Jorge Martins - Maracatu Ilha Brilhante
Recife, Pernambuco, Brazil
Born in 1965 in Recife, Pernambuco, Brazil, Jorge
Martins da Silva is a son of the fertile musical ground
called the Morro da Conceição, a community on the
outskirts of the north side of Recife, where numerous
manifestations of the diversity of Brazilian popular
While still a small child Jorge was introduced
to universe of music, learning to appreciate the
rhythms and melodies of the era’s popular groups.
At nine years old he decided to put together a
playful children’s samba school, “The Children of
the Morro” (Os Meninos do Morro), with instruments
made out of recycled materials.
At twelve years of age Jorge had the opportunity
to have his first brief contact with musical theory,
learning to play clarinet with the Dom Vital school
band, in the Casa Amarela neighborhood of Recife.
But what most captured his imagination was the
vibrant percussion that would never cease to be
the center of his life.
In the 1980s, Jorge started to involve himself more seriously as a percussionist in
the Galeria do Ritmo samba school in the Morro da Conceição. Beginning in 1993 he
became a member of one of the most traditional maracatu de baque virado groups of
Recife, Estrela Brilhante do Recife (founded July 16, 1906.) Today he still participates
in parades and competitions, rehearsing with the members of Estrela Brilhante and
performing in Recife’s festivals and celebrations.
Foto 1 e 2: Maracatu competition, carnival 2006.
With queen Marivalda
and Master Walter, in the
celebration for the 15 years
as member of Maracatu Estrela
Brilhante, july 2007.
Nourishing the Roots
At the same time of his empirical musical instruction with local percussion masters,
Jorge always tried, often with much difficulty, to secure a permanent spot in the formal
music schools of his city. In 1989, he started to attend the erudite percussion course
of the Centro Profissionalizante de Criatividade Musical do Recife. It was at this school
that he began to listen to and read about two Pernambucans – Paulo Freire and Nana
Vasconcelos – who would greatly inspire his work as an educator and musician. During
this period Jorge began a process aimed at the dissemination of this musical knowledge,
as well as experimentation through musical perception and body movements.
At eighteen, Jorge was inducted into the Brazilian military where he served eight years.
In 1992, after being licensed through his military career and finishing a project with the
children of the neighborhood, he was invited as a musical educator to participate in a
project organized by the “Council of the Inhabitants of the Morro da Conceição.” Using
this experience as a base, he took part in other social projects with numerous NGOs in
the greater metropolitan area of Recife and Olinda, developing projects as an educator
of children and adolescents from needy communities.
In 1998, Jorge founded his own project: Corpos Percussivos, which became an NGO in
2005, based in the neighborhood of Recife Antigo. In this period he began to educate
and take care of children from the nearby community of Pilar, with whom he still works
Foto 3: Audição musical do projeto oficina de
musica do Morro da Conceição para a comunidade do
Foto 4: Desfile pelo bairro do Recife antigo após a
apresentação do grupo no polo fantasia na Praça do
Arsenal da marinha,carnaval 2005.
Foto 5: Meninos no palco da Praça do Arsenal da
Today, his primary focus is the formation of multiple musicians in the communities
where he takes care of children and adolescents (Pilar, Morro da Conceicao, Alto Jose do
Pinho). Through Grupo Cultural Corpos Percussivos the youth of these communities have
opportunities to travel, perform and come into contact with other cultures. In 2007,
during a tour of Denmark, they had the chance to demonstrate their artistic as well as
teaching abilities, administering classes for the youth of the country. In the same year
they recorded their first CD, where they had the opportunity to experience professional
studio work under the musical direction of Jorge.
Foto 6 e 8:Show no palco do carnaval de
Foto 7: Posse com o prefeito da cidade,
após a apresentacao em solenidade
pública do grupo de alunos que foram
capacitados pelo projeto durante estada em
Creating New Branches
Foto 9 e 10: Ensaio com os Mestres do Forro,abril 2007.
From 1995 to 2006 Jorge was a percussionist, writer and arranger of the group Cascabulho,
receiving a SHARP Award in two categories: Best Regional Group and Best Regional Song
(“Quando Sonhei Que Era Santo”). The group also was nominated for a Latin Music
Grammy for Best Regional Album: É Caco de Vidro Puro.
Since 2001, Jorge has actively participated as a percussionist, writer and arranger in a
cultural exchange program with the groups Maracatu New York and Nation Beat, directed
by the North American musician Scott Kettner.
In 2007, producer Paulo Andre (“Astronave Initiativas Culturais”) invited Jorge to
participate as a percussionist in the Mestres do Forro project.
Foto 11:Maracatu New York,agosto 2007.
Recording studio, with Nation Beat.
Jorge was not able accomplish all this in isolation. As a percussionist he has
participated in various projects, publishing numerous recordings. Among
Fresh Tracks, trunorth records (U.S.A.)
