Music in Bahia

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I finally got to check out some live music in Brazil!  What I have been waiting for my whole life.  Every Tuesday in Pelourinio, they have free concerts on the church steps, and music playing all around.  Myself, Armando, Miguelina and I went with the other students from the Dialogo School.

We all met at the bus stop and got on an extremely crowded bus where I was sat closer to strangers than I had my own sister.  After a short bus ride there we were dropped off at the end of the line and began walking towards the music.  A young girl selling peanuts, and tons of tents selling caiprihnias and other drinks greeted us.  The concert that is usually free ended up being 50 reails, which is 25 US dollars, so we decided to keep walking around.  We went down one street, where people began crowding.  We saw on the steps rows and rows of people waiting for music to begin.  This was the beginning of a night like nothing I had ever experienced.  My friends and I got a place pretty close to the front and got settled.  Without warning the music began and samba broke out!  As the night continued I got to move up closer and closer to the front.  By the end of the night I was dancing in the front row with some older Brazilian women I met.  One of them told me I was danced the samba “muito bom!” and kissed me on the cheek.  We both had really big smiles on our faces, and continued to dance.  This is something I can’t really picture happening in the US.  It was really special to me, how we could connect through the music even though my Portuguese did not take me very far and she did not speak English.  This was such a special night not only because the music was fun but also because everyone as a collective was part of the music.

Tomorrow night I am going to try my hands at a jam session.  This is a pretty big deal, because I usually don’t even go to jam sessions in the US for fear of my hand falling off from playing drums behind too many horn solos.  However, I am really excited to see how the Brazilians do it, and maybe I’ll have a thing or two to show the Americans when I get back!  I highly doubt that I will school any of the Brazilians on rhythm, most of these people have been playing drums since age four!
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