Rommel Ribeiro and the sounds of São Luis

Alex Bordokas - Toronto

The first time I saw Rommel play was at an after party at Folk Music Ontario in Ottawa. He kept playing and playing. David Arcus, producer and collaborator of Aline Morales, was standing right next to me. He commented, "He has that sweet touch when he plays guitar". 

Rommel Ribeiro is a charming troubadour who puts out catchy vibes and poetry in his music. His music is greatly inspired by the  culture of his hometown, the "ilha Maravilha" or the "fabulous island", that is São Luis, the capital of Maranhão state in Brazil's north. The city is known as a hotspot of culture, with many musical traditions unique to that city, Tambor de Criolo, Bumba Meu Bois, Baião de Princesa, etc etc. The city also has the largest reggae scene in the country, with giant radiolas, or sound systems playing all night long. In fact it is known as perhaps the only place in the world where the norm is to dance to roots reggae music in couples, moving slow and close to the rhythm.

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Rommel's five-piece band is set to travel the world. Featured in his crew is master percussionist from Bahia, Mestre Vovô, a stalwart of the Montreal and Salvador da Bahia percussion scene. 

On April 26th, he’ll invite the participation of special guests Aline Morales (ahead of their National Arts Centre performance as part of Vivafest in May), Tamar Ilana and Sergio Xocolate. Tickets can be purchased here.