G.R.E.S. Acadêmicos do Salgueiro, or simply Salgueiro, is one of Rio de Janeiro's traditional samba schools. Based in Andaraí, a district in Rio's North Side (Zona Norte), Salgueiro has its origins in early 20th century blocos and later, in two distinct samba schools from the Salgueiro hill in Tijuca.
Salgueiro's colors - red and white - are associated with Rio's patron saint, Saint Sebastian, and Xangô, an Afro-Brazilian orishá (or deity).
In the mid 1960s, when Salgueiro had become a hit with middle class samba lovers, the school "moved down the hill to the asphalt", as they say, and started rehearsing at a club in Andaraí, making it easier for more people to attend. In the mid-1970s, Salgueiro moved to the current location in the same neighborhood.
The school's slogan is "Nem melhor, nem pior, apenas uma escola diferente", meaning "Neither better, nor worse - just a different school".
Salgueiro History Highlights:
In 1953, when Carnival parades in Rio de Janeiro still took place on Praca XI, Salgueiro as it's known today was born from the fusion of two other samba schools. It soon rose to the level of leading samba schools Mangueira, Portela and Império Serrano.
The 1960s and 1970s were a time of glory for Salgueiro. In the 1960s, the school won three titles. In the 70s, it won the 1971 title with "Festa para um Rei Negro" (Party for a Black King) - which had one of the catchiest choruses in Rio Carnival ever - and launched a new phase in luxury and creativity in Carnival parades, thanks to brilliant Joãosinho Trinta.
After a difficult phase in the 1980s, the school won a title in 1993. In the 21st century, Salgueiro had had fabulous parades which, despite not resulting in titles, have left enduring memories, such as the fire theme in 2005 and an engaging celebration of Rio de Janeiro in 2008.
Then, in 2009, the samba school again had a victory.
Latest Titles :
Champion of Rio Carnival 2009. See the 2009 Salgueiro Parade Photo Gallery.
Vice-Champion in 2012
Vice-Champion in 2014
Aprendizes do Salgueiro:
Salgueiro has a junior samba school - Aprendizes do Salgueiro. Aprendizes ("apprentices") parade with other junior samba schools in AESM-Rio - Rio's association of junior samba schools - on the Friday immediately before Carnival.
Salgueiro Samba Court:
The Salgueiro samba court, or quadra is one of the best in Rio. Air-conditioned, with two floors and a capacity of 8,000, it has 12 bars, ten suites and four clusters of tables on the first floor, plus 69 suites for 15 people each on the second floor.
Located in a residential neighborhood, the court is easy to get to by taxi. If you're coming from a hotel in the South Side, you can save some money by taking the subway to the Saenz Peña station and then taking a taxi to the quadra (which is a fifteen-minute walk from the station).
Andaraí, where Salgueiro is located, is very close to the Maracanã stadium and to Tijuca and Vila Isabel, where travelers will find historic residential streets and some of the best bars in the Rio nightlife.
Salgueiro is "my" samba school - I lived one block away on Rua Amaral all my childhood, and my elementary school was a few houses down from the current samba court address. At that time (the late 1960s), however, Salgueiro used to rehearse a little further away on Rua Maxwell.
Don't count only on my soft spot for Andaraí and the North Side when you're choosing a place to attend a Carnival rehearsal, though - Salgueiro is visited by locals and international travelers alike. Soccer coach Zagallo, of World Cup fame, a reserved man who doesn't usually attend samba rehearsals, has been there with his family. Actors Bill Pullman and Fisher Stevens have enjoyed it, and so can you.