Oral history of early samba group in San Francisco

I recently met someone involved in SF's early days of samba, apparently the late '70s or early '80s:

"Samba do Sol"


sfmpb.com shut down

Here's one thing not linked to the economic meltdown of '08 -- I've closed www.sfmpb.com this week. For 9 years, I maintained a list of upcoming Brazilian music gigs in the San Francisco Bay Area. I don't get to spend much time in the area any more, and keeping the site useful has been more and more challenging. So that's all she wrote -- but I'm very appreciative of all the friends I made through this endeavor. You know who you are!


Choro Festival cancelled

Apparently, funding has dried up for a major choro festival that was fanning the flames of the choro revival of recent years. The February event in São Pedro is on indefinite hold, according to a message from an organizer:

Many thanks for your interest in the Choro Festival.
However, I'm afraid it won't happen in 2009 in the same way as the previous years. Despite all our efforts we did not find a sponsor to make the festival happen in February, in the city of São Pedro. So we will try to make it in July, in Rio, but even that is still not confirmed.


Welcome to Bossa Nova Park!

The government of Brazil has announced a new park "designed by the architect (and former Governor of the State of Paraná) Jaime Lerner, the park will be constructed in Leblon" -- a district in Rio's Zona Sul adjacent to Ipanema.

Full story


Make a bad caipirinha, go to jail. It's the law.

Big story in from Associated Press: the sacred symbol of Brazil, the sugar cane-based rocket fuel known as cachaça, real sugar, and only so much lime are now all requirements for a legal caipirninha.


Review: LEARN CAIXIXI by Robert Wallace

Psst, want to shake your seeds? No, wait, don't walk away! I'll bet you've tried a shaker once or twice, but never thought yourself capable of making complex music with such a simple instrument. A new DVD has caused me to rethink this silly assumption.

The caxixi is a type of shaker in the form of a small basket. Containing seeds, rice, or synthetic beads, it's origins are African. The instructor's approach seems targeted to world music fans, but most of the rhythms taught on this English-language DVD are specifically Brazilian: samba, baião, afoxé.

Thrown like a dart, a caxixi produces a sharp *chick*; turned on its side and played like any old shaker, in produces a contrasting shk-a-shk-a-shk. Once the basic moves are strung together, the playing seems magical. And no wonder, since caxixi are often played in both hands and so you make music like Leopold Stokowski or a wizard: arms and hands in constant motion. As your "magic spells" gain coherence and your individual motions become a confident blur, something amazing is conjured up. And kudos to Robert Wallace for all the encouragement he peppers into his explanations to keep you going until you get there.

Production quality on offer is closer to YouTube than MTV, and some technical limitations do inhibit the experience. For example, many guitar instructional videos feature two cameras to capture right and left hand playing. Here, we're asked to step in time as we play, but the single camera here mostly stays on the teacher's head and face. It would be great to see the steps we're to follow.

And following the hand motions might be much easier for the left-handed: he's right-handed, but faces the viewer. For a righty myself, this means I can't mirror the screen. My right hand has to imitate the left side of the screen, and vice-versa. I would have had an easier time if the video had been flipped. In future editions, perhaps right- and left-handed versions of the video could be available on one DVD.

Enough rhythms are offered to keep even veteran musicians busy for a session, and neophytes will probably need hours to master the patterns on offer. As a visual person, some notation of the patterns would have been appreciated.

A note about instruments: your intrepid reviewer owns a large caxixi that proved useless for the technique taught on this DVD. I bought a smaller caxixi and matched that with Remo fruit shakers. These funny little instruments in the shapes of apples, plums, and pears proved just as effective as a "real" caxixi and I suspect most small shakers would, too. (Perhaps Remo can sponsor the next installment with a farmer's market worth of their offerings?)

I imagine a great many novices will end up putting more music in their life after a few hours with Robert Wallace and their caxixi. Intermediate and advanced percussionists might pick up a trick or two, as well. This DVD, available from totalrhythm.com for US$24.95, won't turn novices into Airto Moreira, but exceeding your expectations is a safe bet.


Caetano does the blog thing

In case you hadn't noticed, one of Brazil's most prolific and opinionated artists, singer/composer Caetano Veloso, couldn't resist the blog bug. All in Portuguese, naturally:

link to Caetano's blog

Jorge Alabe's carnaval samba tour 2009

Forwarded from Deborah Kogan:

Hello, all,

Here's a reminder if you are thinking about going to Brazil in early
2009--Mestre Jorge Alabe is hosting his "samba tour" in January, taking you
to the samba schools of beautiful Rio to get the real experience up close.
January is a great time to go when the escolas are really getting hot, and
the group tour is a fun and reasonably priced way to do it.

