Song of the Day: Dona Onete “Banzeiro”
Dona Onete, the The Queen of Carimbó, recorded her first LP at the tender young age of 73! Onete grew up in Igarapé-Miri a small town in Pará State near the mouth of the Amazon River. For years she was a history teacher and a union organizer mostly who also did research on some of the music of the area. Although she sang in bars when she was younger she was away from performing from the age of 22 when she got married until she was in her 60s(!) when her second husband encouraged her to start again.
Thank goodness he did because Onete is a treasure. She may perform sitting down now (she’s 80) but you won’t sit down if you see or hear her perform. She plays a style called carimbó chamegado. Carimbo is a bouncy rhythm which sounds like a mix of calypso and samba and is named after the hollow drum which provides the main rhythm. The “Chamegado” is just the name for Onete‘s take on carmimbó. I’ve featured a live song here but it appears on her second LP Banzeiro which was released in 2017.