Frevioca, a type of Recife Carnival ‘trio elétrico’, was created in 1979, debuting on the central city streets in the 1980 Carnival. Its creator, journalist and writer Leonardo Dantas Silva, who was at the time recently named as the first president of the Recife City Foundation of Culture, had the objective of reviving the old street carnivals of Recife, providing the presence of an orchestra to animate the Carnival associations’ parades, as few of them had the financial resources available to do so.
The first Frevioca was an old, decorated truck with sound amplifiers and an orchestra made up of 32 musicians under the direction of maestro Ademir Araújo and the singer Claudionor Germano. Later it was transported by the body of a bus and then by a bonde (tram), the registered trademark of an important means of transport in olden-day Recife.
Becoming a huge success, Frevioca was the subject of an editorial in the newspaper Diario de Pernambuco, on 13 February 1985, transcribed below:
A happy idea is that which is implanted on a motorised vehicle transformed into a bonde [tram], with orchestra and singers, in an attempt, by going through the city streets during the festive period, to animate the Recife Carnival. The older parts of Recife in Santo Antônio and São José began to heat up in this pre-Carnival week with the “Frevioca”, a very Pernambuco version of ‘trio elétrico’, with other advantages that few have to give. There is no need to ask for bigger investments, as all is exhibited with simplicity, but within the best traditions of the Pernambuco Carnival. “Frevioca” promotes in this way a reunion of Recife themes: the tram, the orchestra, the soloist, ‘frevo’, and in the end draws the crowds into a contagious rhythm of genuinely Pernambuco music. By all accounts, we are going to have one of the most exciting Carnivals of the last few years, despite the tremendous difficulties. But as said the poet: nobody is made of iron.
In the beginning, it only paraded through the centre of the city. Later, and better well-equipped, it started to parade wherever it was asked, taking ‘frevo’ and excitement to various neighbourhoods of Recife.
Participating in the parades of uncountable Recife Carnival groups, including Galo da Madrugada, as well as other events such as the Corso de Carros Antigos, Frevioca became famous in all Brazil and its success enabled the creation of Frevioca II, in 1984.
In 2007, during the celebrations of the Centenary of Frevo, Freviocas I e II received new equipment, such as generators, wireless regulators, microphones for the woodwind instruments, and earphones, providing a better quality of sound and better performance from the musicians, who today number 17 between woodwind and percussion.
Parading very close to people, which doesn’t happen with other ‘trios elétricos’, it is always surrounded by partygoers, playing ‘frevo-canção’, ‘frevo de bloco’ or ‘frevo de rua’ (all different styles of frevo music) to enliven the crowd.
Besides the Carnival period, Frevioca also receives invitations to other cultural events. In 2009, it participated in the Recife Poet’s Day, celebrated on 16 August, parading through Recife’s streets, markets and plazas, promoting the work of fifty popular poets, who at each stop ascended the tram to recite their poems. Named Um Bonde Chamado Poesia (A Tram Called Poetry), it passed through the markets of Casa Amarela, Afogados, Boa Vista, and São José, the Pátio do Carmo and Praça da Independência.
Recife, 1 December 2009.
Translated by Peter Leamy, February 2011.
FREVIOCA. Diario de Pernambuco, Recife, 13 fev. 1985. Editorial. Caderno A, p. 6.
FREVIOCA. Disponível em: <http://www.recife.pe.gov.br/2007/06/21/mat_42418.php>. Acesso em: 30 out. 2009.
FREVIOCA (foto neste texto). Disponível em: <http://www.blogmetropolitano.com.br/?p=7910>. Acesso em: 11 mar. 2011.
FREVIOCA comemora jubileu de prata. Disponível em: <http://noticias.recife.pe.gov.br/index.php?GrupoCodigo=15&UltAnt=20010&DatAnt=03/02/2006&GrupoCodigoMateria=15>. Acesso em: 28 out. 2009.
FREVIOCA. Disponível em:<http://thepassiranews.blogspot.com/2009/02/dilma-traumatizou-o-locutor-da-frevioca.html>. Acesso em: 28 out. 2009.
FREVIOCAS turbinadas. Disponível em: <http://www.recife.pe.gov.br/modelo.php?Tipo=D&id=225>. Acesso em: 3 nov. 2009.
SILVA, Leonardo Dantas. O carnaval da Frevioca. In:______. Carnaval do Recife. Prefeitura, Fundação de Cultura Cidade do Recife, 2000.p. 295-300.
how to quote this text
Source: ANDRADE, Maria do Carmo. Frevioca. Pesquisa Escolar On Line, Joaquim Nabuco Foundation, Recife. Available at <http://basilio.fundaj.gov.br/pesquisaescolar/> . Accessed: day month year. Exemple: 6 Aug. 2009.