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Upcoming AmSoc events Aug 13th - Little League sign-up pancake breakfast Aug 27th - Jazz Night Sep 15th - Cultural Tour Sep 24th - AMSOC and Vida Jovem Charitable Event

Monthly Newsletter August 2011 www.amsoc.com.br

July 2nd was a Fourth to be applauded


By Richard Wegman, AmSoc board member for their Marine Ball later this year (more details on this to come in a future issue). Everyone seemed to really enjoy the new location at the Consulate for the picnic. Master of Ceremonies, Richard Wegman (Board Member) opened the event by introducing our Marines color guard, and after a wonderfully appropriate prayer by Jane Hawkins Tom Kelly had a few words for us and read the official proclamations messages from Hilary Clinton and President Obama in Washington. The food was served fresh off the grill, hot and ready for all the fixings. The salad table was huge and people just kept bringing more delicious salads to share. The kids had some great rides, games and fun that included a magician to keep them smiling all afternoon. The sparklers at sunset were a fantastic hit and burned out way too fast. (continued on page 12)

The Music Issue


Live Music in SP
Page 4: Do you enjoy live music but have no idea where to catch it in So Paulo? Check our handy guide for every taste of music.

Meninos do Morumbi
Page 6: You might have heard the name but how did they get started and how can you yourself catch a performance?

Classical Music in SP
Page 10: Find out what OSESP and the Mozarteum have to offer for fans of classical music.

Our Mission
The American Society of So Paulo promotes friendship by organizing social, cultural and athletic events for its diverse membership; encourages integration with the Brazilian society; and supports the American traditions of education, philanthropy and volunteerism.

Saturday July 2nd began with sunshine and hope, but then just before our opening ceremony it began to sprinkle. Thomas Kelly, our Consul General suggested that we wait 20 minutes and see what happens. I guess he put an official request in up above because the skies cleared and we had a fantastic afternoon celebration at the consulate for our 1st ever joint Consulate/AMSOC July 4th picnic. Over 230 of us enjoyed hot dogs, hamburgers, soda, chips, and of course hundreds of great salads and deserts; all with super music as well. The grounds were decorated in red, white and blue so from the moment you entered the picnic area you saw our colors festively displayed to lighten our day and enhance our spirits. The tables were set under three large tents with plenty of room to move around and visit friends. There were lots of free sodas available and the Marines sold beer and Caipirinhas to make some money

The Presidents Corner


I was speaking with Nadja Venezian at the launch of the new Canadian International Society in May, describing our By Joe Sherman, AmSoc president visit to Mendoza, Argentina and she suggested I write about it in the Forum. So here goes Many of you have probably been to Buenos Aires, but put Mendoza on your places to visit list. There are no direct flights from So Paulo, which adds time to the trip as Mendoza is 1,000 kilometers from Buenos Aires. Mendoza is situated at the base of the Andes Mountains, a lovely setting. Rainfall in Mendoza is 180 mm per year, so the city and vineyards depend on water from melting snow. There is an open canal system in the city to water and preserve the shade trees, a system designed by the Indians. This desert like setting is ideal for producing grapes as there are few insects or plant fungus problems. To get started in the wine business is a slow process, a grapevine take 5 years to produce grapes, and you need to age wine for at least a year, so cash only rolls in about 6 years. In Mendoza you dont just show up to a winery, you need to make a reservation for the wine tasting tours. Most tourists arrange for visits with a specialized agency, and we recommend Mendoza Holidays. The cost is US$150-200 per person which includes a five course lunch. The wineries are out of town and normally you visit 3 in a day. There are the large wineries such as Terrazas (now owned by Chandon), Salentein, Catena; and the boutique wineries which produce about 500,000 bottles per year. We had lunch at two boutiques which were great. Highly recommended is Ruca Malen, a beautiful setting, with a different wine for each course and champagne with dessert. The Altamisque winery has a trout farm so the five course meal there is fish dishes with five wines, a bit lighter in this meat loving country. Argentina traditionally exported very little wine, and recently many of the wineries have been purchased by foreign companies. There is a new export push with most companies now segmenting the market with three different qualities. The basic wine costs about $55 pesos (US$13.75) and is aged 6 months in a barrel and 6 in a bottle. The reserva line costs about $150 pesos (US$ 37.50). The premium (top) line costs over $250 pesos, for example, the Catena premium is aged 2 years in a barrel and 2 in a bottle. Terrazas is segmenting the market with new brand names, the basic now Altos de Plata, the medium Reserva and the premium, Afincado. The Pulenta Estates brand names are, in order La Flor (aged 6 months), Pulenta (12 months), and Gran (18 months). This can be confusing for the consumer in terms of quality/price. Argentinas bottled wine exports were up 10% in 2010, up 19% to the U.S. The Malbec wine is having tremendous success representing 47% of exports. The wine tasting tours are excellent, and there is plenty more to do, hiking, horseback riding, a trip to the Andes, and a casino at the Hyatt Hotel. There are excellent restaurants, for example Azafran and 1884 Francis Mallmann. The city of Mendoza is very nice, and we recommend a walk in the very large central park. You will have to enjoy the wine in Mendoza as with weight and carry on restrictions it is challenging to bring much back. Getting back to So Paulo, next month we have the mega event -Vida Jovem. This is a very professional entertaining evening with a silent auction, live auction, and show by popular singer Toquinho and his Band. The American Society has reserved a block of tables which are going fast. If you are not part of a table call the AmSoc office and we will include you in a table. The proceeds of the event will greatly help support the Vida Jovem organization. Tchau, Joe

