Both honorees of Carnival 2020 carry in their traditions a commitment to popular culture and frevo, the most Recife-like of all the rhythms in our Carnival. They are the conductor and composer Edson Rodrigues and the Bloco das Flores.
With a history of over 60 years dedicated to carnivals and frevo, conductor Edson Rodrigues highlighted the emotion of receiving the homage from the people of Recife. “It is always good when things happen unexpectedly. I always worked during Carnival. This year I celebrate 63 years of music and revelry. Music and Carnival have given me great joy, and because of them I got to travel the world, playing Frevo, showing our culture. It is a very cool feeling, we have to be ready for the good things in life, and this is one of the coolest things that happened while I’m still alive ”, said the conductor.
Representing the reveler and their hearts, legs and voices on the streets of Recife, Bloco das Flores also receives a fair tribute. Zenaide Araújo, 78 years old, president of the association, spoke about the emotion of being honored in the year that the block celebrates its 100th anniversary. “It is not every day that something celebrates 100 years of existence. No money could pay for the excitement of this day, what we are going through during Carnival, the work we have, our costumes, which are very beautiful. It is an inexplicable sensation. I would like to thank and say that this recognition is very gratifying ”, said the president.
MAESTRO EDSON RODRIGUES – Conductor, arranger, saxophonist and composer, Edson Rodrigues wrote an important part of the recent history of frevo. One of the seven hearts gathered in the homonymous film by Dea Ferraz, who makes the most Recife-like music pulsate, alive and roaring, through the streets and among the most important cultural traditions of the city and humanity, Rodrigues belongs to the so-called second generation of frevo, who had the glorious mission of continuing what composers like Capiba and Nelson Ferreira did for Pernambuco’s culture.
Devoted to music from a very young age, he debuted in Carnival with the Itapoã Orchestra, conducted by João Santiago, in the year of 1957. In addition to frevo, many other rhythms permeated his career. Rodrigues was a pioneer in the introduction of jazz in Recife, in addition to having founded the Municipal Band of Recife, in which he was the conductor between 1979 and 1983. But he did not learn everything he knows on stage. He studied hard and taught even more. He graduated in journalism, geography and music at university. Then, he became a professor at the Pernambuco Conservatory of Music for many years and never stopped sharing his musical knowledge and pleasures.
BLOCO DAS FLORES – First Mixed Carnival Block created in Recife, Bloco das Flores first appeared in 1920, from the meeting of a group of intellectuals, friends and revelers, among them journalists, artists and composers of nostalgic carnivals, such as Felinto, Pedro Salgado, Guilherme, Fenelon and Raul Morais – names immortalized in the choruses of the sweaty and colorful streets of the Pernambuco party. The first Bloco das Flores parade had 100 members who participated in pastoral activities in the neighborhood of São José, and its Wood and Strings orchestra with 50 musicians.
The block ended its activities for some years, due to the death of Pedro Salgado and Raul Moraes, the block’s benefactor and the composer and conductor of the orchestra, respectively. In the year 2000, other lovers of street revelry, also intellectuals and artists, decided to rescue the lyrical block. Since then, Bloco das Flores has paraded annually, dragging crowds after the orchestra and the history that its banner carries, evokes and perpetuates through the streets of revelry.