Tropical Diaspora #1 The Tree of Forgetfulness and the Door of No Return

Ska Maria Pastora from Olinda, in the North-East of Brazil, re-ignites the stage with the power of ska horns in the best tradition of The Skatalites. But you have to listen carefully. Because the main influence of the band as in Fanfarra Dominicana is frevo, a musical style that it said to be originated in the Carnival and the movements of the capoeira dancers. The harmonies of Frevo make here their way into Jamaican music.

Like so many other things in the small universe of Tropical Diaspora® Records this compilation album is the result of travels and personal connections. In fact, its meaning conveys just that: the creation of human relations based on love and care, understanding, respect and passionate discussions around the topics that move us. Djs Garrincha and Dr. Sócrates do exactly this with a case full of records travelling across the borders of Europe and the Americas. Dj Garrincha’s trips have taken him to meet artists and ignite relations that are meant to last. It can be Chicago, São Paulo, Medellin, Berlin, Barcelona, Olinda or San Juan. We are committed to add new Diaspora cities into our web of places and people to care about. And this precisely describes how we experience displacement and diaspora communities. They help us not only to produce music but also to build our own identity as human beings and, of course, as record label too. We care about displacement and the communities that grow from it.

The band Ska Maria Pastora from Recife in state of Pernambuco/Brazil is another great example of Afro Diaspora in the Americas. For sure a very special one since the inspiration for their music come from another Afro Diaspora with a not less grand history in the world music as their home country itself. We are talking about Ska the rhythm that originated in Jamaica in the late 1950s and was the precursor of rocksteady and reggae. To mention a legendary band representing this music and active nowadays in different constellation of musicians, The Skatalites, a reference in Ska Maria Pastora’s work.

Here we are with a dose of Afro Diaspora with an amazing connection, Brazil and Jamaica. These are separated just geographically, however deeply united through their African ancestry. Despite being under two criminal colonial methods, the Portuguese and the British, in both cases people’s resistance gave birth to musical rhythms that have conquered the world with a method less criminal than the one used by their colonizers. Politics and history are important, but let us concentrate on what these guys do best, MUSIC!

Ska is a very well-known music genre, although not that much in Brazil, where people are normally busy with their own genres. In Recife you have Coco, Maracatu, Forró and many others. Ska Maria Pastora’s main influence is Frevo, a dance and musical style originated from Recife and which rhythm is similar to Ska. The band does a superb job in merging and integrating these two hot styles. Its interpretation of Jamaican Ska with the addition of north-Brazilian influences lets us enjoy something that everyone knows but with a lot of elements that only people in that region of Brazil know.

For those in the world who are not familiar with the way how Brazilian musical junction works, be prepared! Ska Maria Pastora shows what it is to rediscover and revisit Ska music through a passion, energy and inspiration that uses the harmonies of Frevo in order to poison Jamaican music. The result is an effervescent dance music, typically neither refined nor popular, universal but with identity.

Formed in 2008, Ska Maria Pastora is an instrumental music project of musicians who have in common a taste for Ska, Reggae and, of course, Frevo. Taking advantage of the similarity between these styles, the band made Olinda’s main rhythm Frevo the melodic basis for their Ska compositions. Ska Maria Pastora has been influenced by Capiba, Nelson Ferreira, Spok Frevo Orchestra, Rotterdam Ska Jazz Foundation, Don Drummond and The Skatalites, the main exponent of ska, who mixed European music with the Caribbean.

Ska Maria Pastora is:

Deco Trombone (Trombone)
Oroska (percussion)
Sanzyo Dub (drums)
Vitor Magall (guitar)
Jayme Monteiro (guitar)
Valdir Pereira (bass)
Leo Vinesof (keyboard)
Daniel Ferraz (Trumpet)
Deri Sax (Sax Soprano)