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Kimura's handmade xequebaldes


Xequebalde - the shaker bucket from Rio that goes in every Roda de Samba

New arrival - the xequebaldes by Kimura - handmade in Rio

Kimura tells us how he came to his craft:
"My name is actually William Varella Fernandes da Silva but I am better known as Kimura Varella. I was born and raised in Morro da Providência, the first community in Rio de Janeiro, and am Carioca at heart. Today I live in Gamboa, a bohemian neighbourhood that breathes Samba and which is known today as Little Africa because of its rich history. I am a retired dockworker and a great Samba enthusiast. I am a self-taught musician and enjoy playing in various Rodas de Samba in my beloved Rio de Janeiro.

Carioca by heart

I first heard of the xequebalde more than 10 years ago while playing in a Roda de Samba. That was the first time I saw the instrument. At the time I was playing the pandeiro. I immediately fell in love with the xequebalde and decided to study its construction to try to make one for myself, since it was not easy to find them on the market.

A fusion instrument combining a bucket and shekeré

The xequebalde is a combination of a bucket with an already very well known instrument - the xequerê.
All xequebaldes are a 100% handmade by me, in my artisan workshop set up in my own house. All my instruments are made to order. I started with aluminium buckets, which was the material used in the instruments I found on the market. However, over time I found that aluminium wore out quickly, so I decided to replace it with Inox. It was a complete success as this change significantly increased the durability of the instrument. My xequebalde has accompanied me for 6 years now and is still in perfect condition.

100% handmade

Today, with more than 10 years of experience with this instrument in several "rodas de samba" (samba circles) around the world, I can say that I receive sighs of delight and many compliments from all the bystanders when they hear the unique sound of this instrument, of which I am very proud. Making and playing it is a joy for me. Currently, this is the only instrument I make."

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 As a proud supporter and distributer of small artisan businesses, Kalango says many thanks to Kimura for taking the time for this lovely resumée. 2022