If you are thinking about it, be sure to get in touch with either me or
Jorge Alabe directly. Information is listed below, and on the attached



Samba Tour in Rio de Janeiro
with Jorge Alabe
January 2009

Visit Rio¹s famous samba schools and enjoy the culture of one of the world¹s
most beautiful cities with Jorge Alabê in his hometown.

Maximum 10 people in group

Depart U.S. Jan. 21, arrive in Rio Jan. 22

Depart Rio Jan. 31, arrive in U.S. Feb. 1

Included in trip price:

* Round-trip economy-class airfare from the U.S. to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

* Shared rooms in apartment in Copacabana (4 to 5 people in each apartment),
walking distance from the beach

* Transportation from the airport on arrival on 1/21, and return to airport
on 1/31

* Transportation to five samba school rehearsals

* Visit to a candomble house

All for $2400

($1300 due by Oct. 1; remainder due by Dec. 15.)

(Not included:
Passport and visa fees; additional transportation costs; entry fees to samba
schools; meals other than specified on the schedule; drum and dance classes;
other activities.)

Group or private dance or drum classes available for additional fees by
arrangement. For group class of 4 or more people, $20/hour per person for
drum or dance class.

For more information or to join the tour, contact Deborah at 510-601-7244,
dlcogan@earthlink.net; or Jorge Alabe at 510-393-6400, jorgealabe@yahoo.com.


Bahian (or Brazilian?) of the century

A few weeks ago, Brazil lost one of its giants. The man who immoralized the northeastern state of Bahia and played spiritual and musical father or grandfather to every prominent musician there, from Joao Gilberto to the tropicalistas to Carlinhos Brown, died on August 16.

The New York Times obituary.

On August 27, his wife since 1939 died as well. She was a young singer called Stella Maris when they met, and it was her decline into a coma that is said to have robbed the 94 year old Dorival of his last will to live.

If you'd like to hear Dorival in his prime, I recommend the album "Caymmi e o seu Violao" from 1959. Not easy to find on CD, but worth hunting for!

Here's a sample of a track from that album that appears on a recent compilation.


California Brazil Camp 2008 photos now up

And more will appear daily for a while! It was great fun with terrific musicians and a spectacular setting, plus a few post-camp shows in San Francisco!

The flickr gallery is here.


crack classical violinist takes up Argentina & Brazil

Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg is performing a program of South American music, including a premiere of a new work by Brazilian Clarice Assad. More info here.

It looks like this performance is happening all over the Bay Area: Berkeley, Marin, and SF as well as Palo Alto.


free music and movie in NYC's Central Park next Sunday

The Petrobras Brazilian Film Festival kicks off with a free concert in Central Park by Maria Rita, followed by a screening of "Os Desafinados" (about a fictional bossa group). A Jobim documentary will also be featured later in the festival.

More information


Rio Samba Tour with samba master Jorge Alabe

Forwarded by Deborah Kogan:

Samba Tour in Rio de Janeiro
with Jorge Alabê

January 2009

Visit Rio¹s famous samba schools and enjoy the culture of one of the world¹s
most beautiful cities with Jorge Alabê in his hometown.

Maximum 10 people in group

Depart U.S. Jan. 21, arrive in Rio Jan. 22

Depart Rio Jan. 31, arrive in U.S. Feb. 1

Included in trip price:

* Round-trip economy-class airfare from the U.S. to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

* Shared rooms in apartment in Copacabana (4­5 people in each apartment),
walking distance from the beach

* Transportation from the airport on arrival on 1/21, and return to airport
on 1/31

* Transportation to five samba school rehearsals

* Visit to a candomble house

All for $2400

($1300 due by Oct. 1; remainder due by Dec. 15.)

(Not included:
Passport and visa fees; additional transportation costs; entry fees to samba
schools; meals other than specified on the schedule; drum and dance classes;
other activities.)

Group or private dance or drum classes available for additional fees by
arrangement. For group class of 4 or more people, $20/hour per person for
drum or dance class.

For more information or to join the tour, contact Deborah at 510-601-7244,
dlcogan@earthlink.net; or Jorge Alabe at 510-393-6400, jorgealabe@yahoo.com.


Premiere Brazil 2008 -- Latest films on Brazilian music in New York

New York's MOMA is again featuring Brazilian films, with Brazilian music taking the spotlight in several.

