The 8-bass sanfona in Léo Rugero’s research

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The NGO Balaio Nordeste, in partnership with IPHAN – Institute for Historic and Artistic Heritage, held a closing ceremony on July 20 of the project Mapping the Sanfona of Eight Bass at the Commercial Association of Paraíba, located at Rua Maciel Pinheiro, in the center of João Pessoa. The event was attended by eight bass fole players Luizinho Calixto, Geraldo Correia, João Calixto, Ademar Correia, Seu Dera of the 8 Basses, Abdias de Novo, Carlinhos of the 8 Basses, Abel Fidélis, Cidinho of the 8 Bass, among others. At the event, was presented the documentary With respect to the Eight Bass and the exhibition with photos of Guy Joseph.

This is one of the results of the research developed by Leonardo Rugero Peres (Léo Rugero), master in ethnomusicology by the Graduate Program in Music of UFRJ, under the guidance of Prof. José Alberto Salgado. His pioneering work on the eight-bass sanfona in Brazil was considered in 2012 with the awards “Centenário de Luiz Gonzaga 2012” and “Critical Production in Music”, both by FUNARTE, for the realization of a documentary film and a book on the Northeastern tradition of the eight bass sanfona. As the author summarizes in his dissertation,

The 8 bass sanfona is a very present instrument in Northeastern musical practice, especially among communities in the rural and urban periphery. Widely diffused in this region, this type of button accordion is intrinsically related to the music practiced in rural dances, through a predominantly instrumental repertoire, where the challenge and rivalry between the practitioners is established. The consolidation of a phonographic segment focused on northeastern music in the 1950s introduces new aspects to this musical practice. In this passage, conflicts arise between orality and signature, the tradition that tends to anonymity and the art centered on individual signature. This work is based on an ethnographic perspective, developing as a result of the researcher’s learning in his conviviality with Zé Calixto, one of the exponents of the sanfona of 8 bass in the phonographic and radiophonic scope. Translates reflections around the support network of this musical practice, through a critical reading of some of the main issues raised during the approach to the research object. Due to the scarcity of written documents on the subject, it is an eminently ethnographic work, in which field research and the phonographic collection are the principal tools of the researcher.

Leonardo Rugero Peres (Léo Rugero) was born in Santo André, São Paulo, in December 1971. He arrived in Rio de Janeiro with his family in 1974, when he was not yet four years old.

Music guided his steps from an early age and in early childhood his first instruments were the guitar and the electric organ.

His artistic career has been identified by the musicological research associated with creation, which is reflected in his professional activity as an ethnomusicologist, composer, arranger, educator, cinematographic and multi-instrumentalist producer (violin, classical viola, acordeon, eight bass accordion, guitar, piano , viola caipira and percussion).

Throughout his artistic career, he has participated as instrumentalist and arranger in phonographic productions. As a composer, he has been responsible for original soundtracks for theater, television and documentary films.

Since 2009, he coordinates the blog Sanfona de Oito Baixos, a major reference on the Brazilian diatonic sanfona on the Internet.