Central Săo Paulo’s neighborhood in Brazil called Bixiga is a melting pot of culture. Its Italian, African and North-Eastern population make it one of the best areas to eat out and listen to music. One of the place’s hidden treasures is the recording studio Traquitana, number 70 at Rua 13 de Maio – a street packed with venues and restaurants. That’s the birthplace of Săo Paulo’s finest new instrumental combo: Bixiga 70.

Coming from diverse musical backgrounds, a meeting of musicians involved in the city’s avantgarde pop, jazz, dub and Brazilian scenes, results in the 10-piece set, trying to blur boundaries in space and time. With their genre-spanning mix of afro- beat, Guinean malinké, Brazilian candomblé, samba and cumbia, Bixiga 70 are a welcome addition to any party. Taking Fela Kuti’s Afrika 70 band as a launchpad both in name and spirit, this ten piece band and their fusion of African and South American rhythms cause havoc in any dance.

The band’s self-titled first LP album was released in Brazil in late 2011 and appeared in many “Best of the Year” lists, like Brazilian Rolling Stones’ and MTV’s. Considered the spearhead of the growing Brazilian afro scene, the band shared the stage with major names like Jungle By Night, Woima Collective, Tony Allen, Seun Kuti & Egypt 80, Ebo Taylor and Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra

The second album, Ocupai, brings deeper latin and brazilian influences, mixing candomblé chants, cumbia, carimbó, funky basslines and malinké kassa percussions. The record concept is based on the occupation of public spaces through music and arts, a reflection of the work the band develops with the neighborhood community, such as workshops and, most importantly the VII Graffiti Day festival, the record once again made it to many “Best of 2013″ and was released worldwide by London-based label Mais Um Discos

The band is about to release its third album later this year.