Out of Tune. 2008. Brazil. Directed by Walter Lima Jr.
Os Desafinados (Out of Tune). 2008. Brazil. Directed by Walter Lima Jr. With Rodrigo Santoro, Claudia Abreu, Selton Mello. A seductive "biography" of the sublime musical art of bossa nova, as dramatized through the fate of a fictive band, Os Desafinados. The band's success reaches its apex with the discovery of Gloria, an ex-pat singer living in New York, who becomes the band's star - and their downfall. The band's ensuing decline coincides with the political events in Brazil that brought the junta to power, and Lima's film deftly integrates documentary stock footage into the narrative - while adding plenty of bossa nova classics for audiences to groove to. In Portuguese; English subtitles. 138 min.
Thursday, July 17, 2008, 8:15 p.m., Theater 1, T1
Sunday, July 27, 2008, 6:00 p.m., Theater 2, T2

The Man Who Bottled Clouds. 2008. Brazil. Directed by Lirio Ferreira
O homem que engarrafava nuvens (The Man Who Bottled Clouds). 2008. Brazil. Directed by Lirio Ferreira. Written by Ferreira, Denise Dummont. A host of personalities reminisce about the life and work of songwriter, lawyer, and congressman Humberto Teixeira - aka "Baião Doctor" - the author of such classic Brazilian popular songs as "Asa Branca (White Wing)." This beautifully produced film brilliantly captures the feel of Brazilian life in the 1940s with musical performances, archival footage, and lively conversations. In Portuguese; English subtitles. 110 min.
Friday, July 18, 2008, 8:15 p.m., Theater 1, T1 (World premiere)
Saturday, July 26, 2008, 5:00 p.m., Theater 2, T2 (World premiere)
Monday, July 28, 2008, 6:00 p.m. (World premiere)

O mistério do Samba (The Mystery of Samba). 2008. Brazil. Directed by Carolina Jabor, Lula Buarque de Hollanda. The Mystery of Samba captures the rich lives - and astonishing vivacity - of a group of veteran musicians and composers from one of Rio's most revered samba schools, Portela. The magic of this birthplace of singers and poets is brought to vivid life with guest appearances by samba luminaries Marisa Monte, Paulinho da Viola, and Zeca Pagodinho. In Portuguese; English subtitles. 85 min.
Saturday, July 19, 2008, 8:00 p.m., Theater 1, T1 (North American premiere)
Saturday, July 26, 2008, 8:00 p.m. (North American premiere)


Cal Brazil Camp update

Into getting wild in the woods? It is almost here again. That's right, there will once again be dancers and drummers and guitarists and zabumba-ists and reco-reco-ists and more playing under the redwoods of Cazadero County. Week 1 sold out early, as usual, but you can still check out Aug. 24-30 over at calbrazilcamp.com.


mother of all samba meetups

forwarded announcement from Jair Martins de Miranda, Samba Global Project:


Dear Samba Lovers,

This month I will be submitting the project for the 4th International Encontro of Sambistas to the Brazilian Cultural Ministry, which is scheduled for the next Carnaval in Rio de Janeiro between the 20 - 28 February 2009.

Like previous meetings, I am always thinking about the possibility of maximising the number of foreign sambistas and samba groups in the event and I yet I acknowledge the financial restrictions and the known difficulties that the majority of the groups have in terms of paying for travel and accommodation in Rio during this period.

For this 4th meeting, however, I discovered that there exists a possibility. I was informed by the Cultural Ministry that there exists a programme in the European Union to finance iniciatives which promote cultural intercambios between Europeans and Brasil for the next 2 years. Vacancies are open only until 1 June. More information about this can be found on the following site:
http://eacea.ec.europa.eu/culture/calls2008/strand_1_3/index_en.htm .

This being the case through this possibility of tickets and accommodation being paid for by this programme, I am inviting groups that are interested in this 4th Encontro to also participate in CRIAR (NGO who organize the Encontro), as partners of the project together with the European Union, indicating the official name of the group, the numbers of participants and their home town.

Please contact me should you have any doubts or queries, preferebly outside this list.

I look forward to hearing from you.


Jair Martins de Miranda
Samba Global Project
4К International Encontro of Sambistas Coordinator


Alligator on the radio

My amigo Robert Patterson, also known as "Jacaré", is now on the radio. And this blogger is putting together a few playlists, because it's all about Brazilian music. More:



California Brazil Camp preview

The 2008 dates for California Brazil Camp have been announced -- an annual opportunity to enjoy gorgeous California redwoods, superb music and dance instruction and performance, and a few other nice perks -- like gourmet meals and good company.

I've been photographing there for years and recommend it highly.

The official site.

My CBC photographs.


Cachaça love spreads

The New York Times features what is to me Brazil's second finest export after music, the distilled sugar cane spirit known as pinga or cachaça:



Brazilian in Boston - upcoming gigs

From our Boston desk:

03/26 (wednesday) 8-12pm

We play as a trio with Vinicius Pienasola at LES ZYGOMATES

Don't forget!

