Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Are You Brazilian Mix - December 2012

Download Are You Brazilian December 2012

Track list:

1. "Vem Sambar" Mestre Andre (1977)
2. "Ain't no Sunshine" Sivuca (1984)
3. "Deusa do Ébano" Ilê Aiye 
4. "Berimbau/Consolação" Sergio Mendes ft. Stevie Wonder & Graçinha Leporace (2006)
5. "She's My Shoo Shoo/A Minha Menina" Os Mutantes (1970)
6. "Samba da Benção (Samba of The Blessing)" Sergio Mendes Feat. Marcelo D2 (2006)
7. "Sonho Meu" Bia (2000)
8. "Mimosa" Azymuth (1999)
9. "Batucada de Primeira" Dude Nobre
10. "Boemio Feliz"  Zeca Pagodinho (1989)

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Are You Brazilian Mix - November 2012

Download Are You Brazilian November 2012

Track list:

1. "Gafieira Universal" Banda Black Rio (1978)
2. "Não Me Deixe Só" Vanessa da Mata (2002)
3. "Boa Hora" Alessandra Leão (2009?)
4. "Sou Negrão" Rappin' Hood (2003)
5. "Amiga da Minha Mulher" Seu Jorge (2011)
6. "Na Onda do Berimbau" Monobloco
7. "O Morro Não Engana" Clube do Balanço (2005)
8. "Futebol" Naná Vasconcelos (1986)
9. "Criola" Copa 7 (1979)
10. "O Samba Taí" Seu Jorge (2001)

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Harmonia do Samba in NYC 9/21/12

Harmonia do Samba Friday September 21, 2012 at Webster Hall | 125 East 11th Street between 3rd and 4th Aves NYC | General Admission only $50.00 for a limited time | For more info call Beleza NYC (646) 801-9390

Harmonia do Samba has sold over 4 million records and performs an average of 120 concerts per year in Brazil and abroad. It is one of the top pagode groups from Bahia and has achieved a solid place in the Brazilian Popular Music genre, Música Popular Brasileira (MPB).
The group's signature rhythm mixes two styles that can be considered sub-genres of samba, pagode and axé, that has seduced followers all over the world and made an indelible mark on pagode.
During the summer of 2011, Harmonia do Samba recorded its third DVD, “Selo de Qualidade” (Mark of Quality) and in May 2012 released their 13th album, “Tudo de Novo" (Everything Over Again).
Harmonia do Samba has been nominated for Latin Grammy Awards in the United States for two consecutive years, in 2008, “Best Contemporary Regional Music Album,” and “Best Album - Samba/Pagode” in 2009. The group also performed at the Latin Grammies in 2008.
Many famous Brazilian artists have collaborated with the group including Ivete Sangalo, Sandra de Sá, Cláudia Leite, Carla Perez, Léo Santana (Parangolé), Márcio Victor (Psirico), Saulo Fernandes (Banda Eva) and group Exaltasamba.

Download "Remelexexe"

Harmonia do Samba official website

Friday, September 7, 2012

Gaiola das Popozudas Live 9/16/12

Valesca e Gaiola das Popozudas, performing Sunday September 16, 2012 at XL Lounge in Newark. 70 Jabez Street Newark, NJ 07105-3021 | More info Newark Night Life 347 261 4650

Brazil's most famous funk group, Gaiola das Popozudas, performs in Newark next Sunday.
What is funk (pronounced fun-kee in Portuguese)? It's now an internationally popular dance music created in the poor slums (favelas) of Rio de Janeiro. The funk rhythm is rooted in "Miami Bass" and has evolved to incorporate traditional Brazilian instrumentation and rhythm. For more on the history and evolution of funk carioca see and wikipedia.
Most Brazilians call the music funk, but it's also referred to as Funk Carioca. The parties where they play the music are called Bailes, and this is why foreigners often call the music "Baile Funk".

Fronted by dancer/singer Valesca Popozuda, the group was started in 2000 and has since risen to international fame with songs like "Agora eu Sou Solteira" (Now I'm Single) and "My Pussy é o Poder" (My Pussy is the Power). The lyrics celebrate female sexuality in a crass and vulgar way, which has caused some of their songs to be edited and censored by radio stations. In a February 2012 interview with well-known Brazilian journalist and talk show host Marília Gabriela, Valesca says that funk is now dominated by female groups and a mostly female audience. Many women have told her they identify with her music (watch entire Portuguese language video of this interview with Valesca).

