Sonhador et Peneira are two street-singers.

Sonhador used to be a steel-worker but lost his job. Peneira has been a cantador all his life. When he arrived in São Paulo, a few years ago, he worked as a building worker for a few weeks. Then, they met on a square and since then, they live on their songs, with their tambourine as a working instrument.


Dona Erundina 

came to São Paulo to study law and to escape the military dictatorship in the sixties. She was 20. She never went back home. She went through all the hardships Nordestinos have to face. Everybody remembers that when she was the city mayor, she worked on developing the city's infrastructures, especially towards the poorest : 'schools, hospitals and roads'.





39, native of Céara state, When her boy friend left her, she came to work as a house-keeper in a residential area of São Paulo. She left her 7-year-old son in the Nordeste, but her elder daughter, Mery came to São Paulo a few months ago. She earns her share of the rent for their one-room apartment by working in a snack-bar. When they have a day off, they go together to discos to dance the forró.

Assis Angelo

in his fifties, came to São Paulo a long time ago as the correspondent of a Pernambuco daily newspaper. He is now host and producer of a radio show, aimed towards the Nordestinos all through Brazil, audience leader every Saturday night. Always running about, he has written on the greatest troubadours, as Patativa do Assare, and is a specialist on popular Brazilian music's history.


Zé Honorio 

is the owner of a bar in Diadema, the suburbs of São Paulo. He is considered by his peers as the most talented accordionist of his generation. On Sunday evenings, he crosses the whole town to play the forró and make people dance till they drop in places like the 'xote das meninas', a typical dance hall located under the Santo-Amaro viaduct.

Emanoel Araujo 

is from the Bahia littoral. He came to live in São Paulo for the same reasons as Luiza Erundina. His career as a sculptor led him to live and expose in New York for some time. He came back to become the director of the Pinacoteca. He is now a major figure of the artistic life in São Paulo because of his cultural activism.


The Banda de Pífanos

the older musical band in Brazil - and maybe in the world - is composed of three generations of the same family. The elders are over eighty and claim they have played for Lampião and his gang of thieves, the Sertão Cangaceiro, the terrifying Robin Hood of Nordeste's mythology..

Lindalva & Terezinha & Palito

at the beginning, they were one of the rare female duos of repentistas. Growing older, they included Palito, a young improviser, in order to let Terezinha rest a little between songs.


is a cab driver who, as all her colleagues do, and after years of practice, still gets lost regularly. She adapted well to the city but sometimes in her voice, you can slightly detect the singing accent from the Nordeste.