I have planned to write about Tizumba since the first edition of Berimbaudrum. I could never get away with talking about the Music from Minas Gerais, without talking about Maurício Tizumba. When I met him during the Freshers week at Fafi-BH in 1990, we could all see that there was more to that musician. His broad smile and the sincerity in his eyes, which I managed to capture in a picture for our Student Union magazine, became a type of icon in our publicity material.
Maurício Tizumba is considered by Brazilian critics as a complete show-man. The singer, actor, dancer, comedian and composer from the state of Minas Gerais, has been mesmerizing audiences for more than 30 years. His charisma breaks any ice and his deliveries are full of wit and originality. Yet, Tizumba’s work is coherent and self-aware.
During the whole of his career, the artist has been engaged in rescuing and renewing cultural traditions in an entertaining, inspiring and educational way. In 1996, together with Regina Spósito, Maurício Tizumba launched Cia Burlantis, a drama company that aims to democratize public access to arts. Cia Burlantis has, since its launch, won several prizes with its scenic musical productions performed in the streets, parks, factories, universities, theatre festivals and many other places and events in Minas Gerais.
Tizumba has also been busy promoting the Congado – an Afro-Brazilian religious cultural manifestation involving dramatization, story-telling, dance and drumming. Such manifestation is so strong in Minas Gerais, that it has gained the denomination of “Congado Mineiro“, as a differentiation from the Congados in other Brazilian regions. Since 2002, he has been running the course “Tambor Mineiro” (Drum from Minas Gerais), in which the students can learn its different rhythms, dance steps and songs in a playful way. Students from the Tambor Mineiro have been performing with frequency and captivating the audience wherever they go.