Bill Ward & Anna Borges playing Bossa nova at The Sunset Cafe every Saturday


(851 Cambridge St., Cambridge, MA 02141). It will be just the two of us, every Saturday from 8pm -12 am


More Bossa Nova at Cafe Belo from 6pm-10pm

181 Brighton Ave
Allston – MA – 02134 – USA
(617) 783-4858



Afro-braz. dance workshops in Arizona (Mar/Apr)

Sent along on behalf of the wonderful teacher and wonderful person Rosangela Silvestre:

Batucaxé presents:Afro-Brazilian Dance Workshops withMaster Teacher Rosangela Silvestre Orixá
Dance Workshops: Symbols in MotionsWith live drumming by Batucaxé drummers• Sundays, March 23,
March 30, April 6, and April 13, 5 to 6:30 p.m.• Fridays, March 28 and April 4, 7 to 8:30
p.m.Location: The SPACE, 1013 S. Tyndall Ave., Tucson 85719 Silvestre Technique: Modern/Afro-Brazilian
Fusion• Saturdays, March 29 and April 5, 1 to 2:30 p.m.Location: The Dance Loft, 620 E. 19th
Street, Tucson 85719• Sundays, March 30, April 6, and April 13, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.Location: The
SPACE, 1013 S. Tyndall Ave., Tucson 85719
$15/singleclass, or $52 for a four-class series available during Rosangela'sresidency (good for
both the Orixá classes and the Silvestre Techniqueclasses). No refunds for missed classes.
Rosangela is also availablefor private classes in the Silvestre tecynique and/or Orixá dancemovement. For
more information, go to www.batucaxe.org or contact Yarrow at (520) 465-8856or e-mail
dance@batucaxe.org. Roseangela Silvestreis the associate director and guest choreographer of Viver
Brasil DanceCompany and is internationally renowned for her demanding dancetraining, the
'Silvestre Technique.' A graduate of the FederalUniversity of Bahia, she has training in classical ballet
as well asmodern dance in the Horton and Graham techniques. She has studied,taught, and helped to
evolve Afro-Brazilian dance with Mestre King,Clyde Morgan and Mercedes Baptista. She has set
choreography forBrazil's lauded company, Balé Foclórico da Bahia as well as Cleo ParkerRobinson Dance
Company, Ballet Hispanico Repertory Company, AmericanAcademy of Ballet, Roots of Brazil, Dance
Brazil, Viver Brasil, MuntuDance Theater, and the Kendra Kimbrough Dance Ensemble. Ms. Silvestreis
based in Salvador, Bahia, and the U.S. and conducts dance trainingprograms throughout the U.S.,
Brazil, Japan, Canada and Europe.Batucaxé isTucson's only samba school, teaching Afro-Brazilian
rhythm, song anddance. Inspired by the music of Brazil, Batucaxe (bah-too-cah-SHAY)features music from
many traditions: samba, samba afro, samba reggaeand afoxé from Brazil, as well as music from all
over the world. We aimto inspire and build our community through lessons and classes,outreach
programs and high-energy performances. For moreinformation, visit www.batucaxe.org.


fine choro blog

Just a quick note to point out the great choro info here:



Loronix spreads the musical wealth of Brazil around

Specializing originally in out-of-print gems of the Brazilian Jazz and bossa nova genres, this site currently offers fantastic LPs-turned-digial downloads for free. Many treasures; highest recommendation!


NYT Travel section on Bahia and Amado

"IN Portuguese, “amado” means “beloved,” and in more than a score of novels, the Brazilian writer Jorge Amado made clear his eternal passion for Salvador da Bahia, the city that took him in as a teenage boarding student and became his home."

The rest is here.

Some of my Bahia photos are on flickr here.


Bahia Carnaval coverage -- Gilberto Gil

Gilberto Gil, Brazil's Minister of Culture and acclaimed singer/songwriter/guitarist is featured on a Google Brasil site -- or rather he and his Trio Expresso 2222 is featured:


This is the same carnaval trio I documented as a photographer when it debuted:



Rio Carnaval school celebrates Japan theme

It's been a century since the first Japanese immigrants arrived in Brazil and one samba school is apparently celebrating with samurai/sushi samba:


press release: San Diego Carnaval

press release:


WHEN: Saturday, February 2, 2008 9:00PM - 2:00AM
WHERE: 4th and "B" Theater 345 B Street, San Diego, CA

General Admission: $30 / GA Sky Box: $50 21 & Up
(GA standing room only) (Limited unreserved seating in Sky Box)

General Admission & GA Sky Box Tickets On Sale at
House of Blues Box Office and TICKETMASTER

