Berklee BeanTown Jazz FestivalMarcus Santos and Bloco AfroBrazil

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Saturday / September 26, 2009 / 1:00 p.m.
Columbus Avenue (Street Performance)
688 Columbus Avenue
United States
Bloco AfroBrazil

Led by Marcus Santos, Bloco AfroBrazil takes to the streets of Boston throughout the outdoor festival day, mixing traditional Brazilian grooves like samba, maracatu, and baião with funk, rock, jazz, and hip-hop. Always one of the most visible and high-energy groups of the day, The group consists of more than 20 of the most talented percussionists and musicians in New England.

Bloco AfroBrazil is a Boston-area ensemble dedicated to the preservation and promotion of the vibrant Afro-Brazilian carnival traditions of Bahía, a state in northern Brazil where 90 percent of the population is of African descent. Carnival in Bahía's capital city of Salvador centers around the blocos Afros, or carnival clubs, that provide the musical "voice" of this celebration. As the blocos Afros parade throughout Salvador, they pick up revelers, promoting the traditional notion that Carnival is a time to join in, a time when rules can be broken and social barriers crossed. In some years, Carnival parades in Salvador have included up to 340,000 participants.

The energetic Marcus Santos leads Bloco AfroBrazil, which delivers captivating performances to its audiences. Born and raised in the city of Salvador, Santos grew up in the blocos Afros tradition. After performing with Brazilian groups like Mambolada and Jheremmias, he won a scholarship to attend Berklee. Upon his arrival, Santos founded Bloco AfroBrazil and its parent organization, AfroBrazil, dedicated to keeping Brazilian percussion traditions alive in the United States. Marcus has performed with artists such as the Gypsy Kings and Paquito D'Rivera.

Bloco AfroBrazil was recently nominated for a Boston Music Award for Best World Music Act.

See the full Berklee BeanTown Jazz Festival schedule.