Luiz Heitor Corrêa de Azevedo’s Recordings at the American Folklife Center – Library of Congress

During a short stay in Washington DC I went to the Library of Congress to listen to L. H. Azevedo’s field recordings made in Brazil. In 1931 Azevedo (1906-1995) joined the National Music Institute in Rio de Janeiro (now the School of Music at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro). In 1941 he worked as a consultant in the Music Division at the  Pan-American Union in Washington DC. In 1943 he founded the Center for Folklore Research at the National Music Institute (Rio de Janeiro). This material, one of the first folkloric recordings made in Brazil, was collected with funding from the Library of Congress between 1942 and 1944. Most of this material is not commercially available.


Otari M-5050 Master Tape Recorder-Reproducer in action at the American Folklife Center


I was able to listen to several “folk songs,” including Children’s Game Songs (“By young girls of the Orfanato de Nossa Senhora das Dores) and the Street-cry of a lollipop vendor. One recording in particular caught my attention: an “Interview with Antônio Felix Veloso. Questions about the life of the old negro man,” made in 1944. As the catalogue indicates (see photo below), Antônio Felix Veloso sings in several recordings.  Veloso states he was in his 70s, which means he was born in the 1870s. He also mentions his trip from Borneo (which I believe is in Mozambique) to Brazil with his family as captives in the slave trade. These recordings are part of Azevedo’s trip to Minas Gerais.


I took note of some of the topics. Unfortunately the interview is very short (it lasts about 6 minutes).


You can find more information about these recordings here.

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