Valesca started her career as a dancer on the funk scene and since performing with Gaiola das Popozudas she's also been queen of several Rio samba schools. Valesca, 33, has a 10-year old son and speaks candidly about the plastic surgery she's had augmenting her breast and buttocks, the latter of which is insured for $US 2.46 million ($R 5 million).
I think it's kind of funny that her physical appearance and the group's name (Popozuda means woman with a large behind) revolves around an African standard of beauty--the rear end.

Check out this video of a Gaiola das Popozudas show and their official website.
Download "Agora Tô Solteira"

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Brazilian Music Day is September 7, 2012

Everyone knows about the Brazilian Day Festival, but what about Brazilian Music Day? Brazilian Music Day is an online and live event offering thousands of links, videos, radio programs, historical essays, galleries, databases and discographies celebrating Brazilian music and culture.

The Brazilian
Music Day website will post/host 20,000 albums, 5000 links, 3000 videos, essays, broadcasts and more.
There will also be a major seminar at Columbia University and dozens of concerts. For a list of Brazilian Music Day events, click here. will remain active as an online resource to make this culturally significant body of work readily available to people around the globe for study and enjoyment.

Brazilian World Music Day is a project of the ARChive of Contemporary Music, the largest collection of popular music in the United States. It is a non-profit archive, music library and research center located in New York City.

Check out Brazilian Music Day's YouTube Channel.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Main Stage at Brazilian Day 2012: Brazilian Country and Dance Pop

Brazil Day NYC 2012 Are You Brazilian blog
Latino and Jorge e Mateus Brazil Day 2012

One of the main attractions at Brazilian Day is the main stage where major Brazilian artists perform for the throngs of green, yellow and blue clad fans. This year it's Sertanejo super duo Jorge & Mateus and dance/pop star Latino. If you like large crowds and live concerts I recommend you go, even if you don't know Portuguese or know these artists. The energy is sure to be electric and unlike anything you've experienced!

Jorge e Mateus is one of the most popular groups making Música Sertaneja, Brazilian country music. Sertaneja is the genre most played on Brazilian radio. Jorge e Mateus have released 2 gold and 2 platinum albums since 2007 on the Universal Music label. They sing a lot about romantic love and heartbreak. As you can see from the video they draw crowds of tens of thousands and are well-loved in Brazil. "Pode Chorar" (2009, Universal Music Ltda), Portuguese for "you can cry" is one of their major hits, about the end of a love affair. They sing that it's now the other's turn to cry since he's cried over her already.
Apparently Jorge and Mateus also have a social conscience; they recently donated the entire proceeds of a sold-out concert, over US$183,000, to a cancer hospital ("Jorge e Mateus batem o recorde do ano e doam cachê em Barretos", August 26, 2012,

Jorge e Mateus Official Website

You've probably heard at least one version of "Dança Kuduro". This one by Latino featuring Daddy Kall is a version of French-Portuguese singer/songwriter/producer Lucenzo's 2010 dance hit "Vem Dançar Kuduro", which became popular in many European countries. There are several versions of the song including one  with Lucenzo and Puerto Rican reggaeton singer Don Omar, and artist Pitbull. Kuduro is a music and dance style from Angola. Latino's "Dança Kuduro" was released earlier this year on Universal Music.

Latino's music career has spanned 2 decades and included the release of 9 commercially successful albums, hosting Brazil's Sábado Show and producing for other recording artists.

Latino Official Website

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Brazilian Music Festival August 15 - 19th 2012

Cornelia Street Cafe Brazilian Music Fest

"Cornelia Street Cafe presents Brazilian Music Fest, featuring Brazilian Jazz, Choro, Valsa, Baiao & Samba sounds from Aug 15th to 17th.
The festival kicks off with a performance on the 15th by Rob Curto, renowned accordionist, pianist and composer and a founding member of the band Matuto which was chosen to represent the US State Department overseas as part of the American Music Abroad program in 2012.
On the 16th, catch Billy Newman Sextet, an American jazz/Brazilian instrumental fusion group. And finally, on the 17th, pianist Helio Alves will perform, joined by saxophonist Jorge Continentinho & guitarrist Guillermo Monteiro." (from

