Malê Debalê , one of Bahia’s most renowned carnival groups, brings the latest in percussion music of Bahia, Brazil to Jazz Fest. Malê Debalê has paraded in Salvador’s carnival since 1979.
Malê Debalê is a “Bloco Afro” (an Afro-Brazilian Cultural Organization) which was founded on March 23, 1979 with the objective of representing the seaside neighborhood of Itapuã in Salvador’s Carnival in Bahia, Brazil. With 4,500 members, Malê Debalê is well-known among the official state organizations as one of the most authentic manifestation of Bloco Afro in Bahia. Through drumming, dancing and the replicating of their religious and tribal hierarchies, Malê Debalê shows the ethno-cultural symbolism of the Indians, descendent of Africa, and the mestizos (mixed race people) who live in the neighborhood of Itapuã of Bahia, Brazil.
Malê strategically uses events in Afro-Brazilian history and themes relating to the African diaspora to advocate for black consciousness and constructing citizenship. The group is named after the most famous slave rebellion in Bahia known as "The Revolt of the Malê's , which took place in 1835 and is honored a a key moment in the history of Bahian Black resistance.
The Malê Debalê Band play Afro Beat rhythms mixing African rhythms and melodies, with Jazz, Soul, and R&B.