Carnaval Brasileiro (Austin, Texas) facts for kids
Carnaval in Brazil derives from the medieval Christian revels in Europe held just prior to the forty days of Lent. This annual festival of flesh was further enriched in Brazil by African rhythms, especially the samba. Carnaval is an all-consuming nationwide festival in Brazil, celebrated differently in each part of the country by all social classes over a period of four days: Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday before Ash Wednesday.
Carnaval Brasileiro features GRES Acadêmicos da Ópera (aka Austin Samba). The Music of Carnaval -- samba, march, frevo, trio eletrico, and lots of batucada, or drumming -- now pours out in seamless, driving, ninety-minute sets. This is the euphoria of a real Carnaval, magnified by an arena-style sound system that makes three or four drums sound like a hundred. The key to the samba sound is the heavy boom of the surdo bass drums set against the counter-rhythms and back beats for the smaller percussion.
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