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Black Beauty Pageant: Queen of Ilê Aiyê

Several people have asked me about blackness and race in Brazil. I thought you would find this interesting. Below is a description of the documentary Ebony Goddess: Queen of Ilê Aiyê, clip above.
"Ebony Goddess: Queen of Ilê Aiyê follows three women competing to be the carnival queen of Ilê Aiyê, a prominent and controversial Afro-Brazilian group with an all-black membership. The selection is based on Afro-centric notions of beauty, in counterpoint to prevailing standards of beauty in Brazil, a country famous for slim supermodels and plastic surgery. Contestants for the title of Ebony Goddess dress in flowing African-style garments, gracefully performing traditional Afro-Brazilian dances to songs praising the beauty of black women. For Aurelina, Joseane and Talita, the competition for the title of Ebony Goddess is part of a profound and personal search for identity and self-esteem. The figure of the Ebony Goddess, representing a “black is beautiful” view of black women, resonates with women of African descent in Brazil, the United States and throughout the world of the African Diaspora...Following the three candidates’ daily lives, dance rehearsals, and interactions with each other, Ebony Goddess: Queen of Ilê Aiyê shows the contest’s role in reshaping the idea of beauty in a society in which African descendants constitute the majority of the population but is pervaded by Euro-centric concepts of body esthetics. The concept of the Ebony Goddess creates an alternative view of the black female body as beautiful, desirable, and talented, promoting social change at its most basic level: the individual sense of self."

Selected Resources on Race in Brazil

Ebony Goddess: Queen of Ilê Aiyê
(Documentary Website)

Ilê Aiyê  (website in Portuguese language)

"What Does the Brazil Census Tell us About Race?")

"Brazil 2010 census shows changing race balance," , BBC News)

Video: "Brazil: A Racial Paradise?" - full episode from PBS "Black in Latin America" series (51 min. 25 sec., 2011)

Video: "'Unaccustomed' debate on race sparked in Brazil" BBC News (5 min. 7 sec., May 25, 2010)

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

28th Annual Brazilian Day NYC: September 1 - 2, 2012

Get ready for Brazilian Day 2012! It's the largest street fair in New York City, attracting over a million people. In addition to 25 blocks of food, arts and craft vendors, there are live performances by some of Brazil's biggest recording artists. Find out more

  • September 1st – Lavagem da Rua 46 - Brazilian Cultural Parade and Festival. Day-long music, dance, parade & festival. Free shows, arts & crafts, exotic food, samba capoeira & cultural performance. Where: "Little Brazil", 46th Street and 6th Ave, Manhattan NYC.
  • September 2st – Brazilian Day 2012 - 25-block street fair and live performances by major Brazilian recording artists.

For those who want to keep partying after, there are the After Parties:

| Beleza Presents: Brazilian Day Celebration | Saturday September 1, 2012 | 10:00 pm | Le Poisson Rouge 158 Bleecker Street New York NY 10012 | Tickets $20 in advance, $25 At the Door, Discount with Lavagem Flyer | 3 artists, DJ spinning variety of dance music

| DEPOIS | Sunday September 2, 2012 | 8 pm | S.O.B.'s 200 Varick Street at corner of Houston New
York, NY 10014
| Tickets at | live bands, CD release show, DJ

Brazilian Day NYC 2012 After Party

| BRAZILIAN DAY AFTER PARTY | Sunday September 2, 2012 | 7 pm | XVI Lounge NYC Rooftop 251 W. 48th Street (8th Ave.) New York, NY 10036 | live band, open capirinha bar, Brazilian dancers, body painting art show

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

"Ilê Pérola Negra" - Daniela Mercury

Daniela Mercury, "Ilê Pérola Negra," (Sol da Liberdade, RCA, 2000).

Daniela Mercury is one of the major stars of MPB, Brazilian popular music. The lyrics to this song praise black culture as demonstrated through the song and tradition of Bahia's first Bloco Afro, Ilê Aiyê. Ilê Aiyê was founded in Bahia on November 1st 1974 with the mission to preserve, value, and expand Afro Brazilian culture.

Daniela Mercury's website

Download: Ilê Pérola Negra

Monday, July 9, 2012

On Repeat: "A Massa Quer Dançar" by Flávio Renegado

Flávio will perform at NYC's Central Park Summerstage at opening night of the 2nd Brasil Summerfest on Saturday July 21....details here.

