Edited by Azizi Powell
This is Part I of a two part pancocojams series on the Brazilian percussion group Olodum.
Part I provides information about Olodum and showcases five YouTube videos of that group.
Selected comments from the discussion threads for two of these videos are also included in this post.
Click http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2018/06/bahian-percussion-group-olodum.html for Part II of this series. Part II showcases a video of Michael Jackson performing his song "They Don't Care About Us" and a video of Paul Simon performing his song "The Obvious Child". Both of these videos feature Olodum.
Information about these two songs and the lyrics for these songs are also included in that post.
The contents of this post is presented for cultural, entertainment, and aesthetic purposes.
All copyrights remain with their owners.
Thanks to Olodum for its cultural legacy. Thanks also to to all those who are quoted in this post and thanks to the publishers of these videos on YouTube.
A version of this pancocojams post was published on March 2012.
INFORMATION ABOUT OLODUM
[I retrieved this information from Olodum's YouTube bio page in 2012:]
"Olodum is a cultural activism group created with the objectives of fighting racial discrimination and socioeconomic inequality. They have recorded ten LPs/CDs and have worked with Wayne Shorter, Jimmy Cliff, Herbie Hancock, Michael Jackson, Paul Simon, and Spike Lee. The group draws 4,000 people to parade in the bloco (which has about 200 musicians) at Salvador BA carnival, gives lectures on social and political issues, and publishes a monthly news journal, Bantu Nagô. The group also runs a factory for clothes and musical instruments sold to the public and a school for Salvador's poor children.
Olodum was created in Salvador, BA, in April 25, 1979. Olodum takes its name from the Yoruba deity Olodumaré ("God of Gods," in Yoruba language). Originally a bloco afro (a Bahian Carnival association devoted to research and the celebratation of black culture), the group drew 800 people to the streets in their first Carnival (1980). In the next year, they already had 2,000 affiliates. In 1983, the group constituted the Grupo Cultural Olodum. Neguinho do Samba joined the group that year as mestre (master) and is the figure responsible for the winning combination of samba and reggae that characterizes the group's musical approach. In 1984, Olodum was acknowledged as a state public utility organization, had 3,000 people parading in their bloco, was featured in the documentary Carnival Bahia. In 1987, their first LP, Egito, Madagascar, made a hit with "Faraó," by Luciano Gomes dos Santos, and sold more than 50,000 copies. Two years later, the group did their first performances in Europe and, in the next year, played again in Europe and in Japan, Argentina, and Chile."
Yoruba is an ethnic group from Nigeria, West Africa. Click the "orisha" tag below for pancocojams posts about Yoruba orishas (orisas).
Notice that the colors that Olodum uses for their drums and clothing are red, gold (yellow), green, and black colors. This choice of colors is significant as red, green, and gold are the colors of the pan-African flag.
Click http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2014/01/the-history-significance-of-pan-african.html for a 2014 pancocojams post about the history and significance of the pan-African flag and its colors.
"Olodum is a bloco-afro from Salvador's carnival, in Bahia, Brazil. It was founded on April 25, 1979 during the carnival season as a leisure option for residents of Maciel-Pelourinho, guaranteeing them the right to play at the carnival in one block and in an organized manner. It is a non-governmental organization of the Brazilian black movement. Its headquarters are located in the historic center of Salvador, Pelourinho, which hosts most of its presentations. Its CEO is João Jorge Rodrigues.
Olodum develops activism to combat social discrimination, boost the self-esteem and pride of African-Brazilians, and defend and fight to secure civil and human rights for marginalized people in Bahia and Brazil. Currently[when?], it has a social project called Escola Olodum (Olodum School).
Just after, Olodum started to be known in the entire world as an African-Brazilian percussive group and performed in Europe, Japan, and almost all of South America. In 1988, Simone recorded “Me ama mô” live, in Pelourinho, featuring Neguinho do Samba and Olodum (this record is in Simone’s album, "Simone"). One of the biggest moments for the group was in 1996, when they participated in the Michael Jackson song, “They Don't Really Care About Us” from the album HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book I, and the video clip was recorded in Pelourinho and Jackson also collaborated with the 200 members of the cultural group Olodum, who played music in the video. The media interest surrounding the music video exposed Olodum to 140 countries around the world. It brought them worldwide fame and increased their credibility in Brazil. Lúcia Nagib, of The New Brazilian Cinema, said of the music video:. After this, Olodum recorded with famous artists from Brazil and abroad, such as Wayne Shorter, Paul Simon, Jimmy Cliff, Herbie Hancock, and Caetano Veloso. In 1996, the band appeared in Heavy Metal band Sepultura's album "Roots." In 2013, the band played live with Kimbra on Rock in Rio's sunset stage, performing a cover of "They Don't Care About Us." Beyond that, they participated in the official song, consequently in the opening, of the FIFA World Cup 2014, with rapper Pitbull and singers Jennifer Lopez and Claudia Leitte. Parallel to the artistic success, the band takes part in social movements against racism and for civil and human rights.
Escola Olodum (Olodum School)
Since October 25, 1984, the Escola Olodum (in English, Olodum School) is a real space for participation and expression of African descent community, becoming a national and international reference for innovation in working with art, education and cultural diversity.
