The beat that throbs the heart of Salvador

Know where all the swing and the joy of Bahia comes from.

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Brasil is internationally renowned for its color, gourmet and musical mixes, among others. Each region of the country has its own characteristics and customs, and when it comes to music, it’s no different.

Various types and rhythms are played throughout the country and are very successful. One of the most popular rhythms is Axe, a musical genre from Bahia that wins over tourists from all over the world.

Axe is a word deriving from the Yoruba language and means the energy, power or strength that each person has. In religions like umbanda and candomblé, it is used as a religious greeting, which means "positive energy" and represents the sacred energy of the orishas. Axe can also be used to wish people happiness and good energy. The name is perfect for the musical genre, since there's no way to be sad with all the excitement that the Axé Music has.

The rhythm was born in the 1980s, during Carnival festivities in Salvador. The Carnival festivities and the trios already existed at the time, and the people used to enjoy the revelry by listening and dancing rhythms like forró, reggae, maracatu and frevo pernambucano [frevo from pernambuco]. The mixture of all musical styles played at the time gave rise to Axe. The song Fricote, performed by Luiz Caldas and composed by Paulinho Cameo, is considered the first Axe song, definitively setting the beginning of the musical genre in 1985. The success of Axe remains to this day, cheering up the population on the beaches, parties and micaretas during Carnaval in Salvador.

Another rhythm that rocks Salvador is the samba-reggae by group Olodum. Created in 1979, the movement was developed by residents of Pelourinho as a promotion of art, through the knowledge and music, and strengthening of the Afro-Brazilian tradition. The movement grew really fast, becoming an important piece of the brazilian identity. Over time, the Group expanded their social roles to become one of the most important NGOs in the country. In 1996, pop star Michael Jackson recorded a video clip with the group, which gave Olodum international recognition.

To attend an Olodum performance, go to Pelourinho on Tuesday, at 8:00 pm, (Salvador-Bahia). It’s when they host the “Benção do Olodum" [Blessing of the Olodum], a traditional festival promoted by the group.