This collection of Brazilian dances was written between 1980 and 1982, and these are the first marimba pieces I composed. The work is originally written for solo marimba and was later arranged for percussion ensemble (7-9 players), extending the movements with some written improvisation.
I) BAIÃO - Based on mixolydian and lydian modes, the baião is a very popular and joyful dance from Northeastern Brazil. It is often played at parties called forró (for all). The main instruments in a traditional baião ensemble include accordion, zabumba (a bass drum-like instrument) and triangle.
II) XOTE - Originally from Portugal, the xote has numerous variations in Brazil. This version has a Northeastern groove with a slight reggae feeling.
III) CABOCLINHO - One of the few dances originating with the native Brazilian Indians, the melodies are based on the pentatonic scale, and unlike most Brazilian rhythms, it has a strong down-beat feel.
IV) MARACATÚ - One of the most syncopated and beautiful Brazilian rhythms, maracatú comes from the state of Pernambuco in Northeastern Brazil, and is played in a colorful parade by drummers, singers and dancers during carnival time.