Pernambuco in Brazil

Once the main producer of the world's sugar, today the state of Pernambuco offers a variety of attractions from beaches to traditional culture, colonial cities and museums. Recife, the state capital, is the main industrial and commercial centre with a very lively cultural scene and extensive urban beaches, while Olinda offers colonial elegance and a number of magnificent churches. Towns such as Caruarú and Nova Jerusalém, in the sertão, host very lively festivals and have some of the country's strongest artisan traditions working with clay, straw and leather handicrafts.

Pernambuco is saturated with music. In the 1970s, musician Naná Vasconcelos took the traditional beats of forró, ciranda and maracatú to New York, Miles Davis and beyond. In the 1980s and 1990s the mangue beat movement fused them with rock, electronica and trance. Many of Brazil's most famous contemporary avant-garde musicians are from Pernambuco, and Recife is considered Brazil's musical capital. Carnaval in the city of Recife and nearby Olinda is one of the best in the country. Nana Vasconcelos opens the festival leading a drum orchestra that dwarfs those in Bahia, and the maracatu prepares the way for three days of African-Brazilian cultural processions and relentless partying.

This is edited copy from Footprint Handbooks. For comprehensive details (incl address, tel no, directions, opening times and prices) please refer to book or individual chapter PDF
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