Samba de Matuto Leão da Primavera Maragogi

Mestre Sebastião Amaro dos Santos, aka Tião do Samba de Matuto, passed away at 81 years of age in 2014.  He was the leader of Leão da Primavera a group that he had been with for decades in Maragogi, Alagoas.  There have been strong concerns for the survival and preservation of the group (and this music in general) after his passing.  There are 2 groups that play samba de matuto in Alagoas, one in Massagueira and Mestre Tião’s group in Maragogi.  The former group is made up of senior citizens, but the later is even more traditional and active.  After mestre Tião’s death, to further complicate things, there have been squabbles about inheritance of who is the real thing.

Samba de matuto originated in the sugar plantations, the zabumba or bombo and ganzá being the initial instruments. Later it absorbed stylistic elements from pernambucan maracatus and was also influenced by the dance of coco.  The singer sings verses and sends commands to the musicians and dancers with their whistle.

In Samba de matuto, the singer is accompanied by zabumba, ganzá and triangulo, while a groups of Baianas dance, repeating the mestre’s melodies with their sharp and high voices.  The lyrics can be religious, on everyday things, news or improvisations.  This song was recorded in October of 2013 by Alfredo Bello of Selo Mundo Melhor.

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Tracks on Kafundó Records