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It’s been a long time coming…
photos by Renz De Madrugada
Os Alegres, which translate to “The Glad Ones” in Portuguese, were from Angola.
The music of Angola has been shaped both by wider musical trends and by the political history of the country. In the 20th century, Angola has been wracked by violence and political instability. Its musicians have been oppressed by government forces, both during the period of Portuguese colonization and after independence. Angolan music also influenced another Lusophone music in Brazil and Cuban music.
The capital and largest city of Angola is Luanda, home to a diverse group of styles including Angolan merengue (based on Dominican merengue), kilapanda and semba, the last being a genre with roots intertwined with that of Brazilian samba music.
Compared to many of its neighbors in Southern Africa, as well as other Portuguese colonies (especially Cape Verde), Angola’s music has had little international success. The first group to become known outside of Angola was Orquestra os Jovens do Prenda, who were most popular from the late 1960s to the early 1970s, and have continued sporadically performing and recording since.