Last days Brazil/Peru

March 7, 2008

My last days in Brazil were incredible…and it was weird to leave a place and an NGO that have opened up my horizons in so little time.

On the other hand i was going back to the place that started it all for this young travelling man…PERU…

So in memory of my time in BH here are some pics from the festival we held…

The bar inside and outside

 Capoeira

African dance troop

Singner Sergio Perere and Rapper Renegado

Fela Kuti Tribute night even the kids were getting painted

Jumping and dancing on stage Fanta Konate from Guinea

More jumping from the tambolele percussion bloco outdoor performance

Finally me getting ready to rock the party

Well I have now been in Peru working with my aforementioned NGO but in the meantime I took my girl travelling to 2 truly paradise like locations

first off huacachina..simply the illest desert oasis in el mundo

Chillin in my friend’s hotel

There was even a monkey!

Repping Afro-Reggae

And a sunset on a perfect weekend (4 hours away from Lima!!!!!!)

But I had never been (in my 4 years in Peru) to the jungle…decided to change that and proceeded to be amazed

Crazy waterfalls!

and a crazy bug!

Well I am off to the Cordillera Blanca mountains befre coming back to welcome my parents visiting my project for he first time for their 25th wedding anniversary (could this year be more perfect!)

we will see

 enjoy the snow guys I will be back soon!

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X-mas,Réveillon & Rio

February 2, 2008

OI gente,

After an extended leave I am back in BH and working my last weeks here before i go back to Peru

Right after the festival I left to surprise my girl Valerie in Montevideo. She had been sick as fug for a while so I thought I would be there for christmas time…

 

Montevideo is a great city to relax in and thats exactly what we did…X-mas was chill but it was all about New Year..or as they call it there Réveillon

 

This was the delicious scene that awaited us at the gigantic mercado del puerto it was 1 pm and festivities were in full swing…we got so lucky we managed to get a seat at a restaurant and we ordered the local specialty medio-medio…White wine and sparkling wine in one explosive bottle..we had two and were feeling festive

The market was getting crowded and the heat (34 C°) was strong..so what do the party people in the street do….? start spraying everyone in sight with this faux-champagne…

Bottle fights (plastic), people using their appt sink hose to spray the crowd, crazy music; it was the best time ive had for new year in a long time…me and my menina got quite crunked and proceeded to walk on the beautiful coastline La Rambla all the way home for a nap

then we had our own lil BBQ

 We spent two weeks working (still clocking for casa africa) and took a some days off to go camping near the sea on our last days…

Those who know me know that I love to camp and my girl held it down as a partner of this rugged woodsman weve come to know and love…

Urugay has cool forests to camp in but its all about the BEACH!!

sick long ass beaches with no one in sight..there is just one after another and you can walk the coastline all day

My time in Urugay was incredible and my relationship just grew stronger being 24h juntos seemed like a test at first but everyday was incredibly serene, enjoyable and simply incredible with mi amocita…

So it was with a smile that I left for the infamous Rio de Janeiro..just in time for Carnivale!

I was there to work out a partnership with AfroReggae an incredibly inspiring NGO that works with culture in the favelas of Rio

EVERYONE needs to see the awe-inspiring documentary Favela Rising that will help you understand this project..but let me just say I was amazed (having my own project in the shatytowns of peru) at the simplicity and efficacity of this project…

I went into the Vigario Geral favela and saw some afro-dance lessons as well as the Afro-Samba band (afro-reggae are now a world famous band) in their favela studio…i was there to get in contact with their radio-program and I just want to thank Eve who made everything possible.

I would talk more about this experience and AR in general but I know what you all want to know is how was Carnivale well I let the pictures speak for themselves

Follow the bloco down the street!

Street party and music in Santa Teresa

and just a lot of happy folk

I ended up going to a Jorge Ben show (my favorite Brazilian musician) to end off a great time in Rio

Fest’AfroBrasil

December 18, 2007

Fala Galera!

So I haven’t been in touch for a while…well that’s because me the casa africa crew have been hard at work on Fest’AfroBrasil

4 years in the making this is the culminating project for Ibra and Casa Africa…our own festival

2 weeks in the making….we’ve been running like crazy christmas turkeys…

But we did it…

This years Festival (notice how I am talking..we will make this annual) pays hommage to Fela Kuti (10 year anniversary of the death of the musical activist/genius)

and incredible African mind Cheikh Anta Diop

Both these men represent the composition of this festival.