MONTAG MANIA (Sweden)
Grupo Cultural Corpos Percussivos (2007)
“Maracatu New York” (New York - 2007)
“Maracatuniversal”, Nation Beat (New York - 2007)
“É Caco de Vidro Puro”, Cascabulho, Via Som Music (2000)
“Só Não Dança Quem Não Quer”, Jacinto Silva, Manguenitude (2000)
”Nação Nordestina”, Zé Ramalho, BMG (2000)
”O Melhor Forró no Maior São João do Mundo”, BMG, recorded live in
Campina Grande, Paraíba (2000)
”Jackson do Pandeiro Revisto e Sampleado”, BMG (2000)
”Festival D’eté de Québec”, HMV, Canada (1999)
”Tributo a Luiz Gonzaga - Baião de Viramundo”, Y Brasil! (1998)
”Reiginaldo Rossi”, Tributo a Reginaldo Rossi, Mangroove (1998)
“Fome Dá Dor de Cabeça”, Cascabulho, Mangroove (1998)
“Amazônica”, Sony Music (1997)
“Xotes e Forrós”, Nena Queiroga, Via Som Music
Exchange with Akira Satake and Antoine Silvermann during a Japanese
festival in Recife (2005)
1. Whit Billy Hart, at his own studio.
2. with the LP (Latin Percussion) managers.
3. With Scott Kettner and Hermeto Pascoal.
Today Jorge still collaborates with various artists and groups
from around the world. Among them:
Cyro Baptista – Beat The Donkey (New York)
Scott Kettner – Nation Beat, Maracatu New York (New
The Skye Steele Quintet (New York)
Edmílson do Pífano (Lajedo, PE)
Foto 19: ao lado de Mohamad da Costa e Abou Sylla,
do grupo Agbedidi Jeliya.
Jacinto Silva (Caruaru, PE)
Cascabulho (Recife, PE)
Biliu de Campina (Campina Grande, PB)
Chuck Silverman (U.S.A.)
Naná Vasconcelos (Recife, PE)
Akira Satake (U.S.A.)
Antoine Silverman (U.S.A.)
Messias Holanda (Fortaleza, CE)
Foto 20: Com Naná Vasconcelos (Recife, PE)
Walmir Silva (Caruaru)
Manho Silva (Sweden)
Silvério Pessoa (Recife, PE)
Rob Curto’s Forró for All (New York)
Forró in the Dark (New York)
Elza Soares (Rio de Janeiro)
Vincent Van Go Go (Denmark)
Frank London and The Klezmatics (New York)
Escola de Samba Unidos do Samba (Sweden)
Fotos 21: Messias Holanda,Biliu de Campinas,Azulao e Walmir Silva,os
mestres do forró, abril 2007.
Maracatu Cologne (Germany)
Grupo de Percussão Baquetum (Sweden)
Mitoka Samba (Italy)
Samba Jacaré (France)
Maracatu Estrela do Boi (Italy)
Jacaré Brasil (University of Florida)
Pedro Luiz e a Parede (Rio de Janeiro)
Cila do coco(PE)
Zé Neguinho do coco(PE)
Foto 22: Scott Kettner e Billy Hart,ap[os o show da Nation Bit na SOBs em New
York, outubro 2004.
Maestro Ademir Araújo(PE)v
Another important aspect in the artistic life of Jorge is educating and spreading the
word about these rhythms and regional culture within his own country as well as abroad.
One of the vehicles for this is the percussion school linked to the Corpos Percussivos
project. Alongside classes and workshops with a methodology set up for a diverse
Recife public, the school functions as a magnet for international musicians organizing
cultural exchanges or simply seeking knowledge about Northeastern Brazilian rhythms.
Among these groups are Maracatu New York (USA), Maracatu Cologne (Germany), French
musicians Samba Jacare, and many others.
Jorge also organizes workshops in Brazil as well as in foreign countries, both individually
as well as accompanying other noteworthy artists. In Brazil, Jorge has spent time in Rio
de Janeiro (1999, Eco Som Studio), Joao Pessoa (2000 – together wth Nana Vasconcelos),
Garanhuns (Winter Festivals in 2001-03 and 2006).
Jorge has traveled internationally every year, offering lectures, workshops and classes
about Northeastern music, particularly maracatu. Noteworthy are his trips to the United
States since 2000: Berkeley, California; Columbia University, New York; Maracatu New
York; Ghouls and Gourds Festival, Brooklyn; University of Florida School of Music; Brazil
Camp/California; New School University, New York.
Since 1999, Jorge has also been a regular visitor to Europe, offering his knowledge to
various music centers and festivals: Groove Zentrum für Percussion-Berlim, Alemanha;
Royal College of Music of Stockholm, Sweden; Folkuniversiteit Uppsala, Sweden; Instituto
de Brasil-Itália/Milão, Vega, Copenhagen, Denmark.
Foto 23: Aula com o grupo jacar[e
Brasil da Universidade da Florida,
agosto de 2006.
Foto 24 e 26: Aula com os alunos
da Eastside High School Band
Marching Rams e Deep Funk
Productions, Florida 2006.
Foto 25: Aula com os alunos da
universidade da Filadelfia.
Harvesting the Fruits
Foto 27: Aula de percuss’ao para criancas no Ghouls & Gourds - Botanical Gardens
of Brooklyn, NY, outubro 2006.
In addition to the above-mentioned awards, Jorge Martins has become more and more well
known both inside and outside of Brazil, as noted by several homages paid to his lifelong
work. Particularly noteworthy are the title of “Destaque Imperador” from the Instituto
de Cultura Técnica (ICT) during Carnaval 2004, and the Itaú-UNICEF prize – “Educação
e Participação” with the project “Integração da Criança Portadora de Deficiência na
Escola” through the NGO Coletivo Refazendo.
Foto 28: Ensaio do Maracatu New York na Atlantic Antic, agosto 2006.
Avenida Conselheiro Aguiar #2664 - Bloco B - Apt° 601
Boa Viagem - Recife – PE - Brasil
Zip Code: 51-020-020
Telephones: 55 81-3328 4097/55 81-9193 9046
In Orkut search for: “jorgetambor”