For More Info: VIP Reserved Seating / and Group Rates,
please call 619.224.4684

Copa Airlines & Brazilian Promotions present the 16th Annual San Diego Brazilian Mardi Gras Ball Saturday, February 2, 2008 @ 4th & "B" the "Best" Carnaval venue on the West Coast. San Diego Brazil Carnaval 2008 features Flavio Riberio e Unidos da California Samba School, Mark Lamson e Sol e Mar, Chalo Eduardo, Samba CHOPPS, Capoeira Brasil, ElektroVibe Tribe and the Shimmy Sisters Carnaval Bands, Capoeira, Parades, and Mardi Gras Beads. Rich in beauty and color our Carnaval presents a “Spectacular Samba Show” featuring dancers in glittering costumes adorned in sequins, beads and feathers accompanied by percussionists playing the authentic Batucada rhythms of Rio de Janeiro

"Carnavalescos" dance non-stop to the pulsating rhythms of SAMBA, BATUCADA, MARCHA, AXÉ MUSIC, FREVO, SAMBA-REGGAE, and CARNAVAL ELECTRICO as they are taken on a "Carnaval Tour" of Brazil from Rio to Bahia with a stop in Recife!

QUOTES: "...It's hard to beat San Diego's Brazil Carnival (brazilcarnival.com). The event is more Latin than Cajun, with samba music, body paint, What to drink? Brahma beer imported from Brazil..." Paul Tolme / Newsweek Magazine

"...The San Diego Brazil Carnaval at 4th & "B" is the best around. I've been to the other Brazilian Carnivals in Southern California and there is no comparison. I can hardly wait for Carnaval 2008!..." Cecilia M.

"...I was transported to Rio de Janeiro and enjoyed non-stop dancing complete with colorful parades and costumed dancers. Nobody parties like Brazilians!" Feeling HOT, HOT, HOT..." Rob Hagey / Producer San Diego Street Scene

"...Copying the Brazilian tradition to celebrate life with a Bourbon Street-meets-Rio celebration, 4th & B's annual Brazil Carnival delivers a taste of South America the weekend before Fat Tuesday, letting Mardi Gras fans get their revelry started early. With samba specialists SambaDa providing the music through the night, the dance floor's sure to be packed with sweaty bodies..." Matt Schild / AOL Digital City

San Diego Brazil Carnaval has developed the reputation as being one of the largest and most authentic Carnaval celebrations outside Brazil. It is an all-consuming party of fun, feathers, fantasy and outrageous costumes. In it's 16th year, San Diego Brazil Carnaval has the longest ongoing Carnaval tradition in Southern California. This Gala Event along with Carnevale in Little Italy signals the start of San Diego's Carnaval Mardi Gras Celebration that culminates with the Gaslamp Mardi Gras Parade on Fat Tuesday

"San Diego em Ritmo de Carnaval"

Saturday, February 2: Carnevale in San Diego's Little Italy from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Saturday, February 2: San Diego Brazil Carnaval 2008 @ 4th "B" 345 "B" Street
Sunday, February 3: Sevilla "Official Carnaval After-Party" 555 4th Avenue
Monday, February 4: Wylcef Jean @ the House of Blues 1055 5th Avenue
Tuesday, February 5: Gaslamp Mardi Gras "FAT" Tuesday Celebration and Parade


The History of San Diego Brazil Carnaval

FAQ frequently asked questions regarding San Diego Brazil Carnaval

What is San Diego Brazil Carnaval?

San Diego Brazil Carnaval is a Brazilian Mardi Gras Ball, Feathers…Fantasy…Stunning Samba Dacners….Music, Dance, Costumes, Glitter, Beads and Masks. It signals the start of the San Diego Mardi Gras season that culminates on FAT Tuesday, February 5th with the San Diego Gaslamp Mardi Gras Celebration and Parade. Over the years, it has developed the reputation of being one of San Diego’s signature events and the premier Brazilian Carnaval on the West Coast.

San Diego Brazil Carnaval goes from 9:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. Followed by an After Party at 4th & "B" Be sure and come in your most comfortable dancing shoes. You will dance the night away to the rhythms of Samba, Marchinhas, Frevo, Axé Music, Bloco Afro and Samba-Reggae as we take you on a Carnaval tour of Brazil with stops in Recife, Bahia and Rio.

How did the San Diego Brazil Carnaval get started?

San Diego Brazil Carnaval was started in 1993 by a native San Diegan who fell in love with Brazil & his Brazilian friends who wanted to share a part of their culture in their adopted city, San Diego. San Diego Brazil Carnaval is known for being one of the largest and most authentic Carnaval celebrations on the West Coast. It is an all-consuming party of fun, feathers, fantasy and outrageous costumes. San Diego Brazil Carnaval 2008 is where Carnavalescos come to dance to the non-stop pulsating rhythms of “Samba, Samba, Samba”. It takes place February 2nd at 4th & “B” and signals the start of the San Diego Carnaval Mardi Gras Celebration which culminates with the San Diego Gaslamp Mardi Gras Celebration on Fat Tuesday.

