Macumba

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Taking their name from a north Brazilian drumming tradition based on West Africa’s Yoruba religion, Macumba’s music also draws on the Voodoo sounds of Haiti and the Santa Ria religion of Cuba. They originally…
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Artist Biography by

Taking their name from a north Brazilian drumming tradition based on West Africa’s Yoruba religion, Macumba’s music also draws on the Voodoo sounds of Haiti and the Santa Ria religion of Cuba. They originally formed out of a drum workshop given by John Gilmour to Glasgow art students in the early 90s. So enthralled were the students that Gilmour was invited to put the group on a permanent footing, with the addition of five pipers from the Neilston And District Pipeband Of Barrhead. Since that time, by necessity, the group’s membership has been fluid, from as little as three (playing Musica Populaire de Brasil) to a full 30-piece assembly. The combination of samba, particularly the northern Brazilian tradition and the xaxado, frevo and maracatu rhythms, accompanied by highland piping, has produced a unique sound. In performance they are led by Johnny Beaver, and use Brazilian percussion elements such as the pandéro (tambourine), agog bell and chocalho (shaker). Traditional pipe songs are adapted to complement the presence of the percussionists, producing a far more dynamic hybrid than traditional Scottish pipe music. The group have played twice at the Drogheda Samba Festival, and in 1993 performed at the Scottish League Cup final between Rangers and Hibernian. With the addition of singer Lynne O’Neill they recorded the wonderfully upbeat Don’t Hold Your Breath.