African rhythms are at the heart of contemporary black Brazilian music. Surveying a musical legacy that encompasses over 400 years, Peter Fryer traces the development of this rich cultural heritage. He describes how slaves, mariners, and merchants brought African music from Angola and the ports of east Africa to Latin America. In particular, they brought it to Brazil -- today the country with the largest black population of any outside Africa.
Fryer examines how the rhythms and beats of Africa were combined with European popular music to create a unique sound and dance tradition. He focuses on the political nature of this musical crossover and the role of African heritage in the cultural identity of black Brazilians today. The result is an absorbing account of a theme in global music that is rich in fascinating historical detail.