By Paulo Freire*
* Curator of Ocupação Inezita Barroso, Paulo Freire tells the story of a 90-year-old lifetime, full of music and storytelling. Divided into six chapters (The girl, The family, The artist, The researcher, Ohh, how I love this show! and A legacy), the narratives spread through the site, mapping the life of one of the most important artists of Brazilian popular culture. Welcome to the beginning of this beautiful journey.
Inezita Barroso became a reference in Brazilian countryside. With a repertoire of songs that appeared to be endless, she recorded more than 80 albums – among many records and CDs –had a deep knowledge of traditional manifestations, gave classes, lectures and received a huge amount of tributes wherever she passed by.
Surely Inezita is widely known as an interpreter of “caipira” music, but her talent was beyond that. She researched, sang and registered songs about the sea, the countryside, the northeast, the afro-Brazilians and Brazilian dances. “Folk is the most authentic expression of art in a country. Folk music is the one born from the people. It’s not composed to the people, but the opposite: people make the music”.
Inezita’s ability to relate to different people was amazing. She sang modinhas with the president of Brazil; got to know and shared the stage with several important artists such as João Pacífico or Luiz Gonzaga; built a friendship with a pump manager in Bahia (he sang a capoeira song while cleaning the gas station floor and Inezita run after him to take notes of the melody); repeated thousand and thousand times the songs “Lampião de Gás” and “Moda da Pinga”; was honored and cherished by actors such as Paulo Autran; and even took her car to give a beginner violeiro a ride, so that he could participate on her radio program. The violeiro had no album recorded, only cassette tapes, and had no idea how to get to the radio station. Thus, great Inezita went for the boy (I was the one!) in a corner of São Paulo’s streets and took him to the studio…
On March 8 (International Women’s Day) on 2015, she passed away. She had just turned 90. Many nights I look at the sky and seek the most shinny star. And I realize it will take a while to get the real dimension of Inezita’s importance. For her life story, for her artistic attitude and for the reference she offered us.
Inezita Barroso is the voice of our land.