On one hand weve got cinema , mad concerts (our radio spot goes: ”Shows, show e mais SHOWS!”) from all over Africa/Brasil as well as a artesanato fair and restaurant-bar to manage

AND PROMOTE!!

I was mad busy putting together our incredible (graphic desinger Rubem) 24 pages mini-magazine.

and WEBSITE

And we hit the streets hard with only 6 days to promote an event of this magnitude

The launch was today with articles in the paper and film crews

And this is where the second side of our festival comes through and we where lucky enough to have world-renowned sociologist Carlos Moore. The Cuban/Jamaican scholar who now resides in Bahia helped Anta Diop in his research in senegal and nigeria and even at age 75…the man has a serious discourse….very inspiring…

We welcomed him at the airport and spent a long time discussing with our new partner.

Big plans keep on happening in the background of this festival (more on that another time)

Right now i gotta run to the..FESTIVAL!!!!!

It’s a reality….

ITS ON! 🙂

So many great shows Guinée’s Fanta Konaté wicked percussion and dance

Capoeira Angola masters in a noite do griot setting

(this is piece is from the Festival’s Art Show)

Friday is the big Fela tribute show with me and the grand DJ A.Coisa

Have yourselves a complimentary FELA_MIX while your at it

But Saturday is major!!!!

8 shows including a special reunion show with Pererê and Tizumba playing MC’s to the whole day of festivities (percussion/capoeira rodas all day)

And its done for the year…merry christmas and all that

We are looking for our new home in 2008….

until then

Fica em paz gente

toninho

FAN Wrapup

November 25, 2007

I have not given out news in a while because we have been so busy here at casa africa but the FAN is now over and we are getting ready to prepare Fest’Afro Brazil so I thought I’d let you guys know wassup before I go back neck deep into work…

First of all the bar staff has been rejuvenated with my man Tiago holding down the barman position

And a new band Macumba that do percussion lead afro-samba with clarinet to boot

So the Espaçio Thiossane was being set-up to welcome 3 groups of 100 kids per day in the FAN space at Casa do Conde

Excellent work by our resident designer Rubem in a beautifully set-up educational gallery space

The best part about this is that we get to keep these pannels for CasaAfrica afterwards

The artwork Kuta and the others had been working on was finally set up in its rightful lugar

Looking good

Finshing up the final touches

The Casa do Conde space is great and we are lucky to have it as the host for our upcoming festival

I loved this grafitti piece

There were a ton of great events and concerts all week

Tartit from Mali sent out incredible Touareg rythms and chants

The Jant-Bi dance troup killed shit with a very contemporary dance choreography backed up by powerfu traditional percussions

Speaking of percussions outdoor shows slayed this category

Tizumba and Tambolele (featuring the aforementioned Sergio Perere) had the crowd going nuts since they are local legends

They put on a great show

Then we heard a rumble in the back of the crowd

The sacred drums of Burundi were making their entrance

Powerful shit

But the festival also had some casa africa organised event such was the case with BaileBlack a party dedicated to Black Music (funk,soul,jazz,etc)

I designed this flyer and set up a projection detailing the history of black music from the 40s (slave music,blues,gospel) 50s(rock-n-roll) 60s(jazz) 70s(civil rightsmovements,funk,soul) and 80s(hiphop)

The night was an immense success and lasted till 6 am

With DJ Asma holding it down

I learned a lot during this FAN experience and it will come in handy as I am officially the executive producer of the upcoming Fest’Afro-Brazil

More on that in a minute

take care folks….

BIG THINGS!

