Hearing “Ziriguidum” for the First Time

By kanderson
2 min read | April 13, 2015

DJD has been working vigorously with the Cia Vata Dance Company in Brazil since May 2014 to create a spectacular show playing at Theatre Junction GRAND April 24 to May 2. The two companies will be sharing the stage and exploring this concept of “Ziriguidum,” both in the traditional Brazilian form and its meaning to jazz artists today.

What is this strange, hard to pronounce word you might ask?  

Ziriguidum, pronounced Zee-Ree-Ghee-Doom, is a Brazilian Portuguese word that classically defined, expresses the sounds of drums and other percussive instruments.

Generally in Brazil a group would gather together and play around with these percussive instruments, coming up with different rhythms and patterns creating colourful music generally heard at Samba and Carnival.

In contrast to the very colourful percussive vibrancy that Brazilians define Ziriguidum, it can also be used to mean cool. Now cool is so very broad with many definitions and meanings, so what exactly are we talking about?

One form of cool that Ziriguidum can represent is a sly calmness, self-control or composure. It can be used to describe a person’s charisma or essence in a situation or that special “thing” someone may possess. Think James Dean, Elvis, Michael Huisman, James Bond or the ever so cool George Clooney!

In the exploration of the feeling “cool”, what better than to use cool jazz to do so. For those who aren’t familiar cool jazz is a take off of modern jazz that arose after WW2 when America’s future was uncertain and the people were more reserved. It can be characterized as a relaxed style with lighter tones, with soft more controlled tempos and rhythms. Instruments such as the flute, French horn and the tuba can be found in cool jazz.

Some other takes on the essence of that cool feeling may be:

Cooling off
Keeping it cool

Excitement (cool!)

The spring show will be the integration of cool and the happy lively movement of the Cia Vata. There will be two half’s of the show put together so the audience can see and feel the contrast and allow them to experience what Ziriguidum is.

To get more of a taste of what “cool jazz” is, take a listen to the pioneers of the musical genre Chet Baker or Miles Davis.

Tickets to Ziriguidum, including a special Gala Performance on April 30, are available by calling 403-245-3533 or by visiting