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Allysson Velez

Nordeste/North East - Ceilidhcatu

If the structure does not permit dialogue the structure must be changed.

Paolo Freire

An exploration of the notions of North East communities and cultures across the Atlantic

In autumn 2012 we worked with percussionist Mestre Allysson Velez, who joined us from Recife in the North East of Brazil from September to December.

During his residency he explored the cultural similarities and traditions of his home state of Pernambuco in the North East of Brazil with those of Huntly and the North East of Scotland. For his project NordEste / North East Allysson worked with Deveron Arts towards a performance at the Halloween/Samhain festival. An audience of over 250 people watched the embryonic North-East of Scotland Huntly Samba School, which created opportunities by working with local musicians/artists and visiting samba mestres. During Halloween he was joined by the Edinburgh Samba School.

Allysson also set up shop in his Casa das Ideias on Bogie Street, where he was working with local musicians of all genres towards the recording of the NordEste / NorthEast CD. Musicians like Paul Anderson and Shona Donaldson worked with him as well as NorthEast based Omar Afif with his Afro-Arabian root music, guitarist Keith Cockburn, fiddler Pam Johnston, cornet player Tony Hunter and bag piper Steve Brown.

The CD Ceilidhcatu is now available for sale in our shop, which features a great mix of Scottish and Brazilian beats, mixed with African roots.

Allysson's residency, along with the project Ceilidhamba, kept Huntly dancing most of 2012 to the beats of Samba, Marakatu, Coco and other Brazilian rhythms.

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Allysson has been a professional musician for 14 years, based in Recife, Pernambuco in the North-East of Brazil. He teaches and performs a variety of styles of music from this area, including samba reggae, maracatu, coco, damba, cirranda and afoxé. Earlier this year Allysson was a star performer at the Edinburgh Jazz Festival, where he led workshops in Fife and taught a new arrangement to various samba groups. For the finale of the inaugural Edinburgh Festival Carnival, Allysson brought together the Edinburgh Samba School, Sambalistic, Pulse of the Place and Batala from Liverpool, to form a Massed bateria of over 150 drummers and 20 dancers.

During his time in Huntly, Allysson also worked with Rossini Cavalcante, a Brazilian born but locally based drummer and percussionist on workshops and the Bee Happy parade with local enthusiasts. Information on the first part of our Samba project with Sambasupercollider can be found on the project page.

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