Banda de Ipanema
Banda de Ipanema, one of the most popular Carnaval street bands (known as blocos), was founded in 1964. The band came to life under the leadership of designer Ferdy Carneiro and Albino Pinheiro, along with personalities that included cartoonists Jaguar, Ziraldo and the whole crew from O Pasquim (the most important Brazilian periodical to resist against the military dictatorship). The idea was to bring some innovation to Carnaval and create cheeky forms of protest against the restrictions of military rule.
Banda de Ipanema is considered to be the most democratic bloco in Rio, parading across the neighborhood with hoards of people who are, above all, passionate about Carnaval. The group gathers at Praça General Osório and marches across Ipanema usually about two weeks before the official beginning of Carnaval.
- The band was inspired by the “Banda da Mula Manca – Em Boca Dura,” a band created by the younger members of the Carneiro and De Filippo families. Wearing formal suits, they would pretend to play broken instruments and hire a “real band” to actually play.
- The Jangadeiros bar was the starting point of the first gathering.
- The first master of ceremonies and standard bearers (two traditional Carnaval roles) were none other than the famous composer Chico Buarque, Maria Vasco and Leila Diniz. Twin sisters Laura and Delia Carvalho, neighborhood personalities well into their eighties, were once crowned as the band’s godmothers.
- The band’s motto is Yolhesman Crisbelles! – taken from the preachings of a misfit who used to sell bibles at the central station (Central do Brasil), supposedly announcing the name of the real Judgment Day angel. The army’s military agents though it was a criticism to the regime, but the phrase actually meant absolutely nothing.
Photo: Kátia Carvalho
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