About Forum

Forum is published monthly, with the exception of January and July, by

Lynn Cordeiro, editor and layout Ernest White II, staff writer Forum is printed by EGB. (http://www.egb.com.br) Views expressed in Forum do not necessarily reflect those of the American Society board of governors, members, or staff. Forum reserves the right to edit content for brevity and/or clarity.

The American Society of So Paulo Rua da Paz, 1431 04713-001 So Paulo, SP Tel: (11) 5182-2074 Fax: (11) 5182-9155 forum@amsoc.com.br

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Brazil Travel - How to Rock in Rio


By Melissa Harkin, AmSoc member seeks to spread: the idea of uniting everyone through music - were together and our small actions on a daily basis have a major impact on the future of the planet So, pack your bag and lets Rock in Rio, because this years edition brings the best the music scenario has to offer, pleasing all tribes and driving the music industry, tourism and the economy. The following acts have been confirmed: I knowits only RocknRoll.but I like it! And if you like it too its time to get ready for a trip to Rio de Janeiro and enjoy some of the most wonderful names of music that will be performing at Rock in Rio. Rock in Rio is the biggest festival of music and entertainment in the world. The idea comes from the Brazilian businessman Roberto Medina, and its first edition took place in January 1985 during the transition from dictatorship to democracy: Rock in Rio invited Brazil to celebrate the freedom. In its nine editions, of which three were in Brazil (1985, 1991 and 2001), four in Portugal (2004, 2006, 2008 and 2010) and two in Spain (2008 and 2010), Rock in Rio gathered more than 5 million people, who applauded 656 bands live. There were more than 780 hours of broadcast music for more than 1 billion viewers in 80 countries. With the theme For a Better World, Rock in Rio has always sought out a pioneering approach with its business model, aiming at sustainable and socially responsible action. This attitude extends from the offsetting of carbon emissions to choosing socially and environmentally committed partners. The festival also seeks to further support several sustainability projects - over the past 10 years, 4,803,357.00 Euros were destined to education activities and environmental awareness. But more important than this direct action is the message that the festival 23/09 Friday Palco Mundo: Elton John, Rihanna, Katy Perry, Claudia Leitte Palco Sunset: Mveis Coloniais de Acaju, Orkestra Rumpilezz, Mariana Aydar, Bebel Gilberto, Sandra de S, Ed Motta, Rui Veloso, The Asteroids Galaxy Tour 24/09 Saturday Palco Mundo: Red Hot Chili Peppers, Snow Patrol, Capital Inicial, Stone Sour, NX Zero Palco Sunset: Marcelo Yuka, Cibelle, Comadre Florzinha, Amora Pra, Tulipa Ruiz, Nao Zumbi, Milton Nascimento, Esperanza Spalding, Mike Patton/Mondo Cane 25/09 Sunday Palco Mundo: Metallica, Slipknot, Motrhead, Coheed and Cambria Palco Sunset: Matanza, BNego, Korzus, The Punk Metallstars, Angra, Sepultura, Tarja Turunen, Tambours Du Bronx 30/09 Friday Palco Mundo: Shakira, Lenny Kravitz, Ivete Sangalo, Jota Quest, Marcelo D2 Palco Sunset: Buraka Som Sistema, Mixhell, Cu, Joo Donato, Cidade Negra, Martinho da Vila, Emicida, Monobloco, Macaco 01/10 Saturday Palco Mundo: Coldplay, Jay-Z, Man, Skank, Frejat Palco Sunset: Cidado Instigado, Jpiter Ma, Ti, Jorge Drexler, Zeca Baleiro, Concha Buika, Erasmo Carlos, Arnaldo Antunes 02/10 Sunday Palco Mundo: Guns N Roses, System Of A Down, Evanescence, Detonautas Roque Clube, Pitty Palco Sunset: The Monomes (MySpace), David Fonseca, Os Mutantes, Tom Z, Tits, Xutos & Pontaps, Marcelo Camelo How to get there? Tickets are sold out on the events website http://www.rockinrio.com. br/en/ingressos/ but fear no more! Brazilian airline TAM http://rockinrio. tamviagens.com.br/ is still offering interesting packages for the event, that include round plane tickets, accommodations, show tickets and ground transportation. So, what are you waiting for? Lets Rock in Rio!