What is the History of Carnaval?

Carnaval in Brazil, Carnival in the Caribbean, Karnaval in Germany and Carnivale in Italy has origins in ancient Greece and Rome. The Greeks paid homage to Dionysus the God of Wine. This tradition was passed on to the Romans who celebrated Bacchanalia to honor Bacchus. Carnaval gives us a time to get away from the routine of life and celebrate our existence.

Many centuries ago, Catholics in Italy began the tradition of having a costume festival before the first day of Lent. Because the Catholic tradition was to give up eating meat during the 40 days of Lent, this celebration was called: carnevale — “to put away the meat.” Carnaval has evolved into the annual "Celebration of Life". Elaborate and colorful Carnaval celebrations take place in Venice, Paris, Cologne, Rome, Venice and in nearly every country colonized by the French, Spanish and the Portuguese: Haiti, Cuba, Mexico, Venezuela, and Brazil. Other large Carnaval Celebrations take place in Trinidad, San Francisco, London, Goa, India, Toronto, San Diego and New Orleans. Carnaval is an explosion of dancing, music, lights, and, colors


What's the Brazilian Portuguese for "7-string dynamite"?!

A few years ago, at the Modern Sound, a CD by an unknown guitarist named Yamandu Costa was on display. I donned the headphones and was amazed by what I heard on track one, "Bejeiro" ("wizard") by Ernesto Nazareth. Nested in a volcanic flow of harmonic and rhythmic flourishes (which apparently come without effort to this very young guitarist) is a melodic and tonal sense so athletically exercised and acutely focused that the music simmers, soars, teases, sings, and, occasionally, roars.

Last night in New York I had the pleasure of catching the virtuoso live, performing Brejeiro and two other pieces, at the 92nd Street Y. And catching him walking by afterwards, I thanked him and said that he is the Brejeiro.

If you find yourself in the same hemisphere as Mr. Costa, do yourself a favor. Catch a show.

A sample from YouTube, actually from the film Brasileirinho:



Some people don't like samba?

From the UK, a story a few years old but worth a look...

The Times

July 22, 2005

Widow of 80 locked up in row with PC drummer
By Simon de Bruxelles

A WIDOW aged 80 found herself being fingerprinted and locked in a police cell after complaining about the noise of drumming coming from a community centre.

Gwen Townsend was arrested after snatching a stick from one of the samba drummer’s hands and allegedly hitting him with it when he ignored her pleas to keep the volume down.

Mrs Townsend was unaware that the drummer was an off-duty police officer. PC Adam Hall called for reinforcements to arrest the pensioner for causing actual bodily harm.

Mrs Townsend, who suffers from a heart condition, was held in a cell for two hours and had her fingerprints, photograph and a DNA swab taken. She was later driven home in a police car and is waiting to see if the police press charges before lodging a formal complaint.

The retired accountant from Devizes, Wiltshire, had put up with the noise from the community centre for two hours before storming across to ask the drummers to keep the noise down. Inside she found the Devizes Bang Band hammering giant samba drums.

Mrs Townsend claims that she snatched one of the drummer’s sticks and banged it down on his drum when he took no notice of her.

She added: “People were offering me cups of tea to calm me down but I wasn’t in a mood to be calmed. The noise was horrendous and no-one was listening to my complaints.

“The man I was supposed to have hit said he would have to call the police. I said ‘good’ because I wanted them to see how many cars there were parked illegally there.”

After the altercation with PC Hall, who called for a squad car, Mrs Townsend was arrested and taken to Melksham police station, where she was locked in a cell.

She said: “They stuck me in this smelly cell for two hours. I am 80 years old and I have a heart condition and no effort was made to contact a doctor. They treated me as though I was an 18-year-old thug.”

She was released on police bail and ordered to return to the police station in August.

A police spokesman denied the force had been heavy handed. He said: “We confirm that an elderly woman had been arrested after an allegation that a man had been struck across the face over three times with a drumstick, causing reddening and bruising. Police have to be even handed when investigating all allegations of assault, irrespective of age or gender.”

Stuart Hislop, who helped to organise the drumming event, said that there were no other complaints.


