By Jack Arnhold, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Since releasing her first album five years ago, at the age of 73, Dona Onete has been busy touring the world, cementing her title as ‘Queen of Carimbó,’ and this Saturday she will be regaling a hugely appreciative crowd at the Circo Voador in Lapa.
Dona Onete was born in Cachoeira do Arari and then grew up in Igarapé-Miri, both in the state of Pará in the Northern region of Brazil, and the heart of the Amazon delta. While she began singing traditional songs from a young age, she spent much of her life working as a professor of history and Amazonian studies, researching traditional music and dances, as well as being a political and cultural activist and defender of human rights.
After serving as secretary of culture for the region, and retiring in the nineties, she was encouraged to sing by her second husband, and, after being heard by a local band, she recorded her first album, Feitiço Caboclo, at the age of 73. She has since released another album, Banzeiro, and toured around Europe, as well as North and South America. Her last appearance in Rio was an energetic and brilliant show in 2017 at Circo Voador.
Dona Odete is famed and revered for her unique hybrid genre, carimbó chamegado, which is a mixture of traditional carimbó rhythms updated with lyrics that are candid, provocative and touching. When asked about her style, she said, “Traditional carimbó songs are about nature and tradition – I modernised it by singing about love and sex and taking influence from samba and pagode.”
What: Dona Onete and Minha Luz é de Led
When: this Saturday, April 14th – 10PM
Where: Circo Voador, R. dos Arcos, s/n – Centro, Rio de Janeiro – RJ.
Entrance: R$40-80 (with a 50% discount if you bring 1kg of food to the venue)