The century of Brazilian music


A lot of people in the UK and elsewhere would love to find out the best in Brazilian music but are unable to do so because Brazilian radio and TV do not promote the majority of artists, or simply because they are not available outside Brazil. And often people get lost or spoilt for choice on the web.

With this in mind, JungleDrums has once again teamed up with the Brazilian portal ElevenCulture in order to uncover the best in Brazilian music for you. We have rummaged the largest country in Latin America north to south for the top artists of nearly every music genre and style. They have all launched ground-breaking and exciting work this century, and you should have a listen as soon as possible.

Our selection is presented in alphabetical order, with the music genre(s) to which they belong. Like every list, we may have missed a few artists, so please comment and expand the list if you can. Just turn up the radio, click on the artist’s name and listen do the best Brazilian music of the century. Do it right now – unless you are going to wait until the turn of the next century?

Have fun! Just click on the artist’s name in order to watch the video


1. BaianaSystem (Dub, Experimental)

Carnival from Salvador mixed with Jamaican sounds, helping to spread the sounds of the Bahian guitar around the world

2. Bixiga 70 (Afrobeat, funk, instrumental)
Ten-strong Instrumental band reinventing classics of Afro-Brazilian music

3. Bnegão & Os Seletores (Funk, rap, rock)
Headed by renowned Bnegão (former Planet Hemp), the band has a Best Album accolade from MTV

4. Cachorro Grande (Rock)
Rock’n roll classic, who started 15 years ago in the Southernmost state of Rio Grande do Sul

5. Cascadura (rock, pop)
More rock’n roll veterans: a career spanning 22 years

6. Céu (MPB)
The new MPB muse, with a taste of Africa and Jamaica

7. Criolo (Rap, MPB)
A heady mixture of rap and power ballads, featuring unusual support artists such as Ilê Aiyê

8. Emicida (Rap, hip hop)
The biggest revelation in the rap scene

9. Felipe Cordeiro (Tecnobrega)
This artist from the Amazon has deftly fused tecnobrega and Caribbeans vibes

10. Filipe Catto (MPB, tango)

The new MPB star, with a deep and lyrical voice, flirting with tango and bolero

11. Flávio Renegado (Rap, hip hop)
A rap singer and a concoction of Brazilian, Latin and Jamaican rhythms

12. Gaby Amarantos (Tecnobrega, pop)
The Beyonce of the Amazon and Queen of Tecnobrega performed in London last year, and she also featured in Michael Palin’s Brazil


13. Karina Buhr (Rock, Indie)
Singer and composer from the folk band Cumadre Florzinha, now turned into indie star

14. Lia Sophia (MPB)
Dancy tunes and carimbo (a rhythm from Para) vibes have catapulted this singer/ composer to fame

15. Lucas Santtana (Pop)
A media-favourite singer and composer of creative pop music

16. Macaco Bong (Rock, instrumental)
Instrumental rock stars who’ve played in various music festivals
Power trio de rock instrumental que ganhou notoridade nos festivais do projeto Fora do Eixo

17. Mallu Magalhães (Indie, bossa, samba)
She sings and plays multiple instruments, and already has three albums a large and loyal following

18. Marcelo Camelo (Pop, MPB)
The singer of the renowned rock band Los Hermanos has already launched three solo albums

19. Marcelo Jeneci (MPB, pop)
The already established singer and composer has released two albums with Som Livre

20. Mariana Aydar (MPB)
She also sings and composes, and has fout albums and a vast-reaching international career

21. Matanza (Hardcore, Punk, Country, Heavy metal )
An eccentric mixture of punk, country and heavy metal, they have been around for 17 years and have six albums

22. Móveis Coloniais de Acaju (MPB, Rock)
One of Brazil’s most celebrated dance-troupe of the latest generation of artists

23. Orkestra Rumpilezz (Afro, jazz, instrumental)
The succesful combination of Afro-Brazilian sounds and jazz

24. Orquestra Contemporânea de Olinda (Coco, Maracatu, Frevo)
The Grammy-nominated orchestra mixes a plethora of local sounds, which earned them a review by the New York Times

25. Pitty (Rock)
The biggest female rocker in Brazil, she is back after a six-year hyatus.

26. Rodrigo Amarante (MPB, pop)
Another member of Los Hermanos goes solo to surprising results

27. The Baggios (Blues Rock, Hard Rock)
One of the most celebrated rock bands last year. The drums and the guitar have enraptured audiences in festivals and at home

28. Tulipa Ruiz (MPB)
One of the most celebrated newcomes in the MPB scene, she has gathered aclaim in all corners of Brazil

29. Vanguart (Pop, Folk, Rock)

The band already has three albums, including the romantic Muito Mais que Amor

30. Vivendo do Ócio (Rock)
Hailed as “the saviours of Brazilian rock”, these festival veterans are coming to a festival near you soon

 Click here in order to read this piece in Portuguese

Translated by V Manuel


  1. Richard

    Would like to have seen Diego e o Sindicato included. Maybe not to everyone’s taste and perhaps harder to find on YouTube.

    Very good list nonetheless.

  2. Felipe Cordeiro, Lia Sophia, Gaby Amarantos. A música paraense está bem representada.

  3. Bruno

    Tulipa Ruiz, Crilo, Emicida, Mallu, Moveis Coloniais de Acaju… this list is amazing!

    Try to listen to Bruno Vetz. I just discovered him, He makes music in his bedroom, but its so good and full of emotions! Try it!

  4. gustavo

    metá metá should be on the list… :)

Leave a Reply