2011

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Live in SP - Music by the Millions


By Ernest White II, staff writer House, rock, hip hop, salsa, samba, jazz, soul, funk, folk, country, classical if somebody plays it, sings it, or strums it, you can find it in So Paulo. And its no wonder, with a population encompassing people from all the regions of Brazil and all the nations on the planet, every musical style known to woman or man is represented in nightclubs, bars, restaurants, streetcorner botecos, or on any given street corner. From the cavaquinheiros to guitar heroes, So Paulos got a scene and a style for every musical taste. Its impossible to cover every single hot spot in the city, but its easy to identify a handful of the best. Samba, Brazils national rhythm, can be found at corner botecos, samba school rehearsal halls, and other random, rhythmic spots all over the city, every weekend. Live groups, often formed by five or six wizened instrumentalists and led by a husky chanteuse, strum and sing bossa nova classics and samba standards, leading the crowd in noisy, sometimes drunken, always melodic sing-alongs. Bar Brahma, at Caetano Velosos famous corner of So Joo and Ipiranga in the Repblica section of downtown, is the stalwart samba salon; its pricey and a bit touristy, but the music is always good. Just a short cab ride away, on the far edge of Praa Franklin Roosevelt, is Voc Vai se Quiser, a ramshackle little spot with cold brew and hot beats with its Saturday samba sets. Some of the glossier spots include Bar Mangueira in Pinheiros, Bar Favela in Vila Olmpia, and its sister location, Favela da Vila in Vila Madalena all offering that multiflavored orgy of gastronomic goodness, feijoada, to go with your samba and cachaa on Saturday afternoons. And if you dont mind the crowds, check out Vai-Vais centrally-located, open-air samba school rehearsals in Bela Vista, running from the end of September until Carnival in February; theres no comparable experience in the entire city. (see article on page 16) So Paulo has also got a solid jazz scene, headlined by two popular venues that were inspired by Americas muse, New Orleans: Bourbon Street Music Club in Moema and The Orleans in Vila Madalena. Both bars offer live jazz, soul, blues and funk with a consistently strong line-up of local and international talent, including the aptly-named The Mother Funkers and Brazilian jazzybelle Izzy Gordon. Intimate Casa de Francisca in Jardins also stands out as an excellent jazz lounge, with an enjoyably rustic, yet sophisticated atmosphere, as do youthful bars Kabul and Sarajevo, both in Baixo Augusta, Lions Nightclub in Centro, Disco in Itaim Bibi, and Vegas Club on Rua Augusta, in addition to countless underground spots dotting the city, thump with house and electronica through the night and well into the daylight hours. The hard rockers in town need go no further than Rua Augusta for their electric guitar fix. Clubs like Beco 203 and Inferno toggle regularly between DJs and live acts, while Studio SP always keeps a rockin line-up of punk, metal, alt-rock, and garage bands. In fact, the citys homegrown rock scene has been garnering international attention for a while as groups such as Cansei de Ser Sexy part of the so-called New Rave movement produce songs in English as well as Portuguese, attracting millions of fans outside Brazil. Meanwhile, dozens of old school rockers, from Paul McCartney to U2 to Alice Cooper to the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, rely on their cadre of loyal Brazilian fans to keep venues packed when their periodic tours touch down in the city, often drawing bigger numbers than they do back home. For indie rock spots, Barra Fundas Clube Berlin, Repblicas Alberta #3, and Bom Retiros Hangar 110 offer hip, high-brow, and grit, respectively. Lovers of salsa and merengue are most certainly not left out of the Paulistano music scene. Live la vida loca at spicy spots like Latin music palace Rey Castro in Vila Olmpia, with DJs vying with live salsa bands from Brazil, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and the rest of Latin America, for control of the dance floor. Azcar, the other big Latin club in town, caters to devotees of Cuban music and mojitos in Itaim Bibi, while tiny Pacha Ynti Bar in Bela Vista offers up the ritmos on the cheap. For those salseros not into nightclubs, or who need a bit more ample space while they dance, the Jquei Clube de So Paulo is hosting the Telefnica Sonidos Latin music fest at the end of the month: a

both with eclectic and danceable jazz, soul, and samba line-ups. Besides the bars, larger performance venues like the Teatro Bradesco in Barra Funda hold seasonal events like the Jazz All Nights series, which features established greats like Brandord Marsalis and up-andcomers like recent Grammy winner Esperanza Spalding. A city known for its nightlife, So Paulo is an epicenter of electronic music, spawning home-spun superstar DJs over the years such as DJ Marky, known on the London house circuit, as well as imports like the late Suba, who started in Serbia, but who captured the manic, electric essence of the city as far back as 1999 with the definitive Paulistano electro album, So Paulo Confessions. Nowadays, megawatt nightclubs like D-Edge in Barra Funda,

