Noel and Adoniran: 100 years of samba

They were born in 1910 and went down in MPB history with unforgettable sambas which told the everyday stories of cariocas and paulistas – songs that painted a picture of Brazil

Noel Rosa dropped out of medical school to work as a composer. He was from a middle class family and could have gone to the most sophisticated places in Rio, but he preferred to visit the Rio hillsides and the bars in the Vila Isabel neighborhood to learn more about the samba players in Rio. Noel was in poor health but instead of taking care of himself he kept on smoking and drinking, living the bohemian life. These are just some of the facts that stand out in the life of this genius of MPB. Noel was born in the Vila Isabel neighborhood of Rio de Janeiro, on December 11th 1910, and died aged 26, of tuberculosis. He left behind a magnificent collection of over 300 compositions, among them the samba “Com que Roupa?”. In his lyrics Noel used humor, creativity and a critical sense to reflect the carioca society of the 1920s and 1930s.

                          Adoniran, the poet of “simple things”

 Adoniran Barbosa was the most important samba composer in the history of São Paulo. His lyrics dealt with the everyday lives of poor and simple people living in São Paulo city. He was born in Valinhos, São Paulo, on August 6th 1910. Adoniran had a poor childhood and poverty was part of the final years of his life. Despite composing some of the great classics of Brazilian music, he was to die poor. During his brilliant musical career he made money but spent most of it helping friends and relatives. He had the same talent for making friends that he had for composing. Besides music, he was also an outstanding comic actor. Adoniran died in 1982, leaving behind a legacy of some of the best Brazilian music ever written, such as Samba do ‘Arnesto’, Saudosa Maloca, Trem das Onze and Tiro ao Álvaro. Several of his songs were recorded by the band Demônios da Garoa.

Voice – Aasita Muralikrishna
Picture – Calberto

1 to drop out – exp. idiom. = pular fora / desistir
2 hillside – morro / periferia
3 to stand out – destacar
4 to deal – aqui = tratar / abordar
5 outstanding – destacado

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