“Arrefole’s sound “cries out” Portugal, but makes sense anywhere on the planet.”
“Building up from their own Portuguese musical traditions, they re-invent a warm, full sound, resulting in concerts both intimate and exciting.”
“They discovered something quite special… a bond that unites the historical city of Oporto to the Portuguese countryside and the rest of Europe.”
“A group of talented musicians, firmly rooted into their country’s musical traditions, decide to bridge the seemingly distant worlds of traditional music and Progressive Folk.”
“Instruments such as the Iberian bagpipes, flutes, hurdy-gurdy, world percussions, and an array of unique Portuguese stringed instruments, all melded into a unique performance of progressive folk and dance music.”
arrefole was born in 2001, during the “golden years” of Porto’s Folk Music scene.
Quite dynamic in revisiting traditional music and its instruments, the city hosted various concerts, festivals and folk music instrument schools. Year-round, the notorious “folk nights” were held throughout the metropolitan area, culminating in an annual International Folk Music Festival, that spanned over two decades.
Born in an urban environment, arrefole creates a listening experience that overlaps with a rural background. In fact, the usage of Portuguese folk music instruments contrasts with contemporary and world music sounds.
This sets the premises for their musical laboratory – They accept they are stuck between tradition and modernity, between a time they insist is not yet over and a new one that has already begun. By simply playing together, they let their surroundings drive their music.
arrefole’s musicians have diverse musical backgrounds and parallel professional and artistic careers, making arrefole an incredible laboratory for ideas.
This results in a constant redesign of repertoire, according to every member’s latest influences. Such body of work has only been fully enjoyed by the most die-hard fans, that have attended live performances over a span of a decade.
Despite temporal & geographical constraints, arrefole’ members have been translating this experimental practice into video and two recorded albums.
arrefole (since 2006)
one of the founders of the project playing Bagpipes and whistles, currently a Doctor of Music researcher and bagpipe builder at the renowned Sibelius Academy Helsinki;
at Bouzouki, Guitar, Hurdy-Gurdy and Vocals, the mind behind the group’s arrangements, who has dedicated himself to audio production alongside his work as a university professor at the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto;
playing the traditional Portuguese chordophones (Cavaquinho, Mandolin, Braguesa, Guitar and Vocals) who has been pursuing a solo career, recognized and highlighted by the “Carlos Paredes” Prize in 2018;
the “globe trotter” who travels the world learning percussion and the languages of world music (namely tablas in India and timbila in Mozambique);
the beautiful and iconic voice of the north-western Portuguese region “Entre Douro e Minho”. Besides being the leading voice for arrefole, Raquel is a regular guest in other music projects such as “Origem Tradicional”, with hundreds of live concerts and featured in several published studio recordings.
Pedro Aibeo (drums)
Ricardo Coelho (bagpipes and woodwinds),
Cristina Castro (voice)
João Garcia (percussions)
Bruno Cardoso (percussions)
João Valente (violin)
all music composed arranged & performed by arrefole
Açor label, 2006
A “Love Letter” to the city of Porto
indie – Produced by N. Flores, 2021
Turning on automatic updates
indie – Produced by N.Flores, 2022
Towards the essence
Porto – Portugal