October 28, 2016
I have recently returned from two weeks in Brazil, where I performed and recorded for Guitar Co-op and Cultura Artistica. I was impressed by the sheer quantity and quality of live music in non-concert venues in Brazil (Sao Paulo and Rio de Janiero to be precise). In London and Australia it is rare to see a context in which music and social culture come together so organically. On several occasions I found a group of musicians playing popular songs at a table by the bar while punters would spill on to the streets to enjoy a bevvy after work. Some would sing along, some would watch, others would dance, and others would simply go about chatting.
The samba sessions were even more amazing. Crowds would assemble from what appeared to be all social classes and age groups to dance, drink, eat, and socialise while ensembles would rotate in and out throughout the night. I only made it along to three of these, but I get the sense that this occurs multiple times a week and is at the core of the Brazilian social and cultural past time.
There is a LOT of live music.
Other things to briefly mention that:
It was a privilege to meet with guitar legend Sergio Abreu (an exceptional and very warm individual), hang out with Marcelo Kayath and hear him play (I could hardly believe his ability on the guitar – incredible), and meeting old friends currently in Rio and SP.
I had a ball playing on Marcelo’s guitars – what a collection! I ended up performing and recording on a Hauser II from 1953, and was also impressed with a new Hauser IV just recently built for Marcelo.
Beautiful landscape and joyful people – like nowhere I’ve been before! I would love to return.