Zé Rodrigues

People - Teresópolis


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From BR 116 road in Teresópolis, the Fonte Santa slum can be seen in the mountains. An artist lives atop the hill and can be reached through narrow staircase sided by plumbings collecting sewage from the community.

Born in 1946 in Guarabira (PB), Zé Rodrigues left the city at 21 years old for Teresopolis. He worked through many professions for 20 years and learned and played guitar on his free time. When he retired, he used his savings to record an album and "leave something to the world". In 2013, he released "Passageando as Montanhas", in which he sings about local beauties and his missing of his native Paraíba. 

Zé Rodrigues performs at the Feira Agroecólogica (Agroecological Fair) and at the project Cultura de Raiz supported by the City Administration for free. He also participates on a radio show every Sunday morning performing his own songs for Fonte Santa residents, his biggest fans. "I keep the radio on during the entire show and when Zé dedicates a song to me it makes my day", says local resident Renilda dos Santos.

"The repentistas (repente is a Brazilian folk tradition, a mix of poetry and music that emphasizes improvisation - creating verses "de repente - or 'suddenly') said to make music you don't need to know. So I said: I will try to make it myself and when I started playing I realized it was like I had a record player in my head with the lyrics ready", says Rodrigues, who studied until the eighth grade. 

His album has 12 tracks, but his notebooks are full of poetry he might use on his next album. "God help me go back to my home city where I have seen pain and joy  and survived. But it is the land I grew as a boy and where I want to live", sings Rodrigues.   

General Information

Address: Álvaro Paná Street, 2000, casa 346 - Fonte Santa
Phone: (+55 21) 3641-5149/ 9-7684-9764

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