The Velha Guarda da Mangueira was formed in 1956 by Cartola, Carlos Cachaça, and Aluísio Dias as a tribute to the traditional samba school. With irregular formations and no stable rehearsal schedule, the group just showed up for eventual performances during the decades, playing sambas of the composers of Mangueira. In 1988, the Velha Guarda had 23 composers, musicians, and puxadores (the main singers) along with Delegado (Mestre-Sala), Mocinha (Porta-Bandeira), and Tia Irene (the oldest passista -- samba dancer -- in the shantytown). When the violonista (guitar player) Josimar Monteiro came to Mangueira in 1991 to substitute Aluísio Dias, he began a new phase of the venerable group, rehearsing regularly and defining repertory and personnel. After releasing a CD in Japan (Pedi Perdão), the Velha Guarda recorded the CD Velha Guarda da Mangueira e Convidados in 1999 with several special guests like Beth Carvalho (the group's patroness in this new phase), Lenine, Nelson Sargento, Guilherme de Brito, and Ivone Lara. The repertory is composed of classics by Cartola and other old guard composers of Mangueira, also with guests like Aldir Blanc and Moacyr Luz.
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