Rita Ribeiro was born in the northern state of Maranhao and after living in the capital, Sao Luis, where she started her career as a singer, emerged as outstanding performance in Brazilian music in 1996.
In 1997, already living in Sao Paulo, she recorded her first CD titled "Rita Ribeiro", produced by Mario Manga and Zeca Baleiro. The CD and the concert Rita Ribeiro, after performance in several Brazilian capitals, brought national recognition to this singer from Maranhao.
In 1998 she signed contract with MZA Music, recording company of producer Marco Mazzola, and still under guidance of maestro Mario Manga, launched in 1999 her second CD, "Perolas aos Povos", receiving exceptional praise by both public and critics. In the same year, along with Ney Matogrosso, Milton Nascimento, Zeca Baleiro and Chico Cesar, performed in the Brazilian night of the "Montreux Jazz Festival", Switzerland, and was invited to perform at the "Festival Brasil - Caracas" in Venezuela, achieving great international dimension in her musical career.
In 2000, following the launch and marketing of the CD "Perolas aos Povos", Rita Ribeiro was invited to participate in the Festival "Todos os Cantos do Mundo", sharing the stage with Lokua Kanza, considered one of the great exponents of African Pop Music; and still in the same year, had her CD launched in the United States and Canada by the record company Putumayo World Music, resulting in the realization of a tour between August and September 2000, through the main American and Canadian cities, among them San Francisco, Los Angeles, Toronto and Montreal, to audiences of 15 thousand people.
The result of this enterprise led Rita Ribeiro to be nominated amongst the best in the world to the 43rd Grammy Awards, in the category Best Latin Pop Album, in February 2001.
Still in 2001, the singer launched her 3rd CD "COMIGO", produced by Marco Mazzola, co-produced by herself and her partner Pedro Mangabeira, and distributed by Abril Music record company.
Currently she develops the Tecnomacumba project, performing concerts in several Brazilian capitals.
The music of the Brazilian cults
Tecnomacumba: term coined to explain the mixture of chants and mantras in the popular religiousness of the Brazilian people and electronic beats.
1) THE RESEARCH
Singer and composer Rita Ribeiro carried out research into music in popular religiousness throughout Brazil, especially in the state of Maranhao. In her wanderings she rescued some chants and researched the repertoire of great Brazilian composers such as Jorge Benjor, Gilberto Gil, Caetano Veloso, Dorival Caymmi, among others who also work with those references.
She noticed that Brazilian Popular Music bears strong influence of the rhythms of African-Brazilian origin. She also realized that in ritual manifestations, music and dance are important elements in channeling energies, bringing people closer to sacredness.
2) OBJECTIVES OF THE PROJECT:
-To highlight the strong musicality in Brazilian cults of African and Indigenous origins;
-To present to the public a repertoire of songs done by great names of Brazilian music, inspired by the popular religiousness of Brazilians and gathered from popular chants, songs of public domain;
-To foster, in culture, practices that absorb all differences of race and creed;
-To promote joyful and festive entertainment, where music and dance are understood as forces of transformation.
3) THE IDEA
The Tecnomacumba project was devised by singer Rita Ribeiro, and it strives to bring songs by great names of Brazilian Music to the pop-electronic universe, revering the strength of sacredness in the everyday lives of people throughout several parts of Brazil. Thus, the project seeks to present chants that reveal orixas (mythical deities in Brazilian Candomble), caboclos (ancient indigenous ancestors) and catholic saints that are present in the imagery and practices of this Brazilian religiousness, using technology as a musical tool and highlighting their aesthetic pattern.
4) THE EXPERIENCE
Rita Ribeiro first experimented with this universe when she recorded in her first CD the chant of Cabocla Jurema, evincing in the musical arrangement the encounter of "Mata" and "Crioula" drums common in the popular culture of Maranhao with electronic beats.
Since then, the singer carried on with her research, trying out new approaches with the respect she always devoted to traditions, which resulted in this project that is capable of bringing the strength of these chants and mantras into the universe of electronic music. It is a joyful and pleasant project.
5) THE CONCERT
In Tecnomacumba, the singer succeeded in gathering the best of the syncretic universe of our culture in a pop-electronic language. The concert repertoire is made up of several songs from the popular songbook, songs of public domain or written and composed by Brazilian composers on syncretism, apart from some mantras the singer gathered in her wanderings throughout Brazil.
Songs like Iansa (Caetano Veloso/Gilberto Gil), Cavaleiro de Aruanda (Tony Osanah), Domingo 23 (Jorge Benjor), Divino (Rita Ribeiro/Zeca Baleiro), Rainha do Mar (Dorival Caymmi), among others, thoroughly reflect the powerful atmosphere of the concert.
Rita Ribeiro firmly believes in a circulating force that is strengthened by repetition. The realm she intends to create embraces all races, creeds and differences; relying on music and dance as the entities leading to a trance of joy, pleasure and feast.
Luiz Brasil, who also shared with Rita the task of recreating the songs for the concert, is the musical director.
Tecnomacumba had a successful season at the Ballroom (RJ) in October 2003, and counted on the very special features of Sandra de Sa, Leci Brandao, Marcos Suzano and Lucas Santtana. After that, it went on to the stage of Teatro Rival BR (RJ), in November and December 2003, as well as a successful debut on the stage of Sesc Vila Mariana, in Sao Paulo, last March, a hit with public and critics.
Rita Ribeiro performs along with the band Cavaleiros de Aruanda: Luiz Brasil, electric guitar, acoustic guitar, vocals and electronic sampling; Israel Dantas, guitars and vocals; Gerson da Conceicao, bass and vocals; Carlos Cesar, drums; Toni Monteiro, electronic generator; and, Juninho Duvale, percussion.
6) THE MOVEMENT
This project is the kickoff to as many already call it The Tecnomacumba Movement: representing the incorporation of this syncretic and therefore genuinely Brazilian culture with contemporary trends, technology and modernity. Showing the possibility of integrating what to the common sense seems antagonistic.