Thanks for checking out Slipcue's Brazilian music guide
...hopefully it will be of use to you!
If you want to keep poking around here,
my Main Brazil Index has plenty of info, including
artist profiles, album recommendations (and warnings!)
and all sorts of other spiffy stuff.

If you're looking to dig deeper, the links below may help...
There are dozens of other links throughout the Slipcue site
(particularly on the individual artist pages...) but this page features
some favorite websites of general interest & general excellence
that hopefully will be as useful for you as they are for me...

Of course, this page is a work in progress:
your suggestions for other sites are always welcome.

Brasil... In Print

"The Brazilian Sound"
by Chris McGowan and Roberto Pessanha (Temple Press, 1996)

Concise, conversational, informative and very well laid out, this is an exceptionally readable book. Chapters on samba, bossa nova, tropicalia, forro and jazz include focussed biographical sketches of dozens of key artists, as well as succinct historical information about the progress of Brazilian music from its European and African folk roots into its bewildering and often beautiful modern offshoots. The book's focus is nonpartisan: although there is plenty of room for aesthetic criticism within the various styles, the authors generally hold their preferences and dislikes to themselves. They do, however, give readers a good sense of which recordings might be best to check out -- an invaluable service considering how little of Brazil's vast musical output makes it to the United States. Highly recommended! Certainly the best English-language guide to Brazilian pop that you will find, great for casual listeners and hardcore fans alike.


  • Brazilian Music Treasure Hunt is a blog with an insane amount of informational links. The organizational principles of the site elude me, but there's a ton of cool info to be found here... This blogger has left no stone unturned!

  • I can't keep up with local show listings and whatnot, but here are some folks who do: SFMPB.com maintains a nice calendar of events in and around the San Francisco Bay Area, and nationwide in the US. (Anyone know of other similar regional Web listings? I'd be glad to post links...)

Brasil... On Line

  • I love Sheila Thomson's Maria-Brazil site -- the presentation is very straightforward, although they dig deep, with entries on various music styles, as well as a broad range of Brazilian arts, history, cooking and culture. Includes some album recommendations, as well as a reading list of good books. This used to be a non-commercial site, but now they are affiliated with Amazon.com, though in a rather tasteful, low-key manner. (In English.)

  • SomBras has a number of very complete Brazilian discographies -- including compilation and guest artist information. There's not a lot of personalized text, but there is a lot of information. (In Portuguese.)

  • Clique Music / AllBrazilianMusic.com has recently become one of the best sites online, with brief bios and extensive discographies of hundreds of artists in a variety of styles. The site has some advertisements, but is very, very informative. (In Portuguese and English.)

  • Brazilian Music Links is a stunning collection of music site links, including hundreds of artist home pages and fan sites. A real gold mine of information!

  • Bahia Online is a fantastic site, exploring Bahian culture, giving very practical advice regarding travel to and living in Salvador, all of it written in a very down-to-earth style, very close to my own personal aesthetic. The site also hosts a cool Internet audio stram with plenty of classic and contemporary Bahian music. Very classy!

  • Trama Music, perhaps best known as a record label, also maintains an extensive website, which includes information about and music from dozens of unsigned independent artists. For a glimpse at Brazil's indie and underground scene, their "TramaVirtual" website is a real treat.

  • A mutual friend steered me over towards Sabadabada, a cool, kooky website focussed on various Brazilian records from the 1960s, with lots of pretty pictures and sound files to check out. Very cool and collector-nerdly!

  • Nikita Music is a label and music distribution service that works with many of Brazil's best independent labels. Check their site out for information about Kuarup, Eldorado and other labels, as well as dozens of new artists in a variety of styles.

  • Roots World has a modest primer on Brazil music which is well worth checking out... Gives good, clear descriptions of various music style and several artist profiles as well...

  • ...Likewise, Luna Kafe e-zine's Brazil page features several album reviews along with a couple of general essays, from a variety of contributors. Well worth checking out.

  • Michael Mihelakakis' Deep Blue Page is devoted to the Brazilian acoustic guitarists such as Baden Powell, Laurindo Almeida and Bola Sete. Includes extensive biographies and discographies, and pretty spiffy layout. Plus, he's obstinately proud about having NO STUPID ADS on his website, which I always see as a good mark of character. Nice page -- definitely worth checking out.

  • Senhor F's Secret History of Brazilian Rock is an outstanding site, profiling the growth of Brazil's rock scene over the decades of the 1950s, '60s and '70s. The site includes brief essays about each decade, various styles and dozens of biographical essays. Also has a sizeable section on non-Brazilian South American rock. (Em Portuguese.)

  • The MPB Archive is a site maintained by a Brazilian student -- features song lyrics and chord tabs for dozens of songs by various modern artists.

  • Carnaval.com has a wide-ranging list of resources... Many different aspects of Brazilian music and culture are featured here... Good resource!

  • Even more chords and tabs can be found on Cifradas Na Web site, which has a ton of other info as well... Nice resource!

