A Festa da Raça was born out of a series of performances at a house in Barra da Tijuca. The band comprises nine samba musicians from all over the city of Rio de Janeiro, and will be performing on Oct 3 at Espaço Favela. Makley Matos, from Morro do Jucuruquara (ES), Mingo Silva, from Morro da Engenhoca (Niteroi), Thiago Misamply, from Morro do Escondidinho, Luciano Good Hair, from Morro do Andaraí, Pipa Vieira, from Morro do Turano, Alvaro Santos Martins, Marcelinho Correia and João Martins will grace the public of the City of Rock with their own delightful samba, as if in a real party.


Multitalented Nelson Sargento - composer, singer, researcher of Brazilian popular music, visual artist, actor and writer - will be joining in the Roda de Samba Festa da Raça, scheduled for Oct 3. The artist will be performing four of his classics with the nine other members of the band.

“It is such a pleasure to have Nelson Sargento on our stage, it makes us feel so happy. This is the first time we will be performing here and we are sure it will be such a memorable moment. Nelson worked with key artists in the development of samba and represents the whole tradition of popular culture. The fact that he is playing with a band that is taking its initial steps in its career is, undoubtedly, a unique opportunity to exchange experience. And the public will be witnessing a great performance of Brazilian popular music”, Roberto Medina assures. He adds that “we couldn't have Espaço Favela and not have Nelson Sargento here. After all, he is a fan of the Mangueira samba school, but above all he is from Rio and from Brazil”.

In addition to performing on stage, Nelson Sargento, who is also a visual artist, will have 14 of his paintings exhibited at the backstage of Espaço Favela, earning the area the status of an art gallery. The musician took up painting thanks to the things he learned as wall painter, a profession he worked for several years.

Zé Ricardo, music director of Espaço Favela and Sunset Stage is very excited about the show: “Having Nelson Sergeant is such an honor. When Roberto (Medina) invited me, I felt as if I was giving the audience the best of all the presents they could have. And exploring your talents, meaning, doing something else other than music, is a big gain not only for Rock in Rio, but especially for those who are there with us. “It is a unique opportunity to exchange knowledge.”

Nelson Sargento talks about the importance of samba having its space in the event.

“I have the privilege to say that art has given me the chance to learn the world, from Brazil to Japan. The way I see it, spreading the message and culture of samba I learned in Mangueira is a mission in life. I am very proud of that. Now, at the age of 95, I have the pleasure of sowing the seeds in Samba at Rock in Rio, one of the largest musical events in the world. And I am sure that after our samba echoes in City of Rock, it will never leave,” he says.

About him

Nelson Sargento is a living memory of samba. He worked with key artists in the development of samba and represents the whole tradition of popular culture. A major exponent of Mangueira school, at the age of 95, or as he likes to say: nine point five !, he continues writing and performing with an energy that will make anyone jealous.

He spent his childhood in Morro do Salgueiro. When he was around 10 years old, he went to live in Morro da Mangueira. There, he met Cartola and Nelson Cavaquinho, with whom he learned to play the guitar. The nickname "Sargento (Portuguese for Sergeant)" was given at the time he served the Army. He followed in the footsteps of Mangueira composers led by Alfredo Português (his adoptive father) and Carlos Cachaça. He composed the samba song Mangueira performed in the 1950s, such as "Cantico à Natureza" (featuring Jamelão / Alfredo Português), from 1955. In the 60s, as he was a frequent customer of bar Zicartola, he met other samba dancers and musicians from the south of Rio. After being invited by Hermínio Bello de Carvalho, he joined the show "Rosa de Ouro" (1965), along with Elton Medeiros, Clementina de Jesus, Araci Cortes and Paulinho da Viola, among others. He then joined the group A Voz do Morro, and recorded "Roda de Samba 2", a milestone of the genre. His biggest hit, “Agoniza, Mas Não Morre,” was released in 1978 by Beth Carvalho and has become a symbol of resistance to Rio's samba culture. Other successful hits include: "Idioma Esquisito", "Falso Amor Sincero", "Vai Dizer a Ela" (featuring Carlos Marreta), "Nas Asas da Canção" (featuring Dona Ivone Lara).

In the 1990s, he recorded albums in Japan, including brand new songs written by his partner Cartola. He was the subject of Stephen Ciavatta's award-winning documentary "Nelson Sargento", released in the late 1990s. He is also a novelist. He has written books such as "Prisioneiro do Mundo", "Pensamentos" and "Um certo Geraldo Pereira". He has also played in a number of movies: "O Primeiro Dia" by Walter Salles Daniela Thomas, "Nelson Sargento da Mangueira" by Estevão Ciavatta and "Orfeu do Carnaval" by Cacá Diegues, among others. To top it all off, he is a visual artist. He developed his skills thanks to the things he learned as wall painter, a profession he devoted himself to for several years. In 2017, his show Nelson Sargento com vida, was voted the best national show, according to Guia Folha de São Paulo. In 2018, he put out his Youtube channel. In 2019, he turns 95 years old on tours around Brazil and Asia.

festa da raça.JPG