November 14, 2007

In one day two incredible things happened for Casa Africa…

Making my work here more complex and simply more in terms of mandate but about a milion times (if thats even possible seeing how much I love this project) more interesting

The day started off with the France Brésil meeting featuring one of the ugliest logos in the history of mankind

I had spent the whole day before preparing Ibra’s speach on Africa-Brazil-France cooperation and the powerpoint (yes folks even the pros do it)

well it was big ass event

Mayors of Rennes and Nantes were present as well as federally elected officials from Mali and Brazil, our friend Rodrigo had made us the special guest at this round table and we had 30 min to present our acomplishements and future senegal roject as well as bring some afican history in the mix

Ibra killed it

Both elected officials closing statements commented exlusevily on his presentation and we made some valuable contacts along the way….

especially with the city of Nantes…

Mariam another senegalese getting mixed up with CasaAfrica had projects to start up her own Casa Africa in Nantes a city that is known for its decentralized policies…économie solidaire support and left leaning political body… and many exchange programs with Senegal

Mariam does incredible work with children in the cités and african dance…she is best friends with Tiken Jah Fakoly… and just gleamingly energetic…we had to get the most projects together working out

We invited everyone of the french delegation over to live the Casa Africa experience

And it worked like a charm

The mayor of Nantes is opening up a partnership with us and we are full of other projects with Mariam and France… including a Tiken tour

Me and Ibra are in the office talking over all these developments when he suddenly jumps out his chair screamin WOOO! from the top of his lungs…it was because of an email informing us our festival project had been accepted for the sum of ….

100 000R$…..BALLIN!

We had planned the event around comnity activities since we had no money now we can make it something BIG….

One big evening

November 11, 2007

Some days things are seemingly meant to happen together…

We were preparing all week for our big Noite do Griot show…its format is to honour the long lasting oral tradition maintained in africa of the griot as the master orator and distributor of ancient knowledge.

We offer an intimate concert of african artists where they speak on their life/musical path and answer questions from the audience, each word inspiring a new song, a new discussion…

The show was great but there was another important event taking place in the same palacio das artes just hours before and casa africa was invited

An incredible evening to commemorate some legends of brazilian culture (including Tom Jobim and Jorge Ben) with the ministry of culture Gilberto Gil and President Lula himself…

I was starstruck with all those people in the room and casa africa got a chance to present its program…we have a meeting scheduled with Mr.Gil in Brasilia (political capital) so things are looking up

Now back to the show…it wasa simply a wonderful experience…Perere has a powerful voice and he played many instruments including the charango

and talking drum

 

The show really started to lift off once Perere started conversing with the audience

I was truly inspired by both his lyrics and his message/life path

A great candid moment came when he invited his 12 year old nephew on stage

The kid killed it on guitar (ive gotta raise my kids like that 🙂

Then Perere son just crawled up on stage

All in all a wonderful show..one of the best Griots apparently

FAN also had its official launch with an exposition of african artifacts

A cool event with Gilberto Gil present once more

Ive been planning the France Brazil meeting all week with Ibra (a real political consultant i am becoming) we have a speach ready, and mini DVD business cards that are badass (a little inovative idea from yours truly)

We are also getting ready for FAN… I am actually planning an event FestaBlack where there will be a famous Brazilian DJ, break dancers, a graffiti vs Kuta paint battle,

 

 a photo exhibit documenting the evolution of black music thourghout history and to open things up a world renowned canadian DJ

I am off to Ibras once again so take care people

ciao gente

After the sunshine…

November 5, 2007

Here this is the case… super hot beautiful day…brief torrential downfall…rince…repeat

To illustrate the case I’ve decided to share with you guys 2 polar opposite african music mixes…

Tristeza is a mix full of slow-burning sad lament songs…complaints about the state of life in africa and songs that call to the times past…Angolan and west-african songs that I adore. Here emotions can be felt and the lament style of cabo-verde resounds..the first track is killer…great stuff

The second mix is light slow and soulful songs comparabe to the sound of waves and the faint echo of kids on a Dakar beach..sit back relax and enjoy the soft sounds…

Also to summerize my weekend in a few words…work..play.long hours

I worked the regular Samba shift at casa africa that ended with a nice little jam session

Then went out to smaller neighborhood Santa Tereza. I love that place and the music was incredible…i then went out for food…late night style but here you have a full restaurant access with like130 diferent plates at 4:30am…

Needless to say nut much sleep

he next day i was up working at Ibra’s…finishing deadlines..

Great food as always

Kuta as always

till like 11pm… as alwyas 🙂

And thus another week begins…

Take care of thyselves people and enjoy the music

Dia feriada

November 3, 2007

There are a lot of holydays these months in Brazil..;but there was just too much to go through so we set up the office at Ibrahima`s house…so necessary!

Outdoor escritorio (2 laptops and a tower)…

Enrique and Kuta were working hard on the FAN scenes (peep the progress)

Really cool stuff I dig Kuta`s style…

I was busy mixing music too creat an enchanting african musical vibe for the kids that will go through the village represented by those scenes…

But I was also busy cooking up a storm… making the Senegal national dish..Yassa!

Ginger-Garlic and minced oignons in a lime marinade…where the chicken stays for a good couple of hours…

 With a TON of oignons…

Let it simmer (this was a different tandoori glaze for the chicken breasts) grain pepper is key…

Ibra was prepping the churasco

The chicken is grilled

And the oignons and lime juice boil up into a chicken reduction sauce

the end result

It was a environment place to work in…

for the communication staff…and the painters/scenists

with Cantora chillin…and this crazy bug

We worked hard into the night

and I´im still here in the office mixing…

Ciao gente…

Dia na cidade…

November 3, 2007

Ive been working hard on these radio mandates all week (I actually got them done..with the courrier bike-boy waiting at the door… a lil stress of my shoulders but I still gotta a ton to go… however I love what I am doing so I am glad de trablhar duro…

Here is a snapshot of the regular lunch meal here…kinda great..usually its rice, feajõn (beans), grilled meat..but today was tropejo..feajõn mix with manioc flour and chirizo sausages

Speaking tropejo I was told I had to try the tropejau minerau at the state stadium and after work I went with Leo and Daniel to go see the CAM (Club Atletico Mineiro) football club match that evening

My first day here in Minas Gerais Daniel shared with me<There is one important thing here…>

I was immediately converted into a fan of Galo….

We left for the stadium hyped up…

But there was NASTY traffic

It was absolute blockage everywhere…we were as stuffed as the people in that bus…

speaking of buses

After 2:15 drive we got there and it was insane I wish i could have taken shots of the rushing amount of fans filling each entry of this gigantic stadium (80 000) and especially when i climbed the stairs staring at the firework lit sky a line of CAM faithful admiring as well

 The game was ON!

Just to give you an idea of what it was like try to see how many people are in this bad shot of the crowd

that`s on 20th of the stadium

The famous meal was indeed incredible..especially for sporting event food… I mean damn!

The game was just as great..

and GALO won

I get the impression that of you guys may think that my work is all play well, this week has been nothing but updates and organization as you can see from this snapshot of my working space

Antoine plans for days but its cool, Ibra like me has a million and one ideas for the project and the opportunities keep showing up i serve to remember write down and organize the stuff into a comprehesible format and work with the administrator karu to divide stuff into tarefas (tache in french) for the staff..we just had a huge meeting this friday and i had to lead it…it went pretty well considering my portuguese…some stuff written on the plan made people laugh while this supposedly corrected of the plan also eased the process of the meeting at the same time

well my weekend represented a mix of both work and play…

Saturday i get up and my man daniel and I leave the house to eat sine there was no water in the building as they were fixing the faucets

Lets go eat some meat at the Mercado Central (market) he says…alright…

We get to Bomb-Bar and order uma cerveja and a meat plate…

the jam-packed market meat/beer experience is one to be savoured

We get a call from Leo who is at the market shopping for goods for tonights samba show at cvasa africa..he asks me if I want to work a shift since they are missing staff and expecting a big crowd..alright so i meet him there and help set up at casa africa

The samba night was incredible..those of you who know me know me to be not this type of man but seriously, strictly from a bar perspective, there was about5 guys in total for the clientele of about 80 in total…this lack of men may ironically become a problem 🙂

the scene at 7pm (early shift means i am not too tired the next day)

Samba de Luiz feature members/friends from Black Sonora and they are damn good

They get the party going….

and the drinks flowing

It was really cool to work the shift..great customers and a cool ambiance

Plus great music

This guy can attest to that

It was hilarious “Give me a mojito, its for the guy” 🙂

A good time was had by all and i got friendly with BlackSonoras cuban rapper frontman..really cool guy talking about early orishas concerts and such

The next day was a big double laptop in the hamac meeting with Ibra that just ended now i am in fact typing out the tarefa messages to the staff as we speak

This upcoming week we need to perform…we also went through looking at a lot of stuff for the FESMAN poject in june to get casa africa over to senegal once again destiny is helping as this year invited country of honor is none other than Brazil

anyways good night folks..i got a big week ahead of me