JOÃO DA BAIANA (Rio de Janeiro, May 17, 1887 - January 12, 1974)

            Created in Pedra do Sal, in the neighborhood of the health district (near the port dock), where the Bahia colony was concentrated, with its candomblé terreiros and festive groups, João Machado Guedes learned to play the tambourine when he accompanied his mother Perciliana Maria Constança, Bahia of Santo Amaro, in the house of the famous Aunt Ciata. Soon, it happened to present like ax-ax (responsible for the security of the banners that opened the parade) in the pioneer ranch Two of Gold, when it introduced the pandeiro, hitherto only used in orchestras. At the age of fifteen, he became an attraction in Rio de Janeiro society for his skill as a tambourine.

In 1908, João da Baiana was arrested by the police, who took his tambourine (considered a symbol of malandragem), when he played at a party in Penha, was presented with a new one by Senator Pinheiro Machado, a lover of popular rhythms, with the inscription Signed: To my admiration, João da Baiana. In 1910, he began to work in the Port Wharf, being promoted to prosecutor, ten years later. In 1911, he was harmony director of the legendary Kananga ranch of Japan, and paraded through the streets beating his tambourine in the exact rhythm, commanding the drums. In 1927, Patrício Teixeira recorded his samba Dona Clara "No Te Quero Mais" (coautoria of the interpreter), then The Future Is A Skull, For the Love of Mulata (those in 1930) and Idalina Vai-se Se (1931), and Admiral the Precious Dawn (partnership with Bide) in 1935, all in Odeon seal. Still in 1928, João da Baiana joined the Radio as a tambourine, plate and knife rhythm player, working on several stations such as Cajuti, Transmissora, Philips, Mayrink Veiga and Nacional. Reminiscent of the old candomblé sessions held in his own house in Rua Senador Pompeu and neighboring areas, the interest arose to compose and record several songs with this theme, beginning with the samba Viva Meu Orixá (Odeon, 1932), and the macumbas Mermaid and Folha Per Folha (partnerships with Getúlio Marinho "Amor"), in seal Victor (1938).

In 1941, he participated in the group of singers and instrumentalists (including Donga, Pixinguinha, Jararaca and Ratinho, Luiz Americano, among others), who recorded songs on board the American ship SS Uruguay, selected by maestro Leopold Stokowski for the album Native Brazilian Music Columbia), as a policy of good American neighborhood, during the Second World War. In 1950, João da Baiana and Sussú, pioneering exponents in the Umbandist music recording, released in Odeon label, the rare LP Batuque and Pontos de Umbanda, with João in prominence in the corimas: Grandma's Pipe, Amale of Xangô, Nanan Boroquê. Also in many of the sambas that he composed (Seductive Carnival, Home Desacerto, etc.) are phrases, bordados collected from "points" collected from terreiros of the famous "fathers of saints" João Alabá and Cipriano Abedé. With Donga and Pixinguinha, his childhood companions, he founded the historic Guarda Group (with the participation of Almirante, J. Cascata, and others), recorded three LPs (Sinter label) fundamental in the national discography, with João da Baiana, accompanied by his Famous tambourine: The Old Guard, including the classic high party Boss Hold Your Cattle, authored by the three inseparable friends; Carnival of the Old Guard, with emphasis on the sambas by the Telephone, from Donga / Mauro de Almeida, Gavião Calçudo, from Pixinguinha / Cícero de Almeida, (those in 1955) and Festival of the Old Guard, in the repertoire the Choros Proezas do Solon, from Pixinguinha / Benedito Lacerda, Fuxico, de Donga, and much more (1956).

In 1968, the album Gente da Antiga (Odeon label) was released, with Pixinguinha, Clementina de Jesus and João da Baiana, with sambas Quê Quê Rê Quê, Cabide de Molambo and his anthological Batuque Na Cozinha (Batuque na cozinha / Sinhá Does not want / because of the batuque / I burned my foot). The following year, French singer and film director Pierre Barouh, fascinated by our music, performed the extraordinary documentary Saravah, with pioneers Pixinguinha and João da Baiana accompanied by the youngsters Paulinho da Viola and Maria Bethânia and the vigorous guitar of Baden Powell. It is worth noting the exhilarating scene of the late samba singer in the backyard of compadre Pixinga, talking about candomblé and macumba, always elegant, tapping and singing his successes. Released in Brazil in 2005 (DVD, Biscoito Fino label). Going back to 1972, the initial compilation Macumba (Sinter, 1958) for the series No Time of the Good Times (stamp Fontana), with new title in the Time of Macumba, and the pieces Ogum-Nelê, Grandma Joana do Aguiné, Vai I -Oô, Homage to Oxalá, by João da Baiana.

At the age of 85, he was taken to the House of Artists, who died two years later. A multitalented artist, composer, rhythmist, singer, painter, his peculiar elegance was notorious with a lavish lace "a la painter", two-colored shoe, jumping carrapeta, gelot hat, complemented by the gaudy gait of the golden days of capoeira and Heavy samba.

 


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