City of Men soundtrack promoted

Here's a press release sent along by a promoter of a Brazilian film soundtrack, the follow-up to City of God. He'd love to hear your reaction to this press release and his email is at the end of it:





(January 10, 2008- Los Angeles, CA) - Lakeshore Records will release the
original motion picture soundtrack for CITY OF MEN. The album features
original music by Golden Globe-nominated composer Antonio Pinto (CENTRAL

Brazilian composer Antonio Pinto was named "Discovery of the Year" at the
2003 World Soundtrack Awards/Flanders International Film Festival and was
nominated for a Golden Globe award for the song "Despedida", which he
co-wrote with Shakira. He made his domestic debut in Brazil in 1994, but
first attracted international attention for his work on CENTRAL
1998. Four years later he composed the music for CITY OF GOD and was
selected by Michael Mann to write the end credit for COLLATERAL. Pinto's
credits also include LORD OF WAR and LOVE AND DEATH IN THE TIME OF

The 2002 film CITY OF GOD introduced the world to the horrors of the
of Rio de Janeiro and followed the lives of several kids who grew up
in the
slums through the 60s, 70s and 80s. Utilizing the same setting and same
actors, but set in the present day, CITY OF MEN became a television
mini-series running from 2002-2005. The TV series transitions to the big
screen with the new film CITY OF MEN.

In CITY OF MEN, producer Fernando Meirelles (The Constant Gardner)
to the Brazilian favelas of his Academy AwardT-nominated film, CITY OF
Growing up in a culture dictated by violence and run by street gangs,
teenagers Acerola (Douglas Silva) and Laranjinha (Darlan Cunha) have
close as brothers. With their eighteenth birthdays fast approaching,
Laranjinha sets out to find the father he never met, while Acerola
to raise his own young son. But when they suddenly find themselves on
opposite sides of a gang war, the lifelong friends are forced to
confront a
shocking secret from their shared past.

Directed by Paulo Morelli, Miramax presents CITY OF MEN, in select
on January 18. The Lakeshore Records recording will be available on
on January 1, 2008 and in stores on January 8.


For more information contact: cinemediapromo@ yahoo.com


Our Man In Rio falls in with Banda da Ipanema

Perennial samba correspondent Jacaré is seen here with carmen mirandas of the fabled Banda da Ipanema.

ECONOMIST does Ipanema bikini humor

Are all those "dental floss" bikinis in Rio due to a massive shortage of men in the Carioca population? Serious economics/news weekly pulls out all the dry British wit to get to the bottom of it all here.


Marcos Suzano teaching pandeiro

M. Suzano aula
Originally uploaded by Eric Marc Crawford

For a few years now, I've been hooking students of Brazilian music up with great instructors in Rio for one-on-one lessons. Here, famed pandeiro wizard Marcos Suzano gives one of my students a lesson. If you'd like to study with great musicians in Rio, let me know. More at na-roda.com.

another blog from a Rio carnaval attendee


Some nice pictures at this one!

gig// Jan 6. boston bossa breakfast!

Brunch and Bossa Nova at the Beehive
Spread over two floors in the Boston Center for the Arts, the Beehive attracts a suitably artsy crowd, especially before and after performances. The large space, filled with eye-catching art and ornate drapes and fixtures, is one of the neighborhood's few true late-night destinations. An eclectic assortment of live music, from jazz to cabaret, is offered most nights. Patrons select from a Mediterranean-tinged menu of shareable bites (charcuterie plates, a "jar of pickles") and pricier, more substantial fare (lamb ribs with house-made garlic sausage, pappardelle with wild mushrooms and creamy ricotta).

Where: The Beehive
541 Tremont St Boston, MA 02116Phone: (617) 423-0069
When: 01/06– Sunday at 11am-3pm

The band:
Anna Borges – voice, percussion
Bill Ward – voice, guitar
Vinicius Pienasola– drums

Don't forget!
Bill Ward & Anna Borges playing Bossa nova at The Sunset Cafe every Saturday (no performace on 10/06)
(851 Cambridge St., Cambridge, MA 02141). It will be just the two of us, every Saturday from 8pm -12 am, in the fancier part of Sunset Cafe (not the dive bar part).
Beijos,Bill + Anna


tour//Bahia in June with drummer Gamo da Paz

Even among baianos, San Francisco-based Gamo is a very nice guy. Very talented, drummer, too. Visit Bahia with Gamo in June:


workshops//pre-carnaval percussion in rio

If you're lucky enough to be in Rio right now (I'm not!) I've attended a workshop by this guy and thought it was excellent. Might be a little to general for veterans, though great for folks newer to Brazilian percussion:





Joca Perpignan, Brazilian percussionist-singer-songwriter, has worked with top artists around the world such as: Mati caspi, Yoni Rechter, Armandinho( Brazil ), Paquito D´Rivera( Cuba ), The Mendes Brothers(Cape Verde), Luciana Souza( Brazil ), and others.
As a musical educator has conducted workshops in differents events and institutions in Brazil , USA , Chile ,and all around Israel !
Joca has also been rhythm instructor to the world-famous percussion group Mayumana !

