Caravela are an Afro-Brazilian quintet with members from Portugal, South America, Australia and the UK. Their music is an exploration of the communal traditional and spiritual music of Lusophone countries like Brazil and Cape Verde approached with a contemporary groove and feel. Caravela shine a light on traditional rhythms and styles and reimagine them with a jazz attitude of improvisation. Blending influences like Baden Powell, Mayra Andrade and Lionel Loueke, Caravela’s exploration of Afro-Brazilian music on their debut EP is not to be missed.
Opening track ‘Verde Água’ is built on an ijexá rhythm from Bahia in the north east of Brazil, a spiritual style often used at a candomblé ceremony. The lyrics explore that spirituality and feeling of purity and honesty. The track builds on the likes of Gilberto Gil and Caetano Veloso’s use of the rhythm, bringing ijexá right into the 21st Century.
‘Na Terero’, literally meaning on the terrace, is a batuque style piece from Cape Verde. Traditionally a communal call and response style sung by groups of women on the terrace of a house to share and support them with their problems. The style is a powerful symbol of female emancipation as it was banned by the authorities. Caravela’s piece builds on the percussive rhythm with soaring vocals sung in creole that discuss the value of keeping these traditions alive in the modern world.
‘Maraguês’ is a maracatu style track from the state of Pernambuco in Brazil. Often used as a carnival rhythm in the region, Caravela again reimagine the rhythm into a modern context, with Portuguese lyrics over a tight groove that discuss the feeling of belonging and exploration, a reflection on the band’s approach to their music.