By Nathan M. Walters, Senior Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Last night’s show at Teatro Rival, with partners Abayomy Afrobeat Orquestra and Makula Festa, marked a significant milestone for the  growth of both groups. Founded in 2009 while working together for the celebration of afrobeat legend Fela Kuti, Makula and Abayomy have increased awareness of African music for a growing population of Carioca party-goers.

Abayomy and Makula Festa, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil News
Abayomy and Makula Festa were at Teatro Rival, photo by Abayomy Afrobeat Orquestra.

Zé McGill, one of the founding DJs of Makula, recalls: “In the beginning, Makula used to have 20-30 people in the dance floor. But this year, for example, we played for a 3,000 crowd at Circo Voador, during Criolo’s concert.”  

Makula has been responsible for reigniting local interest in African music.  As a result, many legendary African artists have played for excited crowds in Rio, including legendary drummer Tony Allen.

Abayomy opened for Tony Allen at the May 6th show, and the audience got a chance to witness the talent of the group. Their success has lead more people in Rio to seek out live performances, such as last night at Teatro Rival, and has strengthened the group’s work as a result.  

“The group still play as friends, but now we have more security in what we are doing.  Opening for Tony Allen and some other notable events have helped Abayomy grow, learn and value our spirits,” says the band.

The partnership between Abayomy and Makula is focused on one thing: bringing African music to a Carioca audience.  Both are working towards sustaining a movement that draws Rio audiences outside of the traditional sounds and into an open-minded exploration of African music.   For Mcgill: “Its a pleasure, an honor, and a duty that we have to help bring this music to the knowledge of people in Rio and Brazil.”

Read more (in Portuguese).

* The Rio Times Daily Updates feature is offered to help keep you up-to-date with important news as it happens.

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