  • William Dee's Bossa Nova Video is an interesting project of a bossa nova fan seeking to reassemble the lost glory years of Brazilian music on film (a vast Brazilian archive of television and film performances was lost in a fire several years ago...) Folks interested in trading tapes or contributing to his archive can check the site out at http://home.earthlink.net/~williamdee

  • MPB Net features pages for several dozen artists (including many I am not familiar with and haven't written about. The emphahsis is on songwriting, and lyrics are provided for hundreds of compositions by artists such as Gilberto Gil, Chico Buarque, Caetano Veloso, Joyce, etc. Links are also provided to artist websites where available. A simple site, but if lyrics are what you're looking for, this is a great spot. (In Portuguese.)

  • Bossa Nova Guitar (.com) -- has lyrics and tabs to dozens of songs by Dorival Caymmi, Jobim, Caetano Veloso, Ary Barroso, and other, more obscure artists. Another nice resource!

  • Egidio Leitao is a Fortalezan living in Texas who writes extensively for various websites and magazines. His own homepage includes several great discographies and recommendations, and he offers his opinions without too much fuss of calling attention to himself... Nice low-key, knowledgable presentation.

  • The Pryngo Guide features pages for several Brazilian musicians in a wide range of styles. A few inaccuracies, such as calling Os Mutantes "Brazil's first rock band", etc... but a nice site nonetheless. (Beware: one version of the site is posted on Tripod and has a bunch of irritating sales pitches and banners. This link is set to an address on dnai, which doesn't have all the sales crap...)

    Record Labels

    • Blue Jackel Records is perhaps North America's finest exponent of Brazilian music... A wide range of excellent contemporary recordings, as well as samplers of classic bossa nova, forro and MPB.

    • Olivia Hime's Biscoito Fino label highlights modernized performances of choro and new works by a variety of MPB artists.

    • Dabliu Discos -- is a small Brazilian label with an interest in lesser-known contemporary pop, bossa nova and MPB artists.

    • EMI-Brasil -- owns the Odeon and Copacabana catalogs, as well as zillions of albums put out under its own imprint. Their reissue department is particularly noteworthy for its excellent efforts in the CD era.

    • Luaka Bop -- founded by David Byrne, this label has been working wonders with releases by Tom Ze, Os Mutantes and other Tropicalia artists.

    • Kuarup Discos specializes in luscious choros and acoustic sambas and Northeastern folk styles. Their website includes a complete catalog and ordering info.

    • Luaka Bop -- founded by David Byrne, this label has been working wonders with releases by Tom Ze, Os Mutantes and other Tropicalia artists.

    • Lumiar Records in Brazil is the brainchild of record producer Almir Chediak. The label specializes in "song book" compilations, showcasing the music of various Brazilian artists. (Many of these albums are listed in the "Tributes" sections of my discography pages...

    • Omplatten is a U.S. label which has reissued the first three Os Mutantes albums... keep your eye on these folks! (No website yet, as far as I can tell, though...)

    • Revivendo Musicas is an incredible resource for anyone who wants to discover the joys of the classic pre-World War II samba. Their retrospective discs include not only well-known artists such as Carmen Miranda and Luiz Gonzaga, but also forgotten legends like Orlando Silva and Francisco Alves. Amazing stuff. (Bilingual site.)

    • Tropical Music is a German label featuring a wide array of international music, including Brazilian, African and Asian pop and traditional music. The label also carries several music books and songbooks that may be of interest.

    • Velas Records -- is a jazz-oriented MPB label, founded by Ivan Lins, which has recently started reissuing many excellent Brazilian albums in the U.S.

    • Whatmusic -- is a UK reissue label that has an impressive catalogue of obscure Brazilian '60s jazz and soul albums, as well as other styles of music.

    Retail and Distributors

    A QUICK WORD: I do not generally like to list or link to commercial websites. It goes against the personal ethic of my website, which is to present information about music and pop culture without a commercial bias. In general I find the hucksterism and pushy capitalism of the Web to be irritating and distracting, and I like to avoid contributing to it if I can. However, these commercial sites have been selected because they offer special services to music fans which would otherwise be impossible to come by, and can be a big help to readers who want to find out more about the music. Suggestions for other sites are welcome, but Slipcue reserves the right to evaluate them on a case by case basis.

  • Well, there's always Amazon... For years, I resisted setting sales links to their site, but finally I gave in because they actually have most things that you're looking for available, new or used. Plus, I get a teeny, tiny finder's fee whenever someone goes through my site to their and buys something, which is the only cash this site generates. Helps me buy a cup of coffee now and then (though that's about all... sigh. :-) Anyway, I got no problems with Amazon.

  • Caravan Music -- A commercial site with well-written recommendations, oriented towards latin american and world music.

  • Brazilian Music Enterprises is a New York based retail website, which has a wide selection of contemporary and classical releases, including a lot of early 20th-Century samba-cancao and choro albums... I have not ordered from them myself, but they look pretty cool.

  • These recommendations came from a Slipcue reader in Norway... I haven't had a chance to try either of these mail-order sites, but here's the info: "...In Rio theres a great record shop called Modern Sound, they also do mailorder abroad (www.modernsound.com.br). I've also been recommended www.livrariasaraiva.com.br which I think is kinda like a Brazilian Amazon.com with both books and cds." Another Slipcuer recommends (www.alapage.com), but again I haven't bought anything through them, so check it out yourself and see what you think...

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