The Escola Olodum reveals magnitudes beyond the touch of the drum, with activities that aim to enhance the potential of children, adolescents and young people through languages that enable social and digital inclusion, working alongside the issue of ethnic and cultural citizenship.
This pioneering project of Brazilian African popular education originated in the Rufar dos Tambores project, developed in 1984 by Olodum, composed of free classes of African block percussion, and African courses - Brazilian short-lived.
Initially aimed to answer a request Maciel / Pelourinho community to be formed an integrated percussion band for children and adolescents of the neighborhood, but currently has students from throughout the city of Salvador.
It offers percussion courses (theory and practice), popular song (theory and practice) and African dance. Entries are made annually for children and adolescents aged 7 to 14 years."...
Example #1: Olodum - Oh Berimbau!
Uploaded by maxten on Mar 2, 2009
pedaço de arame pedaço de pau
juntou com a cabaça virou berimbau
"The berimbau... Brazilian Portuguese... is a single-string percussion instrument, a musical bow, from Brazil. The berimbau's origins are not entirely clear, but there is not much doubt about its African origin, as no Indigenous Brazilian or European people use musical bows, and very similar instruments are played in the southern parts of Africa. The berimbau was eventually incorporated into the practice of the Afro-Brazilian martial art capoeira, where it commands how the capoeiristas move in the roda."
Example #2: Batucadas do olodum (BAHIA,SALVADOR)
Uploaded by MyRockpower on Sep 3, 2009
Here's information about the meaning of the Portuguese word "batucada" from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Batucada:
"Batucada is a substyle of samba and refers to an African influenced Brazilian percussive style, usually performed by an ensemble, known as a Bateria. Batucada is characterized by its repetitive style and fast pace"
Video #3: Olodum Salvador Bahia HD
Uploaded by MrRonny63 on Feb 12, 2011
Here are four English language comments from that viewer comment thread:
1. "michael jackson's song THAY DON'T CARE ABOUT US !! :)"
-BIRDANGAL; December 2012
2. "@BIRDANGAL actually, it's one of the original beats created by the "olodum movement" that was born in Salvador da Bahia, Brazil. And no, the beat from MJ song is different, if you listen carefully. Check "Paul Simon Obvious Child" (that was released in 1990, meaning 15 years earlier than MJs) and there you will find this exact beat!"
-MrBrunoLKSl, December 2012
3. "Has nearly the same ritm as paul simon the obvious child. Very nice done. Nice hd video too. super! Greetings from holland."
-ghj9018 February 2012
4. "@ghj9018 Paul Simon borrowed the rythm from Olodum, actually, and it was Olodum that did the percussion for the song to which you are referring. They are awesome!"
-quackzinho ; February 2012
Video #4: OLODUM CARNAVAL 2011 - RITOS DOGONS
Uploaded by marlinh0 on Oct 19, 2011
Video #5: Olodum batuque bom
Andréia Rabello, Published on Jun 15, 2014
Este vídeo foi feito na época da Copa do Mundo de 2014, estava acontecendo uma transmissão ao vivo para a SPORT TV. Eu tive o privilégio de registrar este momento mágico, O Grupo Olodum é fantástico... Bahia encantada, pessoas, cor, som, vida!!!
This video was made at the time of the 2014 World Cup, there was a live broadcast for SPORT TV. I had the privilege of registering this magical moment, The Olodum Group is fantastic ... Bahia delighted, people, color, sound, life !!!
Here are selected comments from this video's discussion thread, with numbers assigned for referencing purposes only. Translations from Portuguese to English are given via Google translate.
1. Wilmer castillo saucedo, 2014
"buenos cortes , aunque tengo una pregunta como hacen para que los tambores tengan distinta afinacion , si son del mismo tamaño y como se llaman dobladas o surdos de medio ?"
"good cuts, although I have a question how they do so that the drums have different tuning, if they are the same size and as they are called bent or half surdos?"
2. layon santos, 2014
"cada tambor tem um tipo de couro um mais fino e outro mais grosso"
"each drum has one kind of leather one thinner and one thicker"
3. layon santos,2014
"e tambem fai da bequeta de tandor quanto mais macia mais grave quanto mais dura mais agudo"
and also fai the tandor bequeta the softer the more severe the longer the sharper
I don't speak Portuguese but I think that this refers to how the drum sounds being determined by how the drummer beats the drum.
4. Wilmer castillo saucedoM 2014
"gracias muchas gracias =) obligado"
"Thank you very much =) obliged"
5. bossa nova jazz, 2014
"+Wilmer castillo saucedo mentira..los tambores cambian de afinación por apretar tornillos no por las mazas o por el grosor del parche.."
"+ Wilmer castle saucedo lie .. the drums change tuning by tightening screws not by the mallets or by the thickness of the patch .."
6. Wilmer castillo saucedo, 2014
"gracias bossa mnova jazz, eso tambien es cierto, sin embargo creo que el tamaño de la maza tambien importa en el sonido"
"thanks bossa mnova jazz, that's also true, however I think the size of the club also matters in the sound"
7. Adolfo Oliveira, 2015
"Esse som é vida!, ÁFRICA/BRASIL/BAHIA=SHOW!"
"This sound is life !, AFRICA / BRAZIL / BAHIA = SHOW!"
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