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Batutas de São José (carnival block)

The Bloco Carnavalesco Misto Batutas de São José was founded on June 5, 1932. It emerged as a dissident of the Batutas da Boa Vista and is the oldest mixed carnival block in uninterrupted activity in Recife.

Batutas de São José (carnival block)

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Last update: 31/05/2022

By: Lúcia Gaspar - Librarian of the Joaquim Nabuco Foundation - Specialist in Scientific Documentation

The mixed carnival block Batutas de São José was founded on June 5, 1932, in Pátio de São Pedro, No.33, (Recife), with a party animated by the band of the 21st Battalion of Hunters.


It emerged as a dissident of the Batutas da Boa Vista and is the oldest mixed carnival group in uninterrupted activity in Recife.


The history of the carnival block was told through the songs of composer and carnival artist João Santiago dos Reis, who was inspired by the day-to-day of the group. Important characters of the association were honored by him, such as the founder Augusto Bandeira, in the song A Vitória é Nossa; Edite, a mandatory figure of the female wing of the block, in Edite e o Cordão; Osmundo, a barber who was always the golden reco-reco player of the block, was recalled in the song Reminiscência; Levino Ferreira, one of the most important composers of street frevos in Pernambuco’s carnival, in Escuta Levino.


The biggest commercial success of Batutas, however, was the song Você sabe lá o que é isto, coauthored by João Santiago, composed for the 1952 carnival and which became known as the block’s anthem:


I want to enter the revelry, my baby
Do you know what this is
Batutas de São José, this is
It looks like it has a spell
Batutas has attractions that,
No one can resist
A frevo like does it good,
 for us to distinguish ourselves

Let the frevo roll
I just want to know, if you are going to play
Oh! Baby without you there is no carnival
Let's fall into step and enjoy life


In addition to João Santiago and Levino Ferreira, other great composers such as Edgard Moraes, Nelson Ferreira and Álvaro Alvim passed through the group.


João Santiago directed the Jazz do Batutas de São José orchestra in 1958. From 1959 onwards, conductor Mário Guedes da Silva began to conduct it.


Today, the block is frequented and managed only by former partners. The youth forgot it, they no longer contribute.


The current headquarters is located in the Afogados neighborhood and its only sources of income are the balls held on Sundays and a subsistence allowance received from the municipality of Recife.


The lack of greater governmental incentives, labor debts, in addition to abandonment of most of the meritorious members put at risk the survival of the association, of so many traditions and contributions to Recife’s carnival and Pernambuco’s culture.


Recife, June 29, 2004.


sources consulted

GUERRA, Rafael. Batutas deseja recuperar o feitiço. Jornal do Commercio, Recife, 13 jun. 2004. Cad. C, p. 3.

SILVA, Leonardo Dantas. Carnaval do Recife. Recife: Fundação de Cultura Cidade do Recife, 2000. 321 p.

how to quote this text

GASPAR, Lúcia. Batutas de São José (carnival block). In: PESQUISA Escolar. Recife: Fundação Joaquim Nabuco, 2004. Available from: Accessed: day month year. (Exemple: 6 Aug. 2009.)