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melodic bridge between Brazil and its Spanish-speaking neighbors. Confirmed headliners include Mexican pop smash Julieta Venegas, MPB chanteuse Marisa Monte, and Cuban pianist extraordinaire Chucho Valdez. Hip-hop heads are also wellrepresented, with nightclub DJs spinning the freshest, dopest, flyest American hits, coupled with a burgeoning rap scene from the outskirts of the city. Tuesday nights at Clash Club in Barra Funda, Wednesday nights at Mokai in Jardins, Thursday nights at Clube Glria in Bela Vista, Friday nights at Lions, and Saturday nights at Joy Club in Pinheiros are, believe it or not, just a few of the regular hip-hop events at clubs around town, touting models and bottles almost every night of the week. Clashs Tuesday party is also known for its intense b-boy breakdancing battles, so wallflowers, beware! So Paulo hiphop is especially on the upswing with rappers like Emicida and Criolo waxing lyrical about the grittier aspects of their hometown in Brazil and abroad; Emicida even performed at this years Coachella Festival in California. Sertanejo Brazils brand of country music, straight out of the drylands of the Northeast has taken on the visual aesthetics of its American cousin, Stetsons, boots n all. Disney-esque Villa Country is the grandpappy of sertanejo music venues in the city, with places like Livraria da Esquina in Vila Madalena offering a few lower-key alternatives. The years biggest event in the genre is the Sertanejo Pop Festival, taking place on August 13th and 14th at the vast, outdoor Chcara do Jockey. If fiddlings not your thing, but you still like strings, the current season of the So Paulo State Symphony Orchestra is underway at the gorgeous Sala So Paulo, a multifaceted concert hall located inside historic Estao Jlio Prestes near Estao da Luz. (see article on page 10) Close by, the newly-renovated Theatro Municipal, a neo-classical confection perched at the edge of downtowns Vale do Anhangaba, has reopened to an extensive agenda of symphonic performances. And if its free or virtually free music youre after, the Fundao Ema Gordon Klabin, in Jardim Europa, holds free Saturday afternoon concerts of global folk rhythms and chamber music; the Museu da Casa Brasileira on Faria Lima offers weekly acoustic Brazilian music concerts from known and emerging artists; the various locations of Livraria Cultura and the Paulista branch of FNAC host free pocket shows, in which an artist performs a few cuts from whichever new CD shes launching; and the citywide chain of SESCs a multipurpose community center proffers an extensive selection of Brazilian and even international acts. Here in So Paulo, were spoiled for choice. Web Guide to Music Venues in So Paulo Classical: Sala So Paulo www.salaSopaulo.com.br Theatro Municipal www.teatromunicipal.sp.gov.br Free/Almost-Free Venues: FNAC www.fnac.com.br Fundao Ema Gordon Klabin www.emaklabin.org.br Livraria Cultura www.livrariacultura.com.br Museu da Casa Brasileira www.mcb.org.br SESC www.sescsp.org.br Hip Hop: Clash Club www.clashclub.com.br Clube Glria www.clubegloria.com.br Joy Club www.joyclub.com.br Lions Nightclub www.lionsnightclub.com.br Mokai www.mokai.com.br House/Electronica: D-Edge www.d-edge.com.br Disco www.clubdisco.com.br Lions Nightclub www.lionsnightclub.com.br Vegas Club www.vegasclub.com.br Jazz/Soul/Funk: Bourbon Street Music Club www.bourbonstreet.com.br Casa da Francisca www.casadefrancisca.art.br Kabul www.kabul.com.br Sarajevo www.sarajevoclub.com.br Teatro Bradesco www.teatrobradesco.com.br The Orleans www.theorleans.com.br Rock: Alberta #3 www.alberta3.com.br Beco 203 www.beco203.com.br Berlin www.clubeberlin.com.br Hangar 110 www.hangar110.com.br Inferno Club www.infernoclub.com.br Studio SP www.studiosp.org Salsa/Merengue: Azcar www.azucar.com.br Pacha Ynti Bar www.pachaynti.com.br Rey Castro www.reycastro.com.br/sp/ Telefnica Sonidos music festival www.telefonicasonidos.com.br Samba: Bar Brahma www.barbrahma.com.br Bar Favela/Favela da Vila www.faveladavila.com.br Bar Mangeira www.barmangueira.com.br Vai-Vai Samba School www.vaivai.com.br Voc Vai se Quiser no site, Rua Joo Guimares Rosa, 241, tel. 3129-4550 Sertanejo: Livraria da Esquina www.livrariadaesquina.com.br Sertanejo Pop Festival www.sertanejopopfestival.com.br Villa Country www.villacountry.com.br

