Unsuspected Treasure: Graveola and the Polyphonic Trash

What kind of band would give themselves such a long name and refer to their own music as trash? Well, we can’t make generalizations here, but “Graveola and the Polyphonic Trash (Graveola e o lixo polifonico)” is formed by the type of artists that truly enjoy what they are doing. As such, they can afford to ignore any old marketing strategy devised by the music industry.  I spent the whole day listening to their songs. At first, I could not hear any difference from any other samba. However, as I continued to listen, their originality unfolded with a natural elegance dispossessed from any egomania.They play a mix of styles: folk, rock, funk, blues and samba. Jose Luiz Braga’s velvety voice is nothing less than truly professional. I am confident most of you will agree that his singing is beautiful.

There are some moments when the band brings the Tropicalia musical movement of the 70s to mind, but with a calmer result. Yet, just like the musicians that revolutionized the Brazilian music during the difficult military period in Brazil, Graveola, and a number of other artists, are turning the state of Minas Gerais into the centre of the Brazilian musical scene.

As I write this post, Graveola is in Thessaloniki (Greece), performing at Womex, one of most important World Music Fairs in the world. Together with other musicians of  equal talent, such as Makely Ka, they are bringing the music of Minas Gerais to the attention of the world. Minas, which is a state bigger than France, still guards its strong baroque influence in its historical architecture, artcrafts and musical styles. Graveola keeps a respectful reverence to their roots, while branching out fresh green leaves.

While searching for other youtube samples of their work, I felt in love with a laid back version of the song “Desagrados e Flores”(Resentments and Flowers). The clip seems to have been recorded during a typical family gathering in Minas Gerais, with good food, good chat and good friends, cousins and siblings singing together. I don’t like clichés, but this band is that breath of fresh air.

Graveola’s next stop is in London, on the 23rd of October  at the Rich Mix ( 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, E1 6LA ). More information about this event can be found at https://www.facebook.com/events/331877986907332/. After that, they will be in Lisbon (Portugal), on the 24th of September,  at Onda Jazz.

Graveola’s Official Links






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