Atlantic Waves 03aug10: Music From Minas Gerais (Brazil)

The state of Minas Gerais, located on the southeast region of Brazil, has peculiar characteristics that contributed for the transformation of its music, one of the richest and most diversified of the country. The mountains, the miscegenation of many different people, the intense religious belief, the exuberance of the popular manifestations and a strong cosmopolitan vocation generates complex harmonies, mixture of rhythms, sinuous melodies, experimentations and unusual fusions.

Minas Gerais has been a cultural hotbed ever since the Clube da Esquina movement in the 1970s. The current scene is increasingly diverse, with many artists embracing genres such as rock, samba, choro, hip-hop and MPB. The Forum da Musica de Minas Gerais was formed in 2007, representing over 400 producers and artists, with the focus of bringing their music to the rest of Brazil and beyond.

COMUM (Co-Operative Society of the Music of Minas Gerais) is a non-profit organization that was created with the purpose of giving support, take out of the informality and to integrate musicians, producers and all the professionals tied to the musical productive chain of the state of Minas Gerais, and that are not linked to the major record labels. Since it was founded, on December of 2007, COMUM is establishing itself as one of the most active, creative and representative organization of the state, proposing a new approach to the commercial relation on the musical market basing on concepts of creative economy and solidarity networks. One important action in this path was the creation of a trade service bank among its partners. COMUM also integrates the Forum of Music of Minas Gerais, where it develops, in partnership with the state government of Minas Gerais and SEBRAE, a Program of Music Exportation that expects punctual actuations on the most important national and international fairs.