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