboÌ and SiriaÌ, the music played by the black communities of Par, that had the strongest impact on the young musician.
To grasp the soul of this music, Cupijo went to its source and lived with the Quilombolas community of the Amazon.
Upon his return, enriched by this life changing experience, he founded the band "Jazz Orquestra os Azes do Ritmo" with the goal of modernizing the folkloric music of the state of Par .- and as witness on this compilation this had explosive effects. His fresh new sound became the soundtrack to Camet's legendary Carnival and soon his troupe were invited to other festivals along the river. Transportation to these concerts was via small boats, where 3 or 4 musicians would share a vessel with their instruments tucked between their legs.