Thursday, October 27, 2011

Beleza presents its 1st Brazilian Loft Party

Get on Leticia's List for this Invite Only Loft Event. Sign up for Leticia's email list or email Leticia.

Beleza Presents
Brazilian Loft Party
Saturday November 5, 2011
623 Broadway between W. Houston and Bleecker Street
8:00pm to 4:30am
on Leticia's List:
$10 until 9:00pm (come early!) & $15 until 11:00pm
$20 after 11:00pm

-Live Bands
-DJ's (listen)
-Live Percussion
-Art Exhibit

$10 until 9:00pm\\$15 until 11:00pm -- say you're on Leticia's List.

Missed Beleza's last party? See some of it here:

BELEZA NYC 2011 PROMO 1 from belezanyc on Vimeo.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

It's Time for Carnaval

Another song I use in class:

"It's Time for Carnival" from album Struck by Lightning (1989 Venture Records) Airto Moreira.

Airto Moreira's website

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Mas Que Nada

A classic Brazilian tune updated. Used this song in class tonight and you loved it! Enjoy. (Single by Sérgio Mendes featuring The Black Eyed Peas
from the album Timeless, 2006)

The original "Mas Que Nada" is by living legend Jorge Ben (formerly known as Jorge Ben Jor). Ben wrote and performed the song in 1963. The song became Sergio Mendes' signature around 1966.

"Mas Que Nada" is Brazilian Portuguese slang, literally meaning "but, that [is] nothing". The figure of speech means "come on", "no way", or "Yeah, right!".

Song history, meaning - Wikipedia
Videos - YouTube
More on Jorge Ben - Mú

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Brazilian Day NYC 2011

Brazilian Day 2011 is coming...

Lavagem da Rua 46 - information on Brazil Week 2011, cultural activities, parade and more. If you would like to take part in the parade, go to this link and find contact info there. (The fabulous Silvana Magda heads the Lavagem and related happenings, now in its 4th year. Until her efforts there really was no official parade or place for local Brazilian artists to showcase their talents as part of Brazilian Day. Thanks, Magda!)

Brazilian Day NYC 2011 - official Brazilian Day NYC website. Go to very bottom of home page for English link. Going into it's 27th year, the event is one of NYC's largest and the largest Brazilian event outside of Brazil. See website for more history, event calendar including performances, sponsors, and more.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Sample Series II: Looking for the Perfect Beat in Samba: "A Procura da Batida Perfeita"

(This post is the second installment in my Sample Series)

My students were asking what song we have been dancing to in class the past few weeks. Here it is:

"A Procura da Batida Perfeita" by Marcelo D2 (on A Procura da Batida Perfeita, Sony BMG Brasil, 2003)

A Procura da Batida Perfeita means "looking for the perfect beat"; probably a reference to Afrika Bambaataa and the Soulsonic Force's "Looking for the Perfect Beat" (single released 1983 from Planet Rock).

"A Procura da Batida Perfeita" starts out telling the story of an artist who makes it big and becomes focused on pursuing material wealth and status, of which D2 is critical. He puts himself in opposition to the materialistic type saying it's not money that makes him happy ("não é um saco de dinheiro que me deixa feliz"). Instead D2 states he is about staying true to the music, committed to the roots of samba and hip hop. As the hook says, "Eu vou no samba, a procura da batida perfeita" (I go through samba to look for the perfect beat).

Some of my Brazilian friends are critical of D2 saying he is not really as "true" or genuine a part of Brazilian hip hop culture as other equally talented yet less internationally recognized rap acts like DMN (the founder of which happens to be currently based in the Bronx and is a personal friend of mine, Eli Efi), Racionais MCs or Rappin' Hood.

But this may be a subject for another post...for now, enjoy "A Procura da Batida Perfeita".

Lyrics aside, I can't deny that the production on this track is really quite nice. Personnel: produced and mixed by Davi Corcos; bass: Kool G Murder; drums: Mamão; percussion: Tuca; moog: Davi Corcos; scratching: Mixmastermike; sample: "Bonfa Nova" by Luiz Bonfá (Universal Music).

