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Formed by Carlinhos Brown in the Candeal borough of Salvador (Bahia), Timbalada represented his desire of using the timbau (a kind of drum indigenous of candomblé religions) in an Afro-pop-oriented way, melting rhythms of Bahia with those of Afro-American and Afro-Caribbean origin. Also employing vocalists, the peculiar aesthetics of the group include body painting and a multitude of pop signs that play with the contrast between tribal and industrial. The Timbalada is both a band and a Carnaval bloco (group of merrymakers). Attracting more and more people to the Candeal borough (a very poor one) every Sunday afternoon for their rehearsals, the Timbalada put it on Salvador's musical map. After the band's success, the timbau was absorbed into every samba-reggae bateria (drum section). The group's formation demonstrated the intention of dissociating themselves from the traditional percussive blocos, aiming at a hybrid, pop outline, with three singers, sax, trumpet, trombone, keyboards, bass, guitar, drums, ten timbaus, five "marcações," one "repique," two timbales, and a kind of Afro drumset, the "percuteria."
Formed in 1992, Timbalada performed during the Carnaval in Salvador with 200 timbaus and other instruments. Their first album, released in 1993, had the hits "Beija-flor" and "Canto pro Mar." That year, they performed in Aracaju (Sergipe) and São Paulo and were frequently invited to major TV shows that reinforced the band's popularity. They followed performances at the Montreux Jazz Festival with the Holland Festival and tours through Europe. In 1996, the Timbalada won the Prêmio Sharp award with the album Mineral and departed for performances in Japan. In July 2000, the Timbalada performed for 200,000 people at the Montreal International Jazz Festival in Canada.