Ahoy Diaspora Community, i come to you with one of the greatest voices in the Brazilian Music Elis Regina Carvalho Costa, but more then only a voice this woman was a strong personality in a time in Brazil where the military was in power. Nevertheless She was actually one of the resistance voices for culture and music  during a dictatorship in Brazil. In this post an interview the last one before she died in 1982. Today for our Vinyl of the Week i choose the record “Samba – Eu Canto Assim” that was reissued in Europe by the specialists from London Soul Jazz Records.

“Whilst her music was apolitical, her criticism of the military dictatorship ( from a coup in 1964), led to persecution by the state, at one point the authorities forcing her to sing the Brazilian national anthem at a stadium concert, under threat of her family’s safety. Elis was married twice, first to boss nova songwriter Ronaldo Boscoli and secondly to the musician Cesar Mariano. She tragically died in 1986, aged 36. Samba, Eu Canto Assim is one of Elis Regina’s definitive albums recorded at the height of her career and long regarded as a classic release in Brazil. This is a bespoke high quality box-edition hardback-cased card CD edition of this seminal album with exact-reproduction artwork from the original album.”


 She sometimes criticized the Brazilian dictatorship which had persecuted and exiled many musicians of her generation. In a 1969 interview in Europe, she said that Brazil was being run by “gorillas”. Her popularity kept her out of jail, but she was eventually compelled by the authorities to sing the Brazilian national anthem in a stadium show, drawing the ire of many Brazilian Leftists. She was later forgiven because they understood that, as both a mother and daughter, she had to protect her family from the dictatorship at any cost.

While her earlier records were mostly apolitical, from the mid-’70s on her music became more engaged, and she began to choose compositions and structure her conceptually complex live shows in ways as to criticize the military government, capitalism, racial and sexual injustice and other forms of inequality. Lyrics to songs recorded towards the end of her career carried overt socialist leanings, and in 1980, she joined the Workers’ Party.


In this interview Elis Regina are talking about many important themas and often with hard critics to the cultural and musical organizations in the country. In the minute 41:21 a great statement about a new movement in the 80ties and reflect one of the most important aspects in the Tropical Diaspora today, the live music and the musicians:  “…Cada discoteca que abre tocando musica com fita, sao pelo menos 5 musicos mais desempregados, ou seja mais 5 familias sem fonte de renda…” also the translation: “…for each new Disco opening today where they are playing music from tapes, we have 5  jobless musicians and consequently 5 families without salary…”

Elis Regina with her profound passion for the music already has inspired people even back then as it is today in our case at the tropical diaspora. We take it seriously and make this inspiration to the most important party our events, also the musicians are for us the most important part.

Check it out and come visit us in the next event, live and strictly vinyl.

Yours Dj GArRinchA.