Hot Pick for Friday: Grupo Botequim, Juliana Ribeiro & Bule Bule!

Ken & Bule Bule, Cana Brava Records, Salvador, Bahia
Dr. Dossar & Bule Bule in Cana Brava Records

Friday, September 14th, from 9 p.m. or so, Grupo Botequim will be joined by special guests Juliana Ribeiro and Bule Bule behind the Igreja (Church) de Santo Antônio in the Largo de Santo Antônio in Salvador’s neighborhood of (yup! you guessed it!) Santo Antônio além do Carmo.

Great, great samba! Wonderful Juliana! And incomparable Bule Bule, who carries the folk memory of Brazil’s Nordeste (Northeast) under that leather cap!

Beer is served on the premises by the church’s presiding priest. Entrance is 15 reais.

Salvador’s Gay Parade is Today

Things begin on a stage set up in Campo Grande at 11 a.m., and the parade proper is set to begin moving down Avenide Sete de Setembro to Praça Castro Alves from 3 p.m.

The cortege’s opening will feature Brazil’s national anthem sung by wonderful Juliana Ribeiro, and up front of the parade will be Alberto Pitta’s drumming troupe Cortejo Afro. So far so great!

The parade these past years though has unfortunately attracted substantial crowds more interested in the mayhem aspects of partying, including plenty of ruffians and pickpockets (to be Dickensian about it; the reality is less politely evocative).

Hot Pick for Tonight: ChorosComFusão at Teatro SESI in Rio Vermelho

Choro, Rio Vermelho, Salvador, Bahia, Brazil

Monday, August 27th, 2018 at the Varanda do Teatro SESI in Rio Vermelho, beginning at 8 p.m. 20 reais cover.

Master musicians, including professors from the Federal Universities of Bahia and the Recôncavo, playing choros including their own compositions and drawing upon the vast, rich and diverse strands of musical DNA which make up music in Brazil, including indigenous, Arab, Lusitanian and of course African.

There will also be Cortejo Afro in Largo Quincas Berro d’Água in Pelourinho, from 9 p.m. (20 reais entrance, 10 for students with ID). This is a big samba afro/samba reggae ensemble organized by Alberto Pitta and born on a terreiro de candomblé in Salvador’s neighborhood of Pirajá. Pitta is a great and earnest guy and the event will be lots and lots of fun…my only personal caveat being that there’s a good chance that the volume of the amplified sound will be much louder than necessary.

Barlavento Releases a New Record: Quebramar

Barlavento of Mutá, Bahia

Hamilton, left, came by the shop (Cana Brava Records) yesterday, bringing with him Barlavento’s new record (I hate the name “CD”, and it is a “record” after all!).

Barlavento is Hamilton and Davizinho, the two to the left above. The other guy, who I’m going to find out, about is new. Hamilton (pronounced ah-MEEL-tohn in Portuguese) are from Mutá, in the Recôncavo, on the bay on the far side of the island of Itaparica from Salvador. They play their ancestral music, the ancestral music of their region…samba de roda.

Quebramar (Sea Break) is a beautiful record featuring several songs by Roque Ferreira, himself born in Nazaré das Farinhas at the south end of the Recôncavo and somebody who’s made a great career writing for Zeca Pagodinho and others.

But Roque’s true love is the Recôncavo and its culture. This music of his is a celebration of the beautiful commonalities of life across the water there…the canoes and fishing, the African gods, the festas… Life truly lived.

So we’ve got the record (as a compact disc) here, brought by the man — a very good man — himself!

Erudite Brazilian Music: Triat’uan Tonight in Santo Antônio

Saturday, August 18, 2018

The guys making up Triat’uan are totally world-class…they’ll be playing the music of Hermeto Pascoal, Airto Moreira, Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis…

Here in Brazil this kind of music is tagged as “instrumental”, a lackluster term implying of course that there are no vocals. What it really means though is something akin to Brazilian jazz, although not sounding like nor being what the term “Brazilian jazz” usually conjures.

In any case, the music draws from the profound well of Brazilian regional music (or deeply Brazilian takes on great Americans) and is highly improvisational.

