Updated on Feb.7, 2013Bangalafumenga (aka Banga, pronounced BAHN-ga) started out as a Rio de Janeiro Carnival bloco in 1998. Banga parades in the streets of Rio's South Side soon became popular and ended with huge street parties.
Motivated by the success of the Carnival parades, Banga's core members decided to play year round in shows that preserve the upbeat and involving spirit of Carnival. Today, the Bangalafumenga band is a frequent presence at Fundição Progresso in Lapa, in bars and other venues.
The band played on the stage in front of Rua Santa Clara during New Year's Eve 2010 in Copacabana.
The name "bangalafumenga" is an old slang for a "nobody". The term also referred to the houses in early 20th-century Rio de Janeiro where batucadas, or samba get-togethers, were held. At the time, samba was considered a low kind of music and black sambistas were often abused by the police.
Rodrigo Maranhão, the band's main songwriter, has had several of his works recorded by great Brazilian singers, such as Maria Rita. She recorded Maranhão's song "Caminhos das Águas", which won him the Latin Grammy for best Brazilian song in 2006.
Besides songs by Maranhão and other Bangalafumenga members, the band plays hits by great Brazilian songwriters such as Gilberto Gil and Alceu Valença, as well as songs by new talents.
Bangalafumenga is doing a great formative job at Parada da Lapa, where, in a partnership with Fundição Progresso, the group offers workshops on many Brazilian rhythms. Samba, coco, ciranda and maracatu are explored under the guidance of Banga's directors (Rodrigo Maranhão, Thiago Di Sabbato, André Moreno and Dudu Fuentes).
Workshop participants later join the group in parades, which makes for a high level of musical quality. The bloco has about 70 performers.
Bangalafumenga Bloco in Rio de Janeiro Carnival:
The Banga bloco is just as eclectic as the band. Their parades feature plenty of Carnival music, with some other styles - funk, pop, rock - thrown in, always with a strong percussion beat.
Bangalafumenga Carnival 2013:
In 2013, the bloco is celebrating its 15th anniversary. Coming up:
Carnival Parade Sunday, Feb.10, 2013 at 7 a.m.
Where: Aterro do Flamengo.
Free Show on Carnival Monday, Feb.11, at 9:30 p.m.
Where: In front of the Lapa Arches (shows with other artists start at 6 p.m.)
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