2011

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Meninos do Morumbi An Inspiration to Hundreds of Kids That You Must See For Yourself
By Jane Posner Have you ever been waiting at a traffic light in Jardins, watching some juggler, feeling compassionate and trying to decide whether or not to give him money? Flavio Pimenta, founder and director of Meninos do Morumbi, says, No. If you pulled over and started a conversation with that juggler, that would help more than money, says Flavio. That is exactly what Flavio did back in 1996. He saw some kids hanging around the streets with nothing much to do but look for trouble. So he started a conversation with them. He asked them if they liked music and drumming. He invited 3 boys over to play the drums with him since he himself was a musician and had extra instruments around his house. Those boys were also hungry, so Flavio asked his empregada to make everyone sandwiches. By the end of that week, he had 10 kids coming to play the drums at his house. By the end of the month there were so many kids coming that they filled the street by his house. The following year, 1997, he rented his neighbors house to make room for these kids to play music as an alternative to drugs and juvenile delinquency. In 2000, he needed a larger space and found the building that currently houses Meninos do Morumbi. Its an old, large three story schoolhouse. Unfortunately, it was filled with vagrants, drug dealers and squatters. Flavio worked tirelessly cleaning up the building for the kids. He started getting donations from supermarkets for the meals he served the kids. Other organizations started to want to be a part of his vision. He was renting this cleaned up schoolhouse for R$25K per month, when the CEO of British Airways offered to purchase the building for the organization as part of the British Airways Foundation. Currently, Meninos do Morumbi is located in that same, now gorgeous, building filled with art everywhere (including a beautiful mural on the outside of the building) and music streaming out of every window of the old schoolhouse. There are currently 650 registered students and many of them are served lunch and dinner every day on site in the quaint outdoor dining to take responsibility for herself. A light went on in Flavios head and that day he spoke to his daughter. He told her that he was no longer going to get up and drive her to school. Instead she could walk the four blocks. He also told her he was no longer going to check her grades. He would check them once at the end of the month and if they did not improve she would be moved to the local public school. That was all it took to turn his daughter into taking responsibility for herself. This idea of taking responsibility for yourself and your future is now a cornerstone of his philosophy at Meninos do Morumbi. Not only does Flavio offer classes in percussion, singing, dance and art, but classes are also offered in English, caipoeira, guitar, weaving, computers, and the environment. He is interested in fostering inspiration in social responsibility. He maintains connections with many musicians and artists who want to be part of his program. As a result, classes are taught by true experts, raising the bar of performance to a professional level. Additionally, he looks after the wellbeing of the whole child and sometimes their families. He has a connection with a local Catholic University, PUC, and they provide postgraduate students to Meninos do Morumbi on an as needed basis for family counseling. The true joy of Meninos do Morumbi is going to the building and attending a show. I have never seen so many smiling kids in one room. These kids love to be there and understandably, they realize that their presence is a privilege and they truly appreciate the Meninos do Morumbi opportunity. Meninos do Morumbi offers two

Meninos do Morumbi at a practice session

area. Students must be approved to participate at Meninos do Morumbi which means that everyone MUST be an academic student in good standing at a local school. These kids are responsible for their choices and without being in school they cannot attend. Flavio is very quick to say he is not a charity. In his eyes, charity leads to laziness and is not proactive. Everyone works hard here and understands responsibility. Flavio learned this important lesson the hard way. When his older daughter was in high school, he says he used to get up at 6 am everyday to make sure she was ready for school, drove her to school and every morning checked on her grades, which were terrible. What is going on here?, Flavio asked one day to a counselor at the private school his daughter was attending. You are doing everything for her and she has no reason

