Home Reviews Review: Dona Onete, The Queen of Carimbo

Review: Dona Onete, The Queen of Carimbo


Brazilian Songs of the Amazon
The Graduate Center
Elebash Recital Hall
September 27, 2016
Live@365 Global Music Series

Dona Onete was born is Cachoeirado Arari, nestled in the delta of the Amazon. Growing up, in Igarape Miri, she attended the typical local dances of carimbo, siria, and bangue and participated in traditional musical activities. By age fifteen she was singing samba, quadrillas, boi bumba and other Northeastern genres in her hometown.

Onete became a professor of history and Amazonian studies in her hometown of Igpare Miri, and she researched the rhythms, dances, and traditions of indigenous and black people of the area. Also, she established several music and dance groups, which renewed traditional customs. Absorbing all these genres and rhythms, she began to compose and created the hybrid genre, carimbo chamegado, which is slower and more sensual.

When she retired to Pedreira in Belem, she continued to perform for her pleasure by the river or in the occasional bar. A local band heard her and invited her to sing with them. Since joining the band, she has performed at festivals all over Brazil and in the UK, France, Portugal and New York.

Last Tuesday, Onete brought her signature Caribbean sway and irresistible charisma and energy to the Graduate Center’s Elebash Recital Hall, where her husky voice, sensual lyrics and polyrhythmic grooves transformed the space into a dance hall.

She was accompanied by, musical director Pio Lobato, bassist Breno Oliveira, saxophonist and keyboardist, Daniel Serrao, percussionist JV Cavalcante and drummer, Vovo.

Onete reminds us, there is life after retirement and much more to Brazilian music than meets the eye.

Live@ 365’s Global Music Series continues with Jagwa – The Mchiriku Sound from Dar es Salaam, 10/5; The Golden Age of Ethiopian Music with Girma Beyene and Feedel Band, 10/24.

For additional information visit: livesounds.org

A graduate of Empire State College with a dual major in journalism and Latin American studies, Tomas Peña has spent years applying his knowledge and writing skills to the promotion of great musicians. A specialist in the crossroads between jazz and Latin music, Peña has written extensively on the subject.


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