A massa quer dançar by Flávio Renegado


Listen to the entire album "Minha Tribo é o Mundo" here.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Practice your step: "Tetra Campeão"

Practice your basic samba step to this instrumental. ;)


Brasil Summerfest: July 21 - 28, 2012

Brasil Summerfest 2012

Brasil Summerfest | Opening Night July 21, 2012:
Bebel Gilberto / Criolo / Flávio Renegado / Béco Dranoff (DJ)

July 21, 2012 | 3:00 pm - 7:00 pm | Central Park | Free

Brasil Summerfest website. | Brasil Summerfest is presented in association with Central Park Summerstage.

Here's a good opportunity to check out some excellent Brazilian artists live in NYC: Brasil Summerfest. Oh, and it's FREE. You should probably get there early. The artists performing at the opening night of the event are listed below with a brief description of their music and playlists. Enjoy!

Bebel Gilberto With the release of Tanto Tempo in 2000, Gilberto formulated her trademark electronic bossa nova, which took over clubs around the world...more.


Criolo Recently chosen by MTV Brazil as “Best New Artist” in 2011 Criolo creates rhymes and also sings beautifully, blends Brazilian rhythms including samba, soul, Afro-funk and rock riffs and assembles it with hip-hop beats and flow...more.

Flávio Renegado Renegado’s sound is at once identifiably hip-hop based but incorporates other musical influences such as reggae, maracatu, Cuban music, African rhythms, samba and other typical Brazilian sounds. These global inspirations are exemplified in his newest release, Minha Tribo é o Mundo meaning, “My Tribe is the World.”more.(psst! download album free at his website)

Monday, June 18, 2012

"Tudo Bem Malandro" by Curumin

This track is like a funked-out afoxé. I use it often in my class warm-up. Enjoy!


Friday, June 15, 2012

Couve (Collard Greens, Brazilian Style)

Over-cooked collard greens are one of my pet peeves. 

Thankfully, Living with Brazilians for 3 years, I learned what I found to be a tastier and healthier way of preparing the collard greens (which are a top source of calcium according to the USDA). Couve (pronounced ko-vee) is a popular side dish that usually goes along with feijoada (black bean stew with various meats). It's quick and easy to prepare:

(recipe adapted from one found at


1 large bunch of collard greens
2-3 cloves (or to taste) garlic, minced
salt to taste
3 tablespoons olive oil


Wash collard greens. Gather bunches of the leaves together and roll them up into a bundle. Thinly slice the bundles crosswise (across the stalk).

Finely chop the garlic.

Heat olive oil in a heavy skillet (cast iron works well) over medium heat. Add garlic and salt, and cook, stirring, until the garlic is just golden and fragrant.
Add the greens and sauté 3 or 4 minutes until they are bright green in color and starting to soften.
Serve warm.
Too Bitter?
If the greens are too bitter for your taste, you can try substituting Kale (another calcium-rich leafy green), that is a bit sweeter.

Another option is to steam the greens for 5 - 7 or 7 - 10 minutes. After steaming, toss the greens in the sauteed garlic and salt for a nice dressing! 

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Summer in NYC -- Time for Havaianas!


Whether you're a Brazilophile or not, you probably own a pair of Havaianas sandals by now. The name means "Hawaiians" in Portuguese. I remember the first pair I ever bought: they were purple, size 39, and I got them for around $10 or $15 at a surfshop in Venice Beach, California, circa 2003. I guess at that point there was a buzz about Havaianas among the beach/surfing crowd and stateside coastal dwellers in CA, but the brand hadn't yet become as big and mainstream as it is today.
They've come a long way since first starting in Brazil in 1962! The brand is now in over 80 countries all over the world. Havaianas set foot in the U.S. for good in 2007, and stores like Bloomingdale's and Saks Fifth Avenue sell them. Everyone's got at least one pair. You can even customize them at I love the slim look, more feminine.
Buy a pair: Havaianas Slim Sandals (Grey Silver) - Women's Sandals - 19.0 OT

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Dandalunda by Margareth Menezes

Is Samba the same as Zumba?

Not exactly....samba is often included in Zumba workouts.