(My fellow music heads may find it interesting that Luiz Bonfá's guitar was sampled by late producer Jay Dee for California-based hip hop group The Pharcyde. See my 10/24/2010 Sample Series post on this)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Leticia with A-List's Mike Ruiz at Meoko Launch 7/18/11

I danced with A-List's Mike Ruiz for the Meoko Vodka launch at Thompson and Watts Streets yesterday (7/18/11). Dancing on the street to Ivo and Manhattan Samba's rhythms in 90-degree weather felt like a little slice of Rio! I definitely made the most of it and spread the samba love all around that corner in the midst of rush-hour traffic. Thanks all! (The video doesn't show that this was the fastest costume change ever!)

Leticia dancing Samba with A-List's Mike Ruiz. Photo credit: gazeLLe Paulo

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

(NYC) Beleza NYC presents SAMBA 7/22

Friday July 22nd
Canal Room
10:00pm - 4:30am
285 West Broadway
New York NY 10013

$5 before 11:30pm, say LETICIA'S LIST at the door!
$10 before Midnight, $15 after


*DJ David Medina spinning Samba, MPB, Afro Brazilian, Axe, Salsa, Forro all the world music.

*DJ Beto spinning Baile Funk, Batucada, Dancehall, Reggaeton, Mambo & Mash-ups!!!


*First hour drink specials: Caipirinhas and Mojitos!!!

*If JULY is your birthday month – Facebook(​ent.php?eid=14801249191772​8) and let Beleza know – they’ll provide you some special treats and a birthday you wont forget!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

2011 Photo Business Card

I put some of my favorite samba photos into my new samba photo business card. Thanks to the excellent and generous photographers (from left: Zander Price; Zander Price; David Preta; Stan Rifken).

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Inspiration: "Nao Me Deixe So", Vanessa da Mata

This song came out on Vanessa da Mata's self-titled 2002 album.
I recently discovered it. Thank goodness! Using it in class for next two weeks. Hope you like it as much as I do. Enjoy!

"Nao Me Deixe So"

Vanessa da Mata's website

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Leticia with Manhattan Samba: "Latin Fusion", 4/8/2011

Manhattan Samba's bateria led by Ivo Araujo and Samba Dancers (in order of solo) Thays Barcelos, Nubia Santos, and Leticia Taylor. "Latin Fusion" show at Long Island University, Brooklyn NY. April 8, 2011.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Slideshow: Latin Fusion 2011

Photos from "Latin Fusion" performance at Long Island University in Brooklyn. April 8, 2011. Dancers: Leticia Taylor, Nubia Santos, Thays Barcelos; percussion ensemble: Manhattan Samba; capoeira: Abadá Capoeira. (Photos by Zander Price, Pablo Bermudez and Lafi Diego).

Monday, April 18, 2011

Return I Will to Old Brazil

A brazilian friend put me on to this. I love it when a remake is well done.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

New Class Playlist 03.28.11

These are some songs I'm using in my latest class playlist. There are a variety of rhythms here from diverse regions of Brazil. Enjoy!

"Dou a Vida Por Um Beijo" by Raça Negra
"Boa Hora" by Alessandra Leão (see Are You Brazilian?, 9/12/10, "Mais Um Discos")
"Carimbó Pra Maria"(Lucio K Remix) by Mestre Curica (see Are You Brazilian?, 9/12/10, "Mais Um Discos")

See Mais Um Discos online
Listen to tracks from Mais Um Discos:
Are You Brazilian?, 9/12/10, "Mais Um Discos"

Mais Um Discos

Long Island Univerity's Latinos Unidos presents Latin Fusion

Leticia + Manhattan Samba at LIU's Latin Fusion | Friday April 8th | Ticket sales support cancer research at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center

Come check out an eclectic show featuring a variety of local Latin performers including a performance by yours truly with Manhattan Samba!
Latin Fusion is an annual concert produced by LIU's student organization, Latinos Unidos, to celebrate the rich diverse rhythms and sounds of Latin America. This year's concert will feature local artists performing Bomba from Puerto Rico, authentic New York City salsa, the sounds of Afro-Cuba, and the exciting movements of Capoeira and Flamenco.
AND all ticket proceeds from Latin Fusion go to cancer research! Latin Fusion organizer Gregory Stein will participate in the 2011 Nautica NYC Triathlon with Fred's Team, a program of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Click here for details.

Latin Fusion
Friday April 8, 2011
Kumble Theater for the Performing Arts
Long Island University Campus
Flatbush Ave and DeKalb Ave
$15 | $10 for students
Purchase tickets online at
All ticket sales aid in the fight against cancer! Click here for details.