* the class is about samba percussion instruments such as: surdo, tan-tan, repique, pandeiro, tamborim, chocalho, agogo, cuica, atabaque, reco-reco, ganza, and more.

2 packages :

1 - one percussion workshop (2 hours duration) and one night-tour to a samba show/ or samba school rehearsal

2- two percussion workshops (2 hours duration each) and two night-tours to a samba show/ or samba school rehearsal

* Joca is a English/Hebrew/Portuguese speaker

For more information about the program contact: jocaperp@yahoo.com.br or tomer_batucada@yahoo.com
phone in Brazil: 55-21-22664744

Yellow Fever scare at Rio carnaval

The worst Yellow Fever statistics since 2003:


1/20/08: Samba in Silver Spring, Maryland

I guess this is a "Little Brazil" I've never heard of:


Your friends Clube do Samba are at it again this time in little Brazil--Silver Spring, Maryland.
We look forward to you joining us for a big samba party--lots'a peeps at a large, hip venue. Please
spread the word as this will be a great event! Remember no work/school on following Monday.

CLUBE do SAMBA playing best Pagode e Samba
DJ FabioSoul directly from NYC spinning Brazilian tunes all night.

Sunday, Jan 20th - Doors open 7pm. Clube do Samba starts at 8:30pm

Gallery Lounge
1115 East West Highway
Silver Spring, MD 20910

Free Self Parking 2 blocks away.
Silver Spring Metro 2 blocks away

Doors open at 7pm-2am | Ladies Free until 8:30pm w/pass | Men $10 all night
Specials: Coronas $3 and $4 Caipirinha shootersCachaca Cuca Fresca until 9pm - Caipirinhas $7
FREE PASSES: http://www.dcgroove.com/special.html PRINT PASSES!!!

Clube do Samba plays diverse Brazilian Samba styles, including Samba de Raiz, Pagode and Choro.
DC's finest samba musicians are:
Pablo do Cavaco - cavaco, vocals & percussion
Kevin Violão - 7 String guitar, vocals
Babajan - pandeiro & percussion
Fabio Melo - tantan & percussion
Carlos - percussao
Atiba - saxofone

CLUBE do SAMBA tocando o melhor do Pagode & Samba
DJ FabioSoul diretamente do NYC agitando a galera com os ritmos Brasileiros toda a noite.

Domingo dia 20 de janeiro, 2008
Horario: Portas abrem 7pm. Clube do Samba comeca as 8:30pm
So permitido para maiores de 21 sem excecao.
Com IDs ou Passportes Brasileiros .
Speciais: Coronas $3 e $4 Caipirinha shooters Cachaca Cuca Fresca até 9pm - Caipirinhas $7 a
noite toda

Doors open at 7pm-2am | Ladies Free until 8:30pm w/pass | Men $10 all night

Gallery Resto-Lounge
1115 East West Highway
Silver Spring, MD 20910

Free Self Parking 2 blocks away.
Silver Spring Metro 2 blocks away
FREE PASSES: http://www.dcgroove.com/special.html PRINT PASSES!!!


Update on David Heymann podcast

Apparently "Spirit of Brazil" is really taking off -- here's the latest from David:


165,000 listeners to my podcast since March 10, 2007. Hard to believe. They're listening to Novos Baianos in Cambodia.


Brazilians leaving US in droves?

According to the NY Times last month, hordes of Brazilian immigrants are heading home due to the relatively poor economy in the US and the greater stress of being here illegally. I think this will be a huge negative for those of us who enjoy Brazilian culture in the US. Perhaps there will be some benefits, too -- those Brazilians will go home with better English and a very realistic picture of what American life is like. These days, that's valuable since many people around the world villify our government, nation, and people in one breath. (Not that they don't have some justification.)

Here's the original article:



Rio samba reporters hit the streets

Carnaval approaches and it's become an annual tradition -- gringo samba musicians are writing home to jealous folks like me who can't be in Brazil any time soon.

Robert "Jacare" Patterson writes emails that are frequently posted on mailing lists. Older postings are here:
Let's hope this page is updated some time soon.

Kathleen Hunt, who --like Jacare -- plays batucada percussion, posts her tales of Carioca fun here: http://www.riostories.blogspot.com/

Wow, guitar gluttony in NYC Jan 27

A stellar line up, including what might be the N. American debut of the amazing Yamandu Costa! Check it out:

2 pm session:

7 pm session:

Welcome to Brazilophile

This blog is intended as a place to collect thought, impressions, photos, and links relating to Brazilian culture, music, and people. Feedback is very much encouraged!