Serestas in Conservatória

Intangible Cultural Heritage - Valença


Conservatória, a district of Valencia, is known as the "City of Serenades" all over the country. Gatherings throughout the weekends actually begin on Friday. At 8pm, serenades begin. At 11pm, musicians leave the museum and follow the "downhill street" and other city streets until they reach the "uphill street" to meet another group and perform Brazilian Popular Music (MPB) and choro ("cry" or "lament"- an instrumental Brazilian popular music genre similar to New Orleans jazz), in an event called "Serenoite".

Photo: Isabela Kassow/Diadorim IdeiasSaturdays at the Clube Square, a chorinho jam session organized by Juarez, son of Guilherme de Brito (who composed "A Flor e o Espinho" with Nelson Cavaquinho) takes place. The Solarata, a serenade on daytime occurs on Sundays, from 10h30am to noon, at Geralda Fonseca Lane, also known as the "middle street". On the fourth Sunday of the month, a mass with seresta musicians occurs from 9am at the Saint Anthony Church, at Getúlio Vargas Square. The festivity continues until 3pm and begins again on the following Sunday.

Serestas and serenades date from the 19th century. Local houses are reminders of the Coffee Cycle architecture. A plaque with a seresta song name, chosen by the resident, hangs from each house's façade. The plaque is hung by musicians, at night, and they enter the house, followed by locals and visitors, which are received with great celebration. 

The tour through Conservatória streets includes Flores Street, where a deactivated steam train is a reminder of the coffee production past of the city. In the evening, at the Lazer Street, the Seresteiro Monument, benches and flower beds are surrounded by bars and restaurants where music by Orlando Silva, Silvio Caldas, Nelson Gonçalves, Chico Buarque, Tom Jobim and Vinicius de Moraes, among other musicians, is played. 

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