Nov 24 2003

Gilvan de Oliveira: Violão Caipira

Caipira Music


Violão CaipiraOne of the many styles in Brazilian music is called caipira. It leads us to the inland of Minas Gerais. Caipira is a life style that survived the times when the Portuguese immigrants and the local Indians met and adopted each other’s culture. The music was dance music and later it more and more expressed the stories of the local people in a poetic way. The world famous caipirinha cocktail is told to be another one of the good heritages of the culture…

Gilvan de Oliveira was born in the south of the state of Minas Gerais, Itaú. When the idea of recording this cd of caipira music arose, he went back to his hometown to get into the music a bit deeper. Gilvan is one of Brazil’s very talented guitarists. He’s a professor at the Música de Minas Escola Livre that was established by Milton Nascimento and Wagner Tiso. He has also toured Brazil joining American guitar wizard Al DiMeola (1986).

Violão Caipira brings us well known and lesser known examples of the caipira inspired music. It seems a bit strange that Gilvan decided to record the songs using a classic 6-string guitar (violão), instead of the 10-string guitar (viola) that is more common in this music style. But the 6-string is Gilvan’s main instrument and on this cd that doesn’t matter at all. His virtuosity is so explicit that the music couldn’t ask for anything better. On most tracks the guitarist performs solo. Percussionist Serginho Silva joins in on four compositions.

The openings track “Canção da Lua Nova” is turned into a mouthwatering piece of guitar music. Composed by caipira legends Rubinho do Vale and João Evangelista Rodrigues, this songs tells us right away what caipira is. Education continues with the original folklore song “Beira-Mar Novo,” that was also recorded by Milton Nascimento on his most recent album Pietá in a very impressive way.

Gilvan de Oliveira

Here the guitar is joined by percussion, giving that little bit extra to the rhythm of the song. Gilvan composed two songs for this album, both with a classic touch. Ary Barroso is represented with his beautiful “No Rancho Fundo.” Jobim was also inspired by the caipira music when he composed “A Correnteza” with Luis Bonfá. Also Caetano Veloso is represented on this album with his composition “Canto do Povo de um Lugar,” which gets a special treatment compared the original. “O Mestre e o Violeiro” consists of two movements, one by Heitor Villa-Lobos (“Prelúdio nº 1”) and the second by Edu Lobo/Capinam (“Viola Fora de Moda”), performed with a majestic respect and dazzling technique. “Romaria” sounds a bit odd. The Renato Teixeira composition seems so much related to Elis Regina’s rendition.

This album is an impressive ode to a music style that sometimes is degraded as local folklore. Gilvan de Oliveira is able to refute this bias with his astonishing talent and dedication to his roots.



Gilvan de Oliveira
Violão Caipira
Kuarup Discos KCD 167 (2002)
Time: 48’04”


  1. Canção da Lua Nova (Rubinho do Vale – João Evangelista Rodrigues)
  2. Beira-Mar Novo (from the valley of Jequitinhonha, adapted by Leonida da Rosa Conceição)
  3. Tirana da Partida (Gilvan de Oliveira)
  4. No Rancho Fundo (Ary Barroso – Lamartine Babo)
  5. A Correnteza (Antonio Carlos Jobim – Luis Bonfá)
  6. Ave Maria Caipira (Gilvan de Oliveira)
  7. Noites do Sertão (Tavinho Moura – Milton Nascimento)
  8. Índia (Guerrero – Flores)
  9. Tristeza do Jeca (Angelino de Oliveira)
  10. Canto do Povo de um Lugar (Caetano Veloso)
  11. O Mestre e o Violeiro: a. Prelúdio nº1 (Heitor Villa-Lobos, free adaptation) b. Viola Fora de Moda (Edu Lobo – Capinam)
  12. Romaria (Renato Teixeira)
  13. Desenredo (Dori Caymmi – Paulo César Pinheiro)