Andrew Snyder, “Critical Brass: Street Carnival and Musical Activism in Olympic Rio de Janeiro” (Wesleyan UP, 2022)

Critical Brass: Street Carnival and Musical Activism in Olympic Rio de Janeiro (Wesleyan University Press, 2022) tells the story of neofanfarrismo, an explosive carnival brass band community turned activist musical movement in Rio de Janeiro, as Brazil shifted from a country on the rise in the 2000s to one beset by various crises in the 2010s. Though predominantly middle-class, neofanfarristas have creatively adapted the critical theories of carnival to militate for a more democratic city. Illuminating the tangible obstacles to musical movement building, Andrew Snyder argues that festive activism with privileged origins can promote real alternatives to the neoliberal city, but meets many limits and contradictions in a society marked by diverse inequalities.

Dr. Andrew Snyder is a Research Fellow in the Institute of Ethnomusicology at the Universidade Nova de Lisboa [New University] of Lisbon] in Portugal. Building on the recently published book that is the subject of this interview, Critical Brass: Street Carnival and Musical Activism in Olympic Rio de Janeiro, he is beginning a new book project focused on the postcolonial relationships enacted in Brazilian carnival practices in Lisbon. He has also increasingly worked as an editor, having co-edited the books, HONK! A Street Band Renaissance of Music and Activism and At the Crossroads: Music and Social Justice, and he will soon be a lead co-editor of the Journal of Festive Studies. He is also a trumpet player, who has played with many of the groups he studies.

Isabel Machado is a cultural historian whose work often crosses national and disciplinary boundaries.

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