From my very first day in Rio the city has been filled with street performers playing for tips, small bars with live choro, bossa nova and pagode music and big clubs with forro and samba shows for the tourist.  On my third day in Rio I went to a famous little bar with lots of musical history located in Copacabana called Bip Bip (pro nounced “BePee BePee”)  I went their with one of my Brazilian musician connection, Paulo Otavio.  The club was very crowded with rows of people gathered outside either quitely listening-in toward the band or singing along to the classing folkloric songs.  I had the courage to work my way to the front and ask, in very rough Portuguese, if I could sit in on a song.  Eventually they said “yes gringo” as if it would be worth a good laugh.  When the song finished they were surprised at my ability to play the Pandeiro (Brazilian tambourine) and they invited me to play another song with them.  I was very honored. Toward the end of the night at Bip Bip the owner of the club stopped the band and started yelling loudly at the tourist in the crowd telling them to SHUT UP and listen to the great musicians.  I was a bit startled at this then my friend assured me it was ok because the owner does this everyweek and that it has been part of the “show” for years.  One member of the band invited me to come hear performance at the University of Rio (UniRio) the following Saturday.  So I went there too!  A 200 person orchestra of Brazilian instruments performing conducted arrangements of classic Brazilian melodies.  At this show I met some of the students and professors.  One of the students took me to the University Book store where I purchased some great texts and manuals about Brazilian rhythms.  Text that are not published in the USA. . This same person invited me to go see his friends band play in a small area of Rio know as Lapa.  This band was amaizing, a combination of all Brazilian styles.  The members of this band were very good and comparable to skill and artistry, if not better, to some of the best bands I have heard at top jazz clubs in New York and L.A.  A real awakening to how much talent is in the world and more specifically how awesome Brazilian musicians are.  On another night I sat in on a set with my friend Thiago Marcondes’ band at a very nice hotel in Copacabana called Pestana Hotel. Yet another talented group and this one got video taped so check it out on YouTube soon.  When I went to visit the Contalago favela I had the opportunity to meet and play Samba with a few of the senior members of their samba school named “Alegria da Zona Sul.”  When our ryhthms began to fill the air of the favela young children slowly came and started dancing the samba step to our beat.  It was so natuaral for them and they were so happy to hear the music, especially since carnival was still several months away.

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