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The Accordion in the AmericasKlezmer, Polka, Tango, Zydeco, and More!$
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Helena Simonett

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780252037207

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252037207.001.0001

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Between the Folds of Luiz Gonzaga’s Sanfona

Between the Folds of Luiz Gonzaga’s Sanfona

Forró Music in Brazil

(p.268) 13 Between the Folds of Luiz Gonzaga’s Sanfona
The Accordion in the Americas

Megwen Loveless

University of Illinois Press

This chapter focuses on the fascinating life story of the Brazilian accordionist Luiz Gonzaga, while examining Brazil's national musical and political context that allowed this extraordinary musician to come forth as the creator of a new accordion-driven music and dance genre called forró. With his “unwieldy” instrument in his hands, the bohemian Gonzaga shaped a quintessentially Brazilian music—one that, unlike the urban samba and the cosmopolitan bossa nova, stands for the rural roots of the nation. Part of Gonzaga's success was due to his ability to create a credible onstage persona, to portray a “country bumpkin” identity with a unique performance style and musical accent—the accordion undoubtedly underlined his hinterlandishness. His creativity and originality made him into one of Brazil's most successful recording artists.

Keywords:   Brazil, accordionists, Luiz Gonzaga accordion, musical instruments, forró, Brazilian music

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