Welcome to beautiful, benighted Brazil! The site you're on began as, and still is, a Guide to Salvador da Bahia, Brazil & Environs. "Bahia" is the old spelling for "bay", and the great bay which gave (the Brazilian state of) Bahia its name has a couple of unique distinctions:

1) More slaves entered this bay than were taken to any other place on the planet.
2) These slaves (or enslaved people rather), in vast testament to the human spirit, created arguably the most soulfully and physically uplifting music ever sung and danced to.

This music in Brazil is analogous to the delta blues and early jazz in the United States in that it is the deep source of so much which would develop out of it. But unlike the blues, known worldwide and played from Tokyo to Timbuktu, this primordial Brazilian music — still played by the descendents of the people brought to work the sugarcane plantations here — is virtually unknown, even in Brazil. Disparagement yields untold lost riches. So...

In order to alert the world to this music's existence, and that of the splendid people who make it, we've borrowed from pre-Civil War African Americans' "grapevine telegraph" (you know, origin of the expression "I heard it through the grapevine"?), allowing anybody to participate in recommending these people to anybody who might land on the recommender's page. But now the magic manifests itself:

For this to work for Raimundo Sodré and João do Boi and Bule Bule, it has to work for Herbie Hancock and Tommy Peoples and Quincy Jones. Because we're not talking about recommendations which reach to the next page and stop. We're talking about internet vectors, long series of recommendations, forming a vast interlinked grapevine capable of taking people from one person to any number of people in any number of places, playing any number of styles and variations of styles of music. Thus one might start with someone one knows personally, a friend maybe, or with somebody one knows of, a highly talented and respected musician, and wind up...God knows only where...there are pathways to (among so many other, better known, places) even the little villages on the far side of the Bay of All Saints, where so much inhumanity was unable to kill perhaps the noblest human virtue of all: the desire not merely to survive, but against all odds, somehow prevail. Music and the arts are powerful stuff. -- Sparrow Roberts

 

This is your world too. Please spread the word about the ultimate means in spreading the word about the creative people who live in it (are you one of them?)!

Era Uma Vez na Bahia

  • Um projeto para a divulgação da Bahia baseado nos métodos da cidade de Nova Orleans e o estado de Mississippi, nos Estados Unidos.

    A project for publicizing Bahia based in the methods of the city of New Orleans and the state of Mississippi, in the United States.

    Aqui é um país que durante muitas muitas décadas a maior exportação foi a cultura. Você não pode falar isso sobre muitos países.

    Here's a country that for many many decades the main export was culture. You can't say that about very many countries.

    -- David Byrne

     

    Beyond Ipanema (Além da Ipanema) é um documentário produzido por Béco Dranoff
    Beyond Ipanema is a documentary produced by Béco Dranoff
    It follows the movement of Brazilian music outside of Brazil
    O filme segue o movimento de música brasileira fora do Brasil

    Uma das grande ironias do Brasil é que, como pode se ver no clipe acima (produzido por um dos principais deste projeto atual), a música brasileira já foi largamente exportada ao mundo, comecando com a bossa nova no final do anos 50 e o iníco dos anos 60 e extendendo até o uso de ritmos e percussão brasileira na EDM (música eletrônica para dançar) de hoje em dia. Até se pode dança forró em Nova York e Zurique.

    One of Brazil's great ironies is that, as can be seen in the clip above (produced by one of the principals of this current project), its music has been widely exported to the world, beginning with bossa nova at the end of the '50s beginning of the '60s and moving right up through the use of Brazilian rhythms and percussion in EDM (Electronic Dance Music) today. Even forró can be danced in New York City and Zurich.

    Mas a ÚNICA música que NÃO foi exportada é a música que DEU INÍCIO AO TUDO...o samba primordial da Bahia...

    But the ONE music which has NOT been exported is the music WHICH STARTED IT ALL...the primordial samba of Bahia...

     

    Era Uma Vez na Bahia
    (Once Upon a Time in Bahia)

    As duas áreas nos Estado Unidos famosas como os berços da música popular americana são a cidade de Nova Orleans e a Mississippi Delta (area de plantações de algodão)...respectivamente o berço de jazz e o berço dos blues.

    The two areas of the United States famous as the cradles of American popular music are the city of New Orleans and the Mississippi Delta...respectively the birthplace of jazz and the birthplace of the blues.


    Siga a batida do seu coração para Nova Orleans

    Estas áreas, e a fama deles, são conhecidas por quase todo mundo que mora nos Estados Unidos. E são conhecidas por milhões de pessoas que moram fora dos Estado Unidos também.

    These areas, and their fame, are known to practically everybody who lives in the United States. And they are known to millions of also people who live outside of the United States.

    A publicidade turística desses dois lugares então é altamente baseada na fama da música que nasceu lá...dentro das almas de escravos africanos e os descendentes destes escravos.

    Tourist publicity for these two places therefore is highly based in the fame of the music which was born there...within the souls of African slaves and the descendents of these slaves.

