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“Grande João Grande”

Grande João Grande

This song is a salute to Mestre João Grande, one of the last surviving angoleiros to have studied with Mestre Pastinha. At the age of 65, he left Brazil for the United States, and established a capoeira Angola academy in New York City. Among his many tributes, he has been awarded an honorary doctorate by Upsala College, and the song alludes to his being called "doctor" by the American people. Perhaps punning on the word "doctor," Mestre Moraes also calls him tata kimbanda da Angola, "doctor" or ritual specialist, whose name comes from the languages of the Mbundu and Imbangala peoples of Angola. In Brazil, Kimbanda is a religion with Angolan and Brazilian Indian-derived elements--the spirits of dead Brazilian Indians (caboclos).