Tropical(ist) Fantasies: Bossa nova and samba in contemporary Lebanon


  • Gabrielle Messeder City, University of London


In this article, I provide an overview of the historical factors and contemporary issues that shape the presence of Brazilian music in Lebanon. I discuss the history of migration and remigration between the two countries, and how this transnational relationship has resulted in a small Brazilian population in Lebanon. I also discuss the music of Fairouz, the Rahbani brothers, and Ziad Rahbani; in particular, I examine Ziad's use of Brazilian music throughout his career. In the last section of this article, I present a case study of Xangô, a Beirut-based band who specialise in samba, bossa nova and MPB. Using ethnographic material, I outline the issues they face as professional performers, and how exoticism and stereotyping affects and shapes the production, performance and reception of Brazilian music in Lebanon.


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Biografia do Autor

Gabrielle Messeder, City, University of London

I am a third-year PhD candidate in the Department of Music at City, University of London, supervised by Dr Laudan Nooshin. My current research is concerned with Brazilian music in Lebanon, and my wider areas of interest include intersectionality, identity and transnationalism, and popular musics of the Middle East and South America. I also work as a music teacher and musician, and regularly perform Brazilian music in London. E-mail:


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Como Citar

Messeder, G. (2018). Tropical(ist) Fantasies: Bossa nova and samba in contemporary Lebanon. Revista Vórtex, 6(3). Recuperado de