São Paulo is the capital of the state of São Paulo in the South East of Brazil. The city has an area of 1,523.0 square kilometers (588.0 sq. miles) and a population of just over 11 million. People from the city of São Paulo are known as paulistanos, while paulista designates anyone from the whole of São Paulo state, including the paulistanos. The city's Latin motto is Non ducor, duco, which translates as “I am not led, I lead”. A famous nickname for the city is “Sampa”.
Sao Paulo's music is a reflection of the myriad of cultures that have met and fused there: European, African and indigenous.
If Rio de Janeiro is considered the birthplace of samba, São Paulo has been termed the graveyard of samba. But there have been a few notable exceptions. Adoniran Barbosa was a famous samba singer and composer that became successful in Sao Paulo's radio era. An old-school samba band called Demônios da Garoa still plays his songs in the traditional Bar Brahma venue in Centro. The band has been in existence for almost 60 years.
In the late 1960s, a psychedelic rock band called Os Mutantes led the way in the national avant garde music scene. Their success is sometimes related to that of other Tropicalia musicians, but they also had a musical style and ideas of their own. They were regarded as very paulistano in their behaviour and clothing. Os Mutantes released five albums together before lead singer Rita Lee departed in 1972 to start a solo career.
A late punk and garage scene emerged in the 1980s, perhaps associated with the gloomy scenario of unemployment and few actual prospectives from the viewpoint of the youth. Underground rock bars, principally the Lira Paulistana bar/theatre were full of thriving musicians and artists such as Ira, Ratos do Porão, Língua de Trapo, Premê, Rumo, Itamar Assumpção and Arrigo Barnabé.
The 1990s saw the emergence of the drum n bass movement and the success of DJ Marky, DJ Patife, XRS, Drumagick, and Fernanda Porto. The hip hop movement, although strong in São Paulo, has never managed to find commercial success. Over the past few years there has been a resurgence of small clubs playing host to bands such as Cansei de Ser Sexy.
The Orquestra de Rua is a good example of Sao Paulo's multiculturalism. The group includes street musicians who were organized by musician and conductor Livio Tragtenberg. The musicians come from various regions of Brazil as well as Paraguay and Bolivia. The musical influences include Japanese, Paraguayan, Bolivian, and Nordestino music.
Sao Paulo has excellent cultural centers. Many of them are part of the SESC (Serviço Social do Comercio) system. SESC is a nonprofit institution of national scope. It was created in 1946 to promote Brazil's cultural and artistic development, and social welfare.