I am the Samba


A Voz do Morro (aka Eu Sou o Samba) is the song that made Zé Keti’s samba career take off, in part due to Nelson Pereira dos Santos 1955 film Rio, 40 Graus on which it was featured.

I’m the samba
The voice of the hill, yes it’s me, lord
I want to show the world I have value
I’m the king of these lands
I’m the samba
I’m from right here in Rio de Janeiro
I’m the one that brings happiness
to millions of Brazilian hearts
Long live samba, we want samba
The people of the country are asking
Long live samba, we want samba
This melody of a happy Brazil

If you’d like to see Zé performing some of his other songs, he did so for Programa Ensaio in 1991.

After he passed away in 1999, his friend Nelson Pereira dos Santos, made a short documentary (below) in his honor, gathering some samba greats for a round of music.

In a jam session, in the late composer’s house in Inhaúma, a group of friends get together to play his music while a feijoada is being cooked in the kitchen. The samba-players, first-rate samba stars themselves, remember Ketti’s great hits in a homage to the man who was best known as “a voz do morro”. Among the guests, names of the traditional samba-school Portela and ex-partners. Also, the presence of a black hat on an empty chair, represents the composer himself after a life of many accomplishments in music, and appearance in three of Dos Santos’s films: “Rio, 40 Graus”, “Rio Zona Norte” and “Boca de Ouro”.


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