Moleque de Rua - History


A hostile social reality bred nonconformity that engendered a dream that led to action that provoked a combat, which brought many successes as well as some failures. Perseverance opened doors to ever-wider horizons. There was no definitive victory; just the growing understanding that the struggle is gigantic and never stops.

It was just over 30 years ago, in 1983, in Vila Santa Catarina, a neighbourhood in the South Zone of São Paulo, Brazil,  that Duda, a young law student, invited children and young people at a loose end to be his partners in a music project. That was the beginning of Moleque de Rua. With their lyrics of contestation and humour, their music influenced by samba, rock n’ rollfunk and afro-brazilian styles, their unique sound produced by an array of  invented instruments made from junk materials gleaned from scrap yards the band made its way around Brazil, crossed the Atlantic and cast anchor in Europe. Moleque de Rua played on innumerable stages on the Old Continent, often sharing them with major names from both the Brazilian and the international music scene.

Whilst the first generation of young people left the band in search of their own projects or other collectives, multiplying the experiences they had had, new young people came to occupy their places and so the story continued. The same was to happen later with the third generation.

The workshops that the group gave meant that thousands of Brazilian and European children were able to participate in their shows. The methodology Moleque de Rua used to keep their music viable was an inspiration to innumerable socio-cultural agents who set up non-governmental organisations focused on engaging children and young people in urban peripheries in cultural activities. Moleque de Rua’s  example stimulated other artists to  begin similar projects or to reinforce existing work  and strongly  influenced present day notions of art-education

Art. This has always been the main and non-negotiable aim. The choice to remain independent in relation to state and private finances was made in order to preserve this main objective from third party interests that might weaken or sully it. This total independence to question and to express themselves, is what gave the members of the band their strength and what motivated them to fight to turn their ideals into something concrete. For both its members and its fans, the band has managed to keep their belief in a utopia alive by constructing situations and moments which prove that a better world; a world with more justice, fraternity and love, is possible.

This website is a virtual archive, a tool for recording all the achievements of the last 30 years or so. It is a space for remembering, sharing experiences and collecting testimonies and contributions from all those who have already participated in, enjoyed or in one way or another been touched by this unique project.