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Carnival in Brazil - Afro Brasilian percussion meets Steel Pan

In 2006 Arts Council England awarded Mary Genis an opportunity to study carnival music in Brasil. She travelled to Pernambuco in North East Brasil spending a month creating new music in collaboration with Afro-Brasilian percussion group Yle de Egba.

Yle de Egba has strong connections to spiritual religion which combines African Yoruba traditions with Catholicism. The musicians play a range rhythms including afoxe.

The video below shows the group playing typical afoxe rhythms driven by the traditional beaded gourd known in NE Brasil as a xequere (pronounced 'shek-ar-eh', expertly played by the young teenagers.


Yle de Egba percussionists welcome Mary to their terriero with a street party.

Children are taught basic beats and rhythms from the age of one, by the time they are two or three they can play quite complex beats on cowbell and timba. This film shows clips from Yle de Egba's procession through the streets of Alto Jose do Pinho and their performance at the meeting of Afoxe nations in Recife Antigo


Mary joins Yle de Egba for the carnival street procession in Alto Jose do Pinho.

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Steel Pan in Brazil

Timba drums Brasil

In 2006 CultureMix Arts Artistic Director won an award to study carnival in Brasil.
Hosted by Afro Brasilian percussion group Yle De Egba the collaboration brought typical Afoxe rhythms and steel pan together for the first time at Olinda Carnival.

Preparing for the Procession

Mary making flag

The musicians make their drums, costumes, flags and banners in preparation for the procession through the hillside streets of Alto Jose do Pinho