Biography of Pernambuco singer-songwriter Alceu Valença

Biography of Alceu Valença
Biography of Pernambuco singer-songwriter Alceu Valença

Alceu Paiva Valença better known as Alceu Valença is Brazilian and was born on the first of July 1946, in São Bento do Uma – Pernambuco, he is a composer and singer. From a very young age, he liked music and was always greatly encouraged by his grandfather, who was called Paulo Alves Valença, who was a doorman and violinist.

Alceu Valença was born in the interior of Pernambuco, on the limits of the sertão with the wild. He is considered an artist who achieved a greater aesthetic balance between the musical bases of the Northeast and the universe of electric sounds of pop music.

Influenced by black maracatus, cocos and violas repentes, Alceu Valença managed to use the guitar – which reached a gallop mounted on the back of Elvis' rock and roll – with electric bass and, later, with the electronic synthesizer in his songs.

Because of this, he managed to give new life to a range of regional rhythms, such as baião, coco, toada, maracatu, frevo, caboclinhos and embolada and repentes sung with rock'n'roll bases. Its music and its thematic universe are universal, but its aesthetic basis is rooted in the Northeastern region.

Alceu Valença's involvement with music begins in childhood, through the fairground singers of his hometown. Jackson do Pandeiro, Luiz Gonzaga and Marinês, three of the main broadcasters of Northeastern musical culture, were captured by him on the city's nostalgic loudspeaker services.

Biography of singer-songwriter Alceu Valença

At home, training was left to his grandfather, Orestes Alves Valença, who was a poet and guitar player. At the age of 10, he goes to Recife, where he maintains contact with urban culture, and listens to the music of Orlando Silva and Dalva de Oliveira, alternating with the emerging and rebellious rhythm of Little Richard, Ray Charles and other icons of the so-called first generation of rock. n'roll.

Alceu Valença, recently graduated in Law in Recife, in 1969, gave up his careers as a lawyer and journalist – he worked as a correspondent for Jornal do Brasil – and decided to bet on talent and artistic sensitivity.

In Recife, the profusion of merrymaking from all regions of the state, notably during Carnival, where the groups get together to this day, would be decisive in the solidification of one of the most feverish personalities of Brazilian music.

Inherent in the work of Alceu Valença, the cosmopolitan sense of making art, in a direct way and that reflected his experience and cultural background as a man from the Northeast, his history, his people and the news of music.

From there, Alceu Valença matured the idea of ​​putting the guitar and the keyboard in these aspects of the music of his region. The attitude itself is nothing new since the tropicalistas had already merged Luiz Gonzaga's baião with the guitars. Alceu, however, went deeper: he researched pairs of emboladores such as Beija Flor and Treme Terra, Geraldo Mouzinho and Caximbinho, he enjoyed himself with the maracatus of Pernambuco, he drank from the fountain of Moorish aboios, fifes, fiddles and tambourines, cooked everything in the pan of rock, and the result is a timeless work of quality.

In 1971, Alceu Valença goes to Rio de Janeiro with his friend and supporter Geraldo Azevedo. He begins to participate in university festivals, such as the one on TV Tupi with the track Planetário. Nothing happens. No rating, as the event's orchestra was unable to play the song's arrangement.

Biography of Pernambuco singer-songwriter Alceu Valença

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