Raíces Roots Music Concert Series 2018: Bridging Cultures Through Music

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Raíces Roots Music Concert Series 2018: Bridging Cultures Through Music


Performing Arts


This collection contains photographs and videos from the 2018 Raíces Roots Music Concert Series performances. The purpose of this program series was to bridge cultures through the universal language of music while supporting a sustainable, resilient and just recovery effort for the island of Puerto Rico. Performers from a variety of cultural folkloric traditions shared their talents and knowledge with audiences in Central NJ. Audiences learned about the traditions, music, dance, instruments and cultural histories of Brazilian Capoeira, American Bluegrass, Puerto Rican Jíbaro Music, and Andean Folkloric Music.

Grant funding has been provided by the Middlesex County Board of Chosen Freeholders through a grant provided by New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State.

Additional funds for some of the concerts in this series have been provided by the Borough of Highland Park’s Park Partners Grant Program 2018 in the category of culture and diversity.


Nicole Wines




Mestre Zumbi & Capoeira Senzala
Magnolia Street String Band
Gabriel Muñoz & Melodías Borinqueñas
Pepe Santana & Grupo INKHAY


©Raíces Cultural Center




Still Image


Highland Park, NJ
Metuchen, NJ

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Collection Items

Hand frame drum used in capoeira and other Brazilian music forms. Pandeiros generally have a wooden rim with metal disks like a tambourine and a natural skin head.

Brazilian Hand Drums
Hand drums are found across cultures in myriad genres of folkloric music from around the world. These Brazilian hand drums are called pandeiros

Mestre Zumbi
Mestre Zumbi opens the Grupo Senzala performance in the 2018 Raíces Roots Music Concert Series.

Opening Chants and Prayers
Mestre Zumbi performs opening chants and prayers to begin the Capoeira Senzala concert, sharing traditions, arts, music, dance and song from Brazil.

Grupo Senzala
Members of Capoeira Senzala sing and play instruments of the Brazilian art of capoeira.

Capoeira at the Raíces Roots Music Concert Series
Members of Capoeira Senzala share the Brazilian art of Capoeira at the Raíces Roots Music Concert Series 2018.

“Playing” Capoeira
When capoeira is played as a game, two capoeiristas enter the roda, or circle, salute, and begin to play the game following the musical rhythm.

Capoeira at the Raíces Roots Music Concert Series
Capoeira is an afro-Brazilian martial art developed in Brazil in the 16th Century. Capoeira is now practiced throughout the world, in schools led by mestres. Capoeiristas of all cultures are invited to learn, participate and be a part of capoeira…

Before playing in the roda, capoeiristas salute before the drum. Similar salutes are found in drumming traditions throughout the African diazora.

In the Roda
Capoeiristas from Grupo Senzala perform the Brazilian art of capoeira, sharing their traditions, culture and music with our community in Highland Park, NJ.

Capoeira combines music, dance, martial arts, acrobatics and culture.

When capoeira is played in the roda, capoeiristas begin with a basic movement called the ginger.

Chants of Capoeira
All capoeiristas in the circle chant in a call and response and clap in rhythm with the drums.

Grupo Senzala - Salute
Members of Capoeira Senzala salute before entering the roda to play capoeira.

Playing Capoeira
Members of Capoeira Senzala play capoeira at the Raíces Roots Music Concert Series 2018 in Highland Park NJ.

History of Capoeira
Mestre Zumbi of Capoeira Senzala talks about the history and culture of capoeira and related musical traditions.

Songs of Capoeira
Mestre Zumbi of Capoeira Senzala introduces some songs and chants from the capoeira tradition in Brazil.

Call and Response
Like many African derived music and dance traditions, songs and chants in capoeira are sung using call and response. All members of the group present, including the drummers and musicians, respond to the lead singer with the chorus of the song.

One of the dance forms in the capoeira tradition is called Maculelê. Maculelê can be practiced with either machetes or sticks, which when struck together become a part of the rhythm and music.

Capoeira Senzala - Maculelê
Members of Capoeira Senzala perform the dance and music of the Afro-Brazilian Maculelê tradition at the Raíces Roots Music Concert Series 2018 in Highland Park, NJ. The sticks are struck together in rhythm with the drums.

Saluting the Drum
Like in the capoeira roda, capoeiristas prepare to play Maculelê by saluting the drums.

Playing with Machetes
Maculelê can be played with sticks or machetes. These experienced dancers salute the drum before playing.

Sapulha Senzala
Sapulha Senzala of Capoeira Senzala playing pandeiro during the Maculelê segment of the group’s performance in the Raíces Roots Music Concert Series in July 2018.

Afro-Brazilian Dance - Maculelê
Members of Capoeira Senzala play the Afro-Brazilian tradition of Maculelê, which falls under the practice of capoeira. These capoeiristas are performing their play fight with sticks which also help keep the rhythm with the drums.

Afro-Brazilian Maculelê
Chadwick Antonio Rawlings of Capoeira Senzala performs the dance of Maculelê at the Raíces Roots Music Concert Series in July 2018, bringing this afro-Brazilian tradition to Central NJ.
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