Making Calabash Fiddles

Francisco Ferreira de Freitas Filho, better known as Di Freitas, is a conservatory trained musician who’s played in orchestras around Brazil. In 2002, he settled down in Juazeiro do Norte, a city in the interior of Ceará known for its rich culture, and became enamored with the sound of the rabeca, a kind of folk fiddle. When he began teaching music to local children, many of them couldn’t afford to buy instruments, so he decided to teach them how to make their own rabecas.

Di Freitas recently came to Fortaleza to lead a week-long workshop at the Banco do Nordeste, where we spent our days making rabecas de cabaça (rabecas made from calabash gourds). Watch the video to see how it’s done and to hear Di Freitas playing the rabeca de cabaça in the song “Segura o Coco” from his CD, O Alumioso.

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