Percussion here is by the celestial-class Gabi Guedes, who calls down the gods at the Gantois terreiro de candomblé.

A Boca (The Mouth) is a small place in Santo Antônio além do Carmo, close to the Cruz do Pascoal. Cover is 20 reais. Should be getting to getting going at around 8 p.m. or so…

Centro de Artes A Boca – Santo Antonio
Rua dos Marchantes 12, Santo Antonio Além do Carmo
+55 (71) 2137-6808

Hot Pick for Friday Night!

Gafieira in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil

Gafieira is samba with horns, where people dance in couples. Tonight at Bar Velho Espanha in the central Salvador neighborhood of Barris Wellington das Mercês and his band will be playing this music, drawing upon the Great Brazilian Songbook of songs for the most part pre-dating the bossa nova so associated with Brazil in foreign lands.

From 7 p.m. or so.

Velho Espanha Bar e Cultura – Barris
Rua General Labatut, nº 38 Barris
+55 (71) 99222-0940

Doug Adair & Os Estrangeiros Tonight!!!

Doug Adair & Os Estrangeiros in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil

“Doug Adair e Os Estrangeiros”…Doug Adair and The Foreigners. A playful twist given that the foreigner here is of course Doug himself. But these crack Bahian musicians play deep Americana roots music. And special guest Nancy Viegas is a firecracker of a singer, as real and adept singing June Carter Cash’s Ring of Fire as singing the music of her native Brazil.

Doug’s got an interesting and necessary project going these days, back up in the States: He channels Burl Ives and in a throwback plays music exhorting action by the common man in America…à la Woody Guthrie et al.

The times they have a’changed!

Further info here:

Ilê Aiyê Today at Flipelô

Ilê Aiyê at Flipelô in Salvador, Bahia
Early in the day. The scene will change tonight…

If you happen to be wandering around Pelourinho later on today, something which is not in the program guides is the fact that Ilê Aiyê will be presenting their Afro-luxurious drumming, singing and dancing in Largo Quincas Berro d’Água, from around 5 or 6 p.m., or so (time is more relative in Bahia than in the rest of the universe).

The entire square is given over to stalls selling artisanal stuff and run by terreiros de candomblé and people of axé…the project itself run by Alberto Pitta, fabric designer and founder of Cortejo Afro.


The late afternoon here featured deep Bahian roots music provided by Cana Brava Records (Os Tincoãs, Raimundo Sodré, Roque Ferreira, Aparecida), and we were there with a stand and the entire scene was blissful.

But! When the live music started up, IT WAS WAAAAAY TOOOOO LOUD!!!!! An amazingly cool scene on stage — with amazing singer Aloísio Menezes among several other singers up there — plus drummers and musicians — was blasted in one’s admiring face by a seemingly cruel soundman!

What can one do? I didn’t hang around and I’ll politely complain to Pitta and Vovô, the head honchos behind the event. They are intelligent and sensitive purveyors of culture…but way too loud seems to have become the default setting for shows here…

Paulinho da Viola in Salvador: Friday, August 10th, 2018

Paulinho da Viola in Salvador

My off-the-scale Hot Pick for this Friday is Paulinho da Viola! He’ll be at Salvador’s Teatro Castro Alves this August 10th, from 9 p.m.

Normally I’d say that theaters — where people sit stoically as passive observers of what’s on stage — are completely inimical to samba. And they are! Samba’s place is on the ground, ground as beaten earth if possible, where there is no line-of-division between players and participants, where it’s all one integral, organic thing.

But if you can’t see Paulinho da Viola in a quintal (backyard) in Madureira…see him, and hear him, wherever you can. Paulinho is a magnificent composer, a wonderful singer, a great link to samba history (he grew up with Pixinguinha and Jacob do Bandolim hanging out in the family living room)…and a sambista de coração e alma.

Tickets can be bought at the Teatro Castro Alves box office, there across the street from Campo Grande. They are 180, 150, and 120 reais, half price for students with ID and I’m not sure how it works, but maybe also for the more venerable among us (earlier born; Paulinho himself is vintage 1942).