Samba: The heartbeat of Brazil
Samba's roots begin with African immigrants from the Northeastern State of Bahia jamming at
Plaza 11 and writing the first song at the home of renowned party hostess Tia Ciata. The Estacio
Neighborhood became the cradle of Samba in the 1930's but it was not till the late fifties that
today's samba from the hills of Rio conquered the City by becoming intimately tied to Carnaval.
This festival's annual song-writing tradition has long fueled tremendous musical endeavor, and
today old-style Bandas with horn sections playing marchas are resurrecting the spontaneity and
whimsical style of old Carnaval in the neighborhoods. Yet it is the escolas de sambas first formed
in 1928 which will remain in your memory long after you return from your visit to Rio de Janeiro.
The Brazil Samba Parade:
The parade consists of different Samba Schools, competing for the year's championship - The
most beautiful, exciting and colorful - wins the title. The parade of samba schools happens at Rio's
Fourteen special group schools march on Carnival Sunday and Monday - seven each day. This
true samba marathon lasts a total of over 20 hours! Competition is fierce. Each year two schools
will go down from the special group to the first group.
The "Sambodromo" is a place specially built to handle Rio's main Carnival Parade. It is divided in
sectors: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,9,11 and 13.