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Choro & Samba Ensemble

Osman Martins
© Marc Gysens

The ensemble’s name says it all. In this ensemble you will learn all about the rich repertoire of choro and samba, Brazilian folk music which has lost none of its vitality. Osman Martins (guitar, cavaquinho, pandeiro, vocals) is himself an exponent of these music styles and has all that is needed to pass on his knowledge of the repertoire and the joy of playing together.


”Choro is classical music that you play on bare feet and with blisters on your hands” (Aquiles Rique Rei, Brazilian singer)

The literal meaning of choro is “song of complaint”. However, owing to the fast rhythm and the cheerful melodies you don’t realise that the songs are really about pain. This urban folk music style (originally from Rio de Janeiro) is recognisable by its virtuoso improvisations and catchy contra-rhythms.

A choro ensemble consists of guitar and cavaquinho, often complemented by mandolin, clarinet, saxophone and violin. The rhythm section always includes a pandeiro.


The samba also originates in Rio de Janeiro and is the product of rhythms brought by slaves from Africa. Samba is very percussive music played on festive occasions such as carnival ; the music is traditionally played on string instruments such as the guitar and the cavaquinho ; the rhythm section includes tamborim and pandeiro. This simple basis is often enlarged by instruments including clarinet, trumpet and flute.

Osman Martins

Osman Martins was born in 1961 in the Brazilian state of Bahia. As a child he moved to São Paulo and from then on music became a major part of his life. For his tenth birthday he was given a cavaquinho (an instrument of Portuguese origin and member of the guitar family) and was immediately hooked. Later on he was taught by Maestro Robinson Miguel, a famous Brazilian guitarist.

One day he heard Irio de Paula, the ex-guitarist of Elze Soares, playing and became inspired by the guitar. He subsequently dedicated himself also to that instrument, developing new harmonic and melodic horizons which in turn gave an extra dimension to his cavaquinho-playing. After the cavaquinho, the guitar, composition and percussion he decided to develop his vocal prowess and took singing lessons. He subsequently followed a new direction, this time as a vocalist. The rest, as they say, is history.

Luckily for us Osman Martins has now been living in Brussels for several years and has become one of the most interesting Brazilian musicians in our country working with groups such as Parceria and Samba de Candeia.


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Conditions and terms of payment


The lessons will be held weekly on Wednesdays from 20:00 to 21:30.

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If necessary the teacher can vary the calendar in consultation with the course members.

Come and meet the teacher on Wednesday 20 September 2017 from 20:00 to 21:00 and enjoy a free introductory lesson.


MABO, Maria-Boodschaplyceum, Moutstraat 22, 1000 Brussels

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