Many people are just now becoming aware of samba dance thanks to the popularity of the "Latin-inspired" Zumba dance-fitness program. Zumba brings together many different types of dance and each instructor creates a specific workout including their choice of various dances. Samba can be one of the dances included.
Also, Zumba is a registered trademark, samba is not.

What does samba look like? Like this:

There are several styles of samba dance including samba no pé, gafieira, axé, and samba rock. Rio and Bahia styles of the basic samba step also differ. There are also several samba rhythms including samba reggae, partido alto, samba canção, samba enredo, and samba de roda.

My samba class tends to focus on teaching the basic Rio style samba and incorporates elements of afoxé, Afro-Brazilian and Orixá movements. I tend to incorporate bits of house and hip hop as well.

As dance tends to be in general, both samba and Zumba are great ways to have fun while being active!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

"Meu Palco" by Oba Oba Samba House

Think I'm gonna add it to my warm-up or use it for the next routine...

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

"Abertura do Jogo"


I use this track often in class. That whiny sound in the beginning is a percussion instrument, the cuíca (pronounced, "kweeca"). Enjoy!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

"Futebol" - Naná Vasconcelos

"Futebol" by Naná Vasconcelos.

Heard this track in a Caipirinha Appreciation Society podcast while looking for new music for choreographing.

Dancing to it in my samba classes for the next few weeks.

"Não deixe o futebol perder a dança..."/don't let soccer lose its dance...

Download Futebol

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Latin Fusion 2012

LIU Brooklyn Latinos Unidos presents:
"Latin Fusion 2012"

Friday April 27, 2012
Tickets: $15, $10 for students with ID

I'm happy to have been asked to perform alongside Abadá Capoeira and Fernando Sací at Long Island University for Latinos Unidos' annual concert, "Latin Fusion". Looking forward to presenting a new piece with some marvelous dancers. I would love to see you all in the audience!

Produced by LIU Brooklyn’s student organization, Latinos Unidos, Latin Fusion is an annual concert featuring performing artists celebrating the rich diverse rhythms and sounds of Latin America.

Buy tickets

Friday April 27, 2012

Tickets: $15, $10 for students with ID

at Long Island University
Kumble Theater for the Performing Arts
One University Plaza
Brooklyn, NY 11201

Thursday, February 16, 2012

It's Carnaval

March 3, 2012 at Le Poisson Rouge


-Live Samba Performance by Leticia

-Johnson do Cavaco & 2Guedinho Band, grooving mix of samba-de-roda, pagode from Bahia, Rio style samba and rhythms of Candomblé

-DJ David Medina & DJ Alex Carioca spinning Samba, Broken beat, Salsa, Soulful House, Forró, Funk, Hip Hop, Reggae, Axé & Brazilian House Music, etc...

-Live Percussion

Doors open 11pm
Drink Specials 11pm-12am (mojitos & caipirinhas)

Please RSVP for Leticia's List | $15 until Midnight, $20 after Midnight

Le Poisson Rouge
158 Bleecker Street
between Sullivan and Thompson Streets
NYC 10012

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Open Level Samba Class 02/07/2012

Open Level Samba class 02/07/2012 at Piel Canela Dance School at Pearl Studios (NYC).

Monday, January 2, 2012

Beleza Presents its 5th Anniversary Party 1/14/12

Celebrate Beleza's 5th Anniversary
Saturday January 14th 11:00pm to 4:00am
Le Poisson Rouge
158 BLEECKER Street
New York, NY 10012

$15 TKTS Online & DOOR TIL 12am / $20.00 AFTER 12am
Age 21+

Beleza NYC will be celebrating it’s 5th Year Anniversary the way we like it: with live music from one of the best Brazilian Bands in New York City and with some of our finest DJs spinning the latest in world music. Featuring Artist Antonio Bokel from FB Gallery.

Come celebrate our Anniversary and start the year the right way!!

Live Band: DAVI VIEIRA presents HIP HOP Axé

Special performance LIVE+ DJ SET by DJ ANANÉ VEGA spinning the best in World Music.

DJ Greg Caz spinning: Samba, Broken beat, Salsa, Soulful House, Forró,
Funk, Hip Hop, Reggae & House music and etc…

Saturday January 14th 11:00pm to 4:00am

Le Poisson Rouge
158 BLEECKER Street
New York, NY 10012

$15 TKTS Online & DOOR TIL 12am / $20.00 AFTER 12am
Age 21+