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