Maninho leading Batucada Carioca as part of Expressions of Brazil Festival at Harbourfront (2012). Pic: Nicole Ferreira

In Toronto, there are many agitators in the Brazilian music scene. A great figure and a reference in this scene is the leader of Batucada Carioca, Maninho Costa.  It’s crazy, because we don’t realize how lucky we are to have a man like Maninho Costa or ManinhoZ10 (pronounced mah-knee-n-yo-zé-des). He is a true link between our world and Brazil. A sambista through and through, he is the real deal  and his feel in the rhythm is unparalleled. Even in Brazil it would be rare to have the opportunity to study and learn from a man like Maninho.

Maninho (a term of endearment meaning “little bro”) started playing in the baterias of Rio de Janeiro in his early youth. His uncle, Mestre Odilon Costa, is one of the most recognized masters of the big Rio samba schools. Among 100 hand-picked musicians, Maninho was chosen to record the solo repinique parts on the Sergio Mendez record Brasileiro, for the song Fanfarra. He has played and is recognized in all the major samba school baterias. He ended up in Toronto in the early 2000s after being invited to play for the annual Brazilian Ball. And so it goes — he has been here ever since, punctuated by the yearly trips to the homeland, Rio de Janeiro.

A little preview of what will come when Maninho Costa and Batucada Carioca hit at Uma Nota: Here’s ManinhoZ10 as a featured guest with Monobloco. Be prepared for a full-on show.

While involved in a number of musical projects in Canada, including Tio Chorinho, Aline Morales, Jesse Cook and Sinal Aberto, Maninho’s own samba project in Toronto is Batucada Carioca. What evolved from an informal jam group became the city’s premiere Rio-style samba troupe. The foundation of Batucada Carioca’s music is a heavy percussive swing, with the melodic accompaniment of cavaquinho, guitar,  and even trombone, as well as various singers singing enredos (traditional styled Carnaval samba anthems).

Batucada first played at Uma Nota in 2009, one of the heaviest shows we ever put on at the Gladstone. We recently saw  Batucada play in Montreal to a pumped-up crowd at Parc Jean-Drapeau. A sneak peak of their rehearsal last week impressed the hell out of me. They are cooking up some new stuff and their energy at the moment is pretty hype. Batucada Carioca play the Uma Nota 5-year anniversary at the Great Hall Friday July 27.