The Cordel do Fogo Encantado was created in Arcoverde, Brazil, located 260 km from Recife (Pernambuco), by five youngsters, three from Arcoverde (Lirinha, pandeiro/vocals; Clayton Barros, guitar/vocals; Emerson Calado, percussion/voice) and two from the Morro da Conceição, Recife (Rafa Almeida, percussion/voice; and Nêgo Henrique, percussion/voice).
The group appeared in 1997 as a theatrical spectacle fusing narrative; scenery; Indian traditions (toré); a very percussive approach; the oral popular poetry of the hinterlands produced by northeast Brazilian bards like Manoel Filó, Manoel Chadu, Zé da Luz, Chico Pedrosa, and Inácio da Catingueira; the Northeastern popular literature known as "cordel"; and folkloric musical genres like the reisado, the embolada, the samba de coco, and the music of cantadores (minstrels). In 1999, the Cordel opened at the Rec-Beat festival, organized in Recife during the Carnival. The independent Cordel do Fogo Encantado was launched in 2001, produced by Naná Vasconcellos. Promoting the album during their first southeast Brazilian tour, they immediately caught the attention of the media, also having packed houses for their performances. The first music video, for the song "Chover (Ou Invocação para Um Dia Líquido)," was awarded in several festivals. Their first international tour was launched during July and August 2001, consisting in 11 shows through Belgium, Germany, France, and other countries. In October, the group participated in the Free Jazz Festival, in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. In 2002, the group was elected by APCA (Association of Art Critics of São Paulo) as the "revelation group" of 2001. Their 2002 shows included as its opening song "Os Anjos Caídos," theme of Cacá Diegues' film Deus É Brasileiro, in which the band also participated. ~ Alvaro Neder, Rovi