XOCÔ Unleashes ‘Maculelê’ Performance From Toronto’s Lula Lounge Concert

XOCÔ jumps onto the stage like a superhero with dance moves that will make your head spin, performing “Maculelê” live at the legendary Lula Lounge, taken from the recently released self-titled album (Lulaworld Records).

This song is named after the traditional percussion rhythm and warrior dance which is also the great grandmother of Brazilian Funk. The scene of fiery fusion is effortlessly captured by visionary videographer Elton Luz and his team who secure the explosive live XOCÔ energy at every turn as he liberates the audience to be themselves and let loose!

These movements of protection and revolution are customarily performed with machetes or sticks- tools from the sugarcane plantation fields and are especially sacred to and revered by Traditional Capoeira practitioners.

XOCÔ infuses his “Maculelê” version with lyrics celebrating imagery of the natural world and saluting Jurema and Orixá Oxóssi of Candomblé, the indigenous and Afro diasporic spiritual traditions respectively.

This live rendition from the XOCÔ album will leave you breathless, notably when the song refers to a “tidal wave” and offers an onstage powerhouse performance to match.

The roaring crowd screams from the dance floor “Mais Um! One More!” giving XOCÔ and his band a standing ovation while demanding their return to the stage!

By the end of last encore of the show an audience member rushes over and exclaims:

“That was the best Afro Brazilian concert I’ve ever seen in my life!”

XOCÔ is notorious for giving memorable live performances anywhere and at the drop of a hat but because Lula Lounge is his favourite stage in TKaronto, he made sure this never before seen live footage will never be forgotten!

XOCÔ, aka Traditional Capoeira Mestre Sérgio Xocolate is a spontaneous and dynamic movement based performer so often not facile to film but was captured with effortless ease and grace by visionary videographer Elton Luz and his team with special shout out to cinematographer Gui Morilha, who calmed the chaos with his steady cam close ups blending in seamlessly and almost becoming a member of the band with his filming fluidity.

Speaking of which, XOCÔ’s formidable live band is made up of Zeca Polina, a star in his own right, rocking out on electric guitar and vocals; world renowned percussionist Anita Graciano on drum kit, playing so hard she smashed through several sticks; while magnetic, buoyant and upbeat vocalist Giovanna Galuppo held it down on the electric bass; with multi instrumentalist Alfredo Alves’ percussion precision and laser sharp focus which didn’t allow him to crack a smile once until the final bow; then finally Suzanne Roberts Smith facilitating the flow of the evening with traditional percussion while keeping an eye out in the crowd for baby Julu being passed around from friend to friend.

When not donning traditional Caboclo de Lança regalia- one of the principal symbols of Pernambucana Culture (as the only known lineage holder and representative in North America), XOCÔ was adorned in a hand painted wardrobe by Afro Brazilian artist and designer Salamandra.

The concert was not only bold in colours and vibrant in tempos but also politically lively with XOCÔ using his platform to call urgent attention to social inequities in Brazil: from criminalizing and torturing poor, black and indigenous folx due to the corruption of the justice and prison systems, to saluting and invoking the Indigenous Nations of Brazil and honouring their territories as well as celebrating Indigeneity worldwide to finally screaming for us to wake up as the Amazon continues to burn!

Then at the end of the live rendition of “Capoeira Blues”- XOCÔ sings passionately acapella until his voice trembles while holding up his Berimbau instrument above his head in reverence and defiance explaining: “The Berimbau Saved my life!”

How fortunate that it did!

This live concert is not mere entertainment but an activist war cry, a cultural celebration and all in all one heck of a timeless piece of art.