    Abaixo veja os sites oficiais de Nova (New) Orleans and Mississippi...

    See below the official sites of New Orleans and Mississippi...


    O site oficial da cidade de New Orleans

    O site oficial do estado de Mississippi

    * * *

    O Brasil é o quinto país mais populoso do mundo. É conhecidíssimo pela música profundamente maravilhosa. O berço desta música é um lugar chamado de "Bahia"...um fato, e um lugar, altamente e ironicamente desconhecido pelo mundo.

    Brazil is the fifth most populous country in the world. It is known for its profoundly marvelous music. The cradle of this music is a place called "Bahia"...a fact, and a place, highly and ironically unknown to the world.

    Então, uma proposta:

    And so, a proposal:

    Faça como Nova Orleans e Mississippi fazem: Divulga a Bahia utilizando a música histórica dela, a história dessa música histórica, as personagems que fazem essa música histórica até hoje, e o fato que a conhecidíssima música brasileira tem a raíz mais profunda plantada bem aqui nesta Bahia.

    Do what New Orleans and Mississippi do: Divulge Bahia using its historic music, the history of this historic music, the people who work in this historic music till today, and the fact that highly known Brazilian music has its deepest root planted right here in this Bahia.

    Era Uma Vez na Bahia (Once Upon a Time in Bahia) é um projeto para a projeção da Bahia na consciência do mundo, comecando numa cidade que em muitas formas e um grande central mundial: Nova York.

    Once Upon a Time in Bahia is a project for the projection of Bahia into the consciousness of the world, beginning in a city which in many ways is a great world center: New York.

    Para impacto máximo, e publicidade na imprensa e outra mídia, vai ser a uma semana a dez dias de duração, num localidade com shows de música ao vivo, alguns incluindo artistas de jazz americana, tipo aqueles que representam a música de Nova Orleans (Wynton Marsalis) e Cuba...workshops, comida típica, palestras, filmes, artesanato, informações turísticas...

    For maximum impact, and publicity in the press and other media, it will be from one week to ten days in duration, in a place with live music, some including American jazz artists of the type who represent the music of New Orleans (Wynton Marsalis) and Cuba...workshops, regional food, lectures, films, crafts, tourist information...

    Produção em Nove York e por Béco Dranoff (à esquerda abaixo), produtor do Brasil Summerfest (que acontece em venues incluindo Central Park Summerstage e o Museu da Arte Moderna), o documentário Beyond Ipanema (narrado por David Byrne), Red Hot + Rio, (um série beneficente para AIDS com um disco incluindo Marisa Monte, Sting, Antônio Carlos Jobim, David Byrne, Gilberto Gil e outros, lançado por Verve Records), e muito mais.

    Production in New York is by Béco Dranoff (to the left below), producer of Brasil Summerfest (which takes place in venues ranging from Central Park Summerstage to the Museum of Modern Art), the documentary film Beyond Ipanema (narrated by David Byrne), Red Hot + Rio (AIDS benefit series with a record featuring Marisa Monte, Sting, Antônio Carlos Jobim, David Byrne, Gilberto Gil and others, released on Verve Records), and much else.

    O produtor brasileiro que mora e trabalha em Nova York
    The Brazilian producer who lives and works in New York City

Salvador Central Members/Nodes

    There's a lot of spectacle in Bahia...

     

    Carnival with its trio elétricos -- sound-trucks with musicians on top -- looking like interstellar semi-trailers back from the future...shows of MPB (música popular brasileira) in Salvador's Teatro Castro Alves (biggest stage in South America!) with full production value, the audience seated (as always in modern theaters) like Easter Island statues...

     

    Carlinhos Brown's Museu do Ritmo (Rhythm Museum; an entertainment venue) all done up Bahian faux tribal showbiz style...glamour and glitz and press agents...

     


    Carlinhos Brown: Man with a Shtick...er...Stick

     

    And then there's where it all came from...the far side of the Baía de Todos os Santos (Bay of All Saints), a land of subsistence farmers and fishermen, many of the older people unable to read or write...their sambas the precursor to all this, without which none of the above would exist, their melodies -- when not created by themselves -- the inventions of people like them but now forgotten (as most of these people will be within a couple of generations or so of their passing), their rhythms a constant state of inconstancy and flux, played in a manner unlike (most) any group of musicians north of the Tropic of Cancer...making the metronome-like sledgehammering of the Hit Parade of the past several decades almost wincefully painful to listen to after one's ears have become accustomed to evershifting rhythms played like the aurora borealis looks...

     

    So there's the spectacle, and there's the spectacular, and more often than not the latter is found far afield from the former, among the poor folk in the villages and the backlands, the humble and the honest, people who can say more (like an old delta bluesman playing a beat-up guitar on a sagging back porch) with a pandeiro (Brazilian tambourine) and a chula (a shouted/sung "folksong") than most with whatever technology and support money can buy. The heart of this matter, is out there. If you ask me anyway.

     

     
    Alumínio Saturno, resident of Pitinga, Bahia, chuleiro and subsistence farmer; now with God