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The American Society of So Paulo


products. In Flavios vision, these products are the bread and butter of the organization. The first product or opportunity for business support is an in house show. This opportunity is how I was initially introduced to this amazing organization. The US Consul General Tom Kelly along with about 30 Vice-Consuls, and me, were invited to Meninos do Morumbi. We were all greeted and given a tour of the beautiful schoolhouse building. Then we were escorted and seated in the massive performance room on the second floor. The room alone is awe inspiring. Instruments everywhere, a music lovers playground. Soon after we were seated the magic began. Dancers with enthusiastic, huge smiles and perfectly practiced moves synchronized with the percussion section. The percussion provided a creative samba beat. Additionally, specialty Brazilian instruments were added along with guitars, keyboard and perfectly harmonized singers. All of this is coordinated to perfection through tireless rehearsals almost every night after all day classes, conducted by Flavio. After a short introduction to the organization and his program, a different melody begins and the show resumes. Luckily, this part of the show is interactive with the dancers encouraging each of us to get up and dance. Not one of us wanted to miss out on the dancing with an orchestra of Brazilian music backing us up. Our own CG Kelly impressed everyone jumping in with both feet and dancing whole heartedly. Everyone felt the inspiration. After the show we were brought down to their basement, which they call the Digital Garage, filled with computers, art supplies, and creative space. There we were served treats and coffee. (I have heard if you are lucky, you get to try their special feijoada). We all had great conversations and photo opportunities with the dancers and musicians and left with their signature t-shirt and DVD. This is a unique opportunity for businesses or like us, the US Consulate to get out of the office, experience Brazil at its best and support the community. The second product that they offer are shows provided for corporate events. This group has already performed around the world, giving opportunities to kids who would otherwise never even be able to leave their own favela. Flavio is a university educated professional musician, so he does not do any production half way. He has sound engineers and everything is seamlessly coordinated. These shows can be as large or small as needed, including dancers, musicians, singers and even caipoeira. Not only have these kids had opportunities to travel, they have also had the privilege of meeting former President George W. Bush, who came to watch a show during his short visit to So Paulo in 2007. Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair have all made Meninos do Morumbi priorities on their extremely time restricted visits to So Paulo. Additionally, many American MBA programs come to So Paulo because of the business and economic opportunities here, but they end up being most impressed by these children artists at Meninos do Morumbi. I was so intrigued by my initial introduction that I brought my children back the very next week to watch a rehearsal. (Public rehearsals can be observed after calling first to confirm, Friday nights and Saturday afternoons) My children were so blown away by the enthusiasm and energy of the performance that they wanted to be a part of it. Flavio, of course, welcomed their participation and enthusiasm. Currently my two daughters take dance and all three of them do caipoeira. This is such a unique opportunity for immersion in Brazilian culture and art, but also an opportunity for these kids to befriend American kids. This is what Flavio loves, long term meaningful interactions and friendships. My kids love Pedro and Janaina who welcome my girls with hugs and kisses every time they see each other. Additionally, Flavio nurtures an environment of tolerance and diversity, so having a few American kids around certainly adds to that. Even though I have met and spoken to Flavio several times in the past and even heard the stories of how Meninos do Morumbi came to be, I chose to interview him again for this story, because I love hearing his philosophies. Yesterday, during our interview, I was inspired to be a better parent to my own children after hearing the story of his daughter in high school. It felt like an Oprah moment. I wanted to be a parent who inspires through empowering rather than enabling. Teaching independence and responsibility is hard work, because most of the time it is easier to just do things ourselves. Flavio is willing to put in that work of empowering the children of Meninos do Morumbi.

2010 2011

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Playing it by Ear: Music as a Function of Perspective


By Isabella Freyre I am merely nineteen years old yet I already cringe when I flip through my fairly recent middle school yearbookthe messy bangs, the oversized earrings, the Abercrombie graphic t-shirts! When I scroll through my iTunes, the distress amplifies with punk recordings by My Chemical Romance and corny pop ballads by the Spice Girls. But here I am only four years later, sitting at my cluttered desk at Georgetown University, wearing a prim button-down shirt and listening to the mellow tones of John Legends songs on my iPod. Even the evolution of my wardrobe is surpassed by the changes in my musical taste. Preserving a strictly unique sense of music is not easy. We constantly gravitate to what is around us, listening to songs promoted on the radio. That might imply the Top 7 (As Sete Melhores) of Jovem Pan, the incessant replay of oldies on Antena1, or any of the myriad options available. We can all surely relate to the bickering over radio control that accompanies many a car ride. Yet despite the proliferation of Brazilian radio, stations mainly feature foreign replays that appeal to listeners. This appreciation of American culture explains our interesting musical tendencies as well as the incomprehensible popularity of some deplorable songs. Such was the case with Candy Shop by 50 Cent, which blared through our speakers and had children singing lyrics replete with sexual innuendos. Typical Brazilian melodies like samba and bossa nova, song from Jose Padilhas Elite Squad (Tropa de Elite), although they remain ignorant to the rest of what is being chanted. Where they hear lively house music with a distinctly upbeat feel, others recognize the Portuguese lyrics portraying the rampant violence and squalor of favelas. In Washington, DC, I managed to escape the allure of Lady Gaga and her Monster Ball in order to develop a more original music style (one that would last longer than Daniel Powters onehit career). Living in the capital of the United States engrained in me a newfound appreciation for different genres and rather eclectic musical interests. Easy access to musical culture led me to abandon commercialized tunes and explore other sounds. The joys of living in a city where an amazing concert is merely a short metro ride away! There I experience everything ranging from an alternative Crystal Castles concert at UStreet Music Hall, a packed rap concert featuring Lil Wayne and Nicki Minaj at the Verizon Center, and an elegant orchestra at the Kennedy Center- all for decent prices. But the biggest trend in DC for the younger generations has swerved from jazz and disco to the widespread appeal of electronic music as the city

once widely revered by the population, are now few and far between. [Reminder to those feeling nostalgic and interested in listening to native music, Toquinho will be presenting at the Vida Jovem event on September 24]. Internationally, more emphasis has been given to Brazilian music due to its projection on the global scene. Most of my classmates at Georgetown instantly recognize the parapapapapa that accompanies the famous theme

Fellowship Community Church


The Welcome Place since 1921
Phone (11) 3253-7609 www.fellowship.com.br

09:00 am - Walking in Faith Classes (English and Portuguese)

Sundays

10:30 am Worship Service (English only) 06:00 pm Culto em portugus

Conveniently located on Rua Carlos Sampaio, 107 Bela Vista Just a block and a half from the Brigadeiro Metro station on the Avenida Paulista

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The American Society of So Paulo


hosts countless international DJs throughout the semester. Admittedly, I still keep my favorite copies of the Spice Girls in my iTunes. But my taste in music has become less generic and a little more reflective of me. People remain in a continual flux of change as they are submitted to different environments and different eras. Even artists have changed their public image: the exotic Rihanna from her Pon de Replay period has not been reflected in her currently sensual S&M persona. But traces of the old still carry on in the new. Remixes of antiquated hits have become very popular in our society. In fact, one of my favorite tunes to hum along to and bob my head is the Beach Boys classic Wouldnt it Be Nice spiked with a more aggressive beat. The iconic Lady Gaga epitomizes this pattern through her crazy wardrobe and catchy songs suggestive of Madonna. Both celebrities have been tremendously provocative in their controversial performances sexualizing religious iconography, whether it be Gaga in a latex nuns outfit displaying a cross on her crotch or Madonna in a revealing dress dancing lackadaisically in front of burning crosses within a church. The divas have proven their legendary impact on the music industry- albeit in distinct decades. But the most astounding additions to the musical universe have been teen sensations typified by Justin Bieber. Only sixteen, Bieber has converted millions of fans into true beliebers- I, for one, blame some of it on overexposure. Of course, there are those of us who prefer to remain within the musical confines of a certain generation. My father is certainly one of those individuals. Whenever I blast my questionable music on my stereo, he frowns and expounds on the rubbish that teenagers listen to today. And indeed, it seems hard for me to make a case for modern music when most rappers vulgarly glorify women and money while some electronic songs have insufferable beats that leave your head pounding hours later. So my fathers immediate response is to play long opera excerpts by Andrea Boccelli in order to cleanse my mind from this nonsense. From that, his playlist continues with some Argentine tango while he grumbles about the deterioration of music with modernity. Finally, it culminates with some Andrew Lloyd Webber recordings - complete with DVD which must be watched religiously. All the while, my father leaning next to me repeats his version of a mantra, They just dont make music like that anymore. And I endure all this dramatic ritual despite not listening to the absurd Brazilian funk that has spread throughout society. Those who enjoy Creu, those are the veritable lost souls. Ultimately, music of all kinds can have soothing cognitive reverberations aside from triggering emotions and memories. The famous neurologist, Oliver Sacks, defends the therapeutic influence of music on brain development. Hearing and mimicking music creates additional synapses in the brain, which in turn increases the ability of the brain to learn and apply information. Music permeates our brains: it resonates with us, activating the instinctive areas of the cerebellum and the amygdala; it causes us to sing along, using the hippocampus responsible for remembering chunks of information; it fosters execution of the frontal lobe when we play tunes on an instrument. According to Sacks during an interview with Wired Magazine, music has tremendous healing power. He noticed this in 1966 when working with patients at Beth Abraham in the Bronx. He described post-encephalitics who seemed frozen, transfixed, unable to take a step but with music to give them a flow, they could sing, dance, and be active again. Sacks went on, For Parkinsonian patients, the ability to perform actions in sequence is impaired and the rhythm of music provides temporal structure and organization. Additionally, For people with Alzheimers music can bring the past back like nothing else. Hence, music is more than just a matter of taste. So go and switch on your radio, whatever station you like. Music will be beneficial to you - even Justin Biebers!

2011

Forum

A Night at Sala So Paulo- Classical Music Performances by OSESP and Mozarteum


By Ruth Hollard, AmSoc board member, and Cornelia Herbert, AmSoc member So Paulo is known for its commerce, for its traffic jams, for its restaurants. And now, thanks to a great deal of investment and patience, So Paulo is rapidly becoming known for its classical music concerts. After a long day at the office or taking care of the kids, what could be more relaxing than an evening spent listening to classical music played by a live orchestra in a beautiful concert hall which has some of the best acoustics in the world? Two options which are becoming increasingly popular are the Mozarteum and OSESP. Both perform their concerts at the awardwinning Sala So Paulo. The Mozarteum is one of the most important cultural associations in Brazil that offers concerts with classical music and educational activities involving music. It was founded in 1982 and has brought some of the most internationally renowned orchestras to So Paulo, such as the Philharmonics of Berlin, Vienna, Munich and New York; the Royal Philharmonic and the BBC Philharmonic of London, the Royal Concertgebouw of Amsterdam and the Philadelphia Orchestra. Some of the well-known artists include Jos van Dam; the violinists Gidon Kremer and Maxim Vengerov; the pianists Martha Argerich, Leif Ove Andsnes, Rudolf Buchbinder, Nelson Freire, the Bolshoi; Kirov and New York City Ballet; and the conductors Sergiu Celibidache, Lorin Maazel, Riccardo Muti, Bernard Haitink, Zubin Mehta, Mariss Jansons and Claudio Abbado. Concerts are normally held on Monday nights at Sala So Paulo and season tickets go on sale on February 1st each year for 8-10 concerts per year, or you can purchase tickets for individual concerts. The next one will be the Berlin Philharmonic Octet on August 16 and 17. For tickets and/or more information: www.mozarteum.org.br or telephone 3815-6377, Avenue Brig. Faria Lima 1811 conj. 521 The So Paulo Philharmonic, or Orchestra under the artistic direction of Arthur Nestrovski and the French conductor Yan Pascal Tortelier, OSESP performed in Vienna, Salzburg, Warsaw, Cologne, Frankfurt and Madrid. From 2012-2017, OSESP is pleased to welcome an American conductor who will be taking over from Mr. Tortelier, who will remain as an honorary conductor. Marin Alsop, who currently conducts the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, holds the honor of being the first female conductor of a major orchestra. Monthly concerts in So Paulo include world-famous guest musicians and generally take place on Thursdays, with repeats Fridays and Saturdays. Season tickets go on sale in early February, or individual tickets can also be purchased. For tickets and/or more information: www. osesp.art.br telephone 3223-3966, Praa Julio Pestes 16, from 10H-18H M-F Both the Mozarteum and the OSESP perform their concerts in the beautiful Sala So Paulo, located at Praa Julio Prestes 16. This concert hall was originally inaugurated as a train station in 1938. In 1997 the train station underwent a massive restoration headed by Nelson Dupr and Ismael Sol to be converted into a state-ofthe-art concert hall with adjustable acoustics levels. Of the many methods used at Sala So Paulo to perfect acoustics - from the irregularities in the wooden balcony panels to the fabric used for the seats the most obvious that can be observed is the moveable ceiling. You will notice during the concerts that the ceiling is different for each concert. The moveable ceiling is used to adjust the acoustics of the hall, by decreasing and

Sala So Paulo

Sinfonica do Estado de So Paulo, OSESP, put on its first concert in 1954 under the direction of Souza Lima and Bruno Roccella, and later by Eleazar de Carvalho who headed OSESP for 24 years until his death in 1996. In 1997 the conductor John Neschling assumed the artistic direction of the orchestra and along with Roberto Minczuik he brought back to life the orchestra which had been declining for several years. Auditions were held in Brazil and abroad to fill all positions, salaries were raised, and working conditions for the musicians were improved. OSESP was mentioned in 2010 in the English magazine The Gramophone as one of the three emerging orchestras in the world to which music lovers should be paying attention. In 2010,

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The American Society of So Paulo


increasing the amount of air in the hall, thus shortening or lengthening the time it takes for the music to reverberate off of the walls and ceiling. This is because each type of music was created for a type of space and with different reverberation times. The reverberation time is the time it takes for a sound, once its source is stopped, to decrease until it becomes inaudible (at one millionth of its initial value). A concert hall which reverberates is called alive and a concert hall which has a short reverberation time is called dead or dry. Theaters used for spoken word are normally dead to avoid echoes. When a note of music is played in one of these theaters, the sound appears to reach the first row of seats and then it disappears, or dies. Thus microphones and speakers need to be used if music is played here. But at Sala So Paulo there are no speakers. The notes bounce off of the walls, off of the smooth fabric of the seats, off of the irregularities in the wooden panels