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Carnival in Rio: play yourself a samba school drums section

iG gathered top percussionists of Grande Rio. The animation lets you conduct the samba, along with master Ciça

iG Rio de Janeiro* | 04/03/2011 14:04



It was impossible not to be curious as the band of percussionists approached the 181 building, on Barata Ribeiro street, Copacabana, in Rio de Janeiro. Wearing a Grande Rio t-shirt, they were carrying all instruments it takes for a complete samba school drums section – known as “bateria”.

Conducted by master Ciça, Tuca had his rattle; Formigão (Big Ant) held his bass drum; Junior Baiano, Bruno and Bigu da 15 carried a snare drum (repique); Fabiano had a tambourine. There were also other instruments, such as an agogo, an atabaque and a cuica.

The bunch spent about five hours in one of “Cia dos Técnicos” recording studios. Up to 2009, that very studio had been used for recording all the official samba songs played on Marquês de Sapucaí avenue, the main stage of Rio Carnival. From last year, the music recording started being done at City of Samba, though still under “Cia dos Técnicos” supervision.

In the studio, every instrument was recorded separately, in the rhythm of Grande Rio’s 2011 samba song, so that the internet user gets to know the bateria sound, the heart of any samba school.

Sound Engineer Mário Jorge Bruno, responsible for the samba song records since the 80’s, ran the equipment. iG designers also joined in, before creating this material. Here is the result, for you. Have fun!
Moacir da Silva Pinto, better known as master Ciça, is 54 years-old, 38 of those dedicated to carnival. He’s been the bateria conductor (master) since 1988, when he took over Estácio de Sá samba school. Ciça also worked for Unidos da Tijuca and Viradouro schools and has been at Grande Rio since last year.

Janaíne Conceição Pereira da Silva, or Tuca, 26, started paying for the school band and now works as a secretary for the Grande Rio bateria, where she plays the shaker.

Jefferson Dantas, Júnior Baiano, 22, has been a percussionist at Grande Rio since he was 13. A cousin of his was once the bateria conductor. He plays the snare drums and gives out percussion lessons at the school.

Bruno Gentil, Big Ant, 23, earned the nickname in 2000, when he paraded on the children’s aisle wearing an ant costume. He plays the bass drum and co-ordinates that instrument section at Grande Rio.

Alexsandro Silva, Bigú da 15, 23 years-old, works at Rio de Janeiro International Airport and fell in love with samba because a brother and a cousin were percussionists. Bigu currently plays the base drum for Grande Rio.

Bruno Ricardo Domingues, 31, has been a drummer since 15 years-old, when he had his premiere at carnival, with São Clemente school. He’s been with Grande Rio for 10 years and plays the snare drums.
Fabiano de Almeida Costa, 21, had his first professional carnival at the age of 13. He plays the tambourine.

Mário Jorge Bruno is a sound engineer and a partner at Cia dos Técnicos. Along with Laíla, a member of Beija-Flor’s carnival comission, Bruno produces the official annual samba songs CD of Rio de Janeiro carnival.


* Legendagem: Leonor Souza Pinto / Tradução: Raphael Gomide e Vicente Seda

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