“Stuff your eyes with wonder, he said, live as if you’d drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It’s more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories.”
I have a number of blogs that are a work in progress. One that I’d started a while ago is about music we heard whilst in Brazil. So, yesterday I was reminded about this work in progress and about our travels in Brazil. I received a You Tube video of Girl from Ipanema … I had memories of walks along the beach at Ipanema, visiting colourful bars, a walking tour in the City of Rio de Janeiro. And a night out at a Samba club – with great Brazilian music! This was the impetus I needed to complete my music blog …
I’m viewing You Tube videos tonight as I hear in my head the pounding of the drums, in my ears the passionate sound of singing, I feel in my body the rythmic beat of Brazil. In Rio I heard more music than at other times on our trav els. For my blog I’ve borrowed this small selection of music and dance to remind me of our holiday.
In Sao Paulo, our lovely hosts took us to the Parque Ibiraquera where we saw and heard a host of musicians practising under the trees. There were groups of drummers, guitarists, percussion artistes, and samba dancers. Apparently they practice all year round in readiness for Carnival in February. I took a video clip of them playing … rough and ready. Fabulous raw beats. But … I can’t find it tonight. I hope it’s not deleted! I found the video below on the web that reminded me of the musicians we saw under the trees who were playing this type of music. Wikipedia states: Batucada is a substyle of samba and refers to an African-influenced Brazilian percussive style, usually performed by an ensemble, known as a bateria. Batucada is characterized by its repetitive style and fast pace.
As at home in the UK, popular singers are played wherever, on the radio, TV, all over. We heard the popular singers of Brazil in the same way, all around us. We heard almost the same songs as we travelled. I recognised Djavan’s Eu Te Devoro (below) – as it’s a track on a CD I’d been given. Great voice and instrumentals in the band. I like this singer and his style of singing. It crosses boundaries. And you know, I’m watching Prince Harry and Megan Markel’s engagement, and their background track sounds very much like the piano here! If you have time to let the video run, you’ll hear some other beautiful songs by Djavan and Marisa Monte and other Brazilian singers. Hope you enjoy them.
This next video, Se (If), is another of Djavan’s songs on the album, another favourite. I heard it as piped music in wonderful, bright shopping centres or in the quaint, family-run eateries or restaurants that we stopped at on our travels. It accompanied us with our soft drinks, mineral water or the Brazillian cocktails, Caipirinha, along with our snacks.
Travelling with my daughter, we covered many miles sightseeing in walking mode. In particular, she arranged for us to join a walking tour of the City. It really was fun with people from all parts of the world, and even a couple who lived only 30 miles from us in the UK. Small world!
It rained that day in April last year. I clearly recall because our guide, Paulo, gathered us under his wing and marched us to an umbrella-selling stall. A few smart people in our party had bought their umbrellas packed into their rucksacks or bags. I expected only sunshine in Rio so was one who promptly bought a bright brolly – a souvenior from Rio I guess!
I love music. I like many different genres. My feet and fingers don’t stop tapping. At work I have background music to fill the sometimes quiet moments as we concentrate, busy beavering away, in our own little worlds. I love dance. Watching and doing. But of course my own steps. Programmes such as the competition “Strictly Come Dancing” is avidly watched by all our family. Who can forget Flavia and Vincent’s hot Samba …
Samba was high on our list of “things to do” when we were in Rio. So, we asked Paulo to recommend a night club / bar / restaurant we could visit. We planned to be in Rio for only a few days – we should have spent more time there. We knew we wanted to hear live music. We wanted to see and feel the Samba dance. We wanted to see and be amongst local people. We wanted to dance!
Paulo reeled off a few places. When we returned to our hotel, I carried out my own research, and we decided on Carioca da Gema – said to be one of the first Samba clubs in Lapa, an area of Rio, close to the City. Carioca da Gema was one of the places Paulo recommended. “There will be a lot of Portugese and very little English. spoken”, proclaimed Paulo. “But, you will hear live music. You will have dance. There is a live band. Food to eat. Drinks to drink. A great atmosphere.” This sounded like just the place for us. But, he said, “... take the metro there, and catch an Uber when you return in the night or early hours of the morning“.
Carioca da Gema proved to be just the place. We wandered in around 21:00 and found ourselves to be amongst the first. Of course! Life only really starts at midnight … The place started filling up after 22:30 … people from all walks of life. Well heeled. Bohemian. Young lithe figures. Mature. Men and Women. Girls and Boys.
Cosy and friendly atmosphere.
Band strumming, drumming, keying.
Blowing out their Samba rythyms.
Lazy. Sexy. Charasmatic.
People stepping to the beat of the the music.
The rythym sounding out loud.
The buzz of the now accustomed language in our ears.
Oi! Boa noite! Como vai? Todo bem!
Uma água mineral, por favor. Um suco. Com gelo. Sim. Obrigada.
The smells of food. Snacks. Pão de queijo. Acarajé (pronounced a-ka-ra-zjeh). Quindim. Oh! I feel a blog just on food and drinks to be written soon …
Next to our table, the vivacious Izabel and her group were singing and swaying to the beat. Her white dress tight against her curves. Hips moving to the sounds. Hands and arms in unison.
Thoroughly enjoying herself.
Quick step. Bounce. quick step. Slow.
She watched us too. Smiling and laughing. Swinging.
Izabel took our hands and kept us moving, moving.
Quick step. Bounce. Step. Step.
What a night.
What a night!
Watch the Samba show-dance here by Riccardo Cocchi and Yulia Zagoruychenko … no, they weren’t at Carioca da Gema, but … I like this video …
We had a wonderful time.
Rio at night.
In a crowded club.
Shoulder to shoulder with music lovers.
Feeling the music course through our veins.
But … It was time.
Time to go.
In the wee, wee hours of the morning we took
Paulo’s advice and caught an Uber back ‘home’.
The sounds of Samba still in our ears.
Até logo. Tchau tchau. Abraços e Beijos … to the people at Carioca da Gema …
Learn to Samba? Here’s some dance steps …
I’ll finish on this part of our Brazillian journey with another popular singer, Marisa Monte.
MY FEATURE PHOTO for this post is at Escadaria Selarón or Selaron’s Steps. The steps are swathed in tiles that he collected over the years, were given to him, or he had them made. Wikipedia: Escadaria Selarón, also known as the ‘Selaron Steps’, is a set of world-famous steps in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. They are the work of Chilean-born artist Jorge Selarón who claimed it as “my tribute to the Brazilian people”.
Travelling to places near or far. This blog will trace our journeys, our travels. Will report the good and the not so good. Sharing photos and experiences that may be useful to you at some time in the future. Just saying … the posts may be written after the event!
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Written by Cecily on 18th May 2018
Copyright (C) Cecily Lalloo 2018
Visit took place from 23 March – mid-April 2017