São Clemente is one of the big 12 of the Independent Samba School League and what is distinct about it is that this Rio’s South Side founded school approaches the city of Rio de Janeiro, its Carnival and their issues with a good-humoured twist. Its nonchalance combined with samba themes in the parade exhibit the Brazilian way of life. Daring, critical, cheeky, etc. are some of the adjectives that best describe its performances.

Sao Clemente samba school during the parade


São Clemente samba school in Rio de Janeiro was conceived and founded by Ivo da Rocha Gomes, Ailton Teixeira and John Marino in 1961. It originated in a soccer club from Botafogo and later broke away to form a Carnival group in the 1950s. Earlier, the parades were held in São Clemente streets of Botafogo. Some of its initial themes included a trilogy on the city of Rio, a plot praising the wealth of Brazil, the legends of Brazil and so on. It was in 1964 that São Clemente won its first title at the Rio Carnival.


The colors black and yellow were chosen after one of the founders attended a football match and really liked the color combination of uniform of one of the teams, and decided to replace the colors of the GRES São Clemente with black and yellow.


Over the years São Clemente’s carnival parade at the Sambadrome has become famous for themes laden with good humor and sarcastic criticism on different subjects. Its exhibits have featured participants and scenarios of society and it has come to be defined as a samba school concerned with the problems of the Brazilian people. For example, in 1984 São Clemente’s Carnival parade presented a theme referring to the chaos and violence of Rio’s road traffic. It’s following year, it created an entertaining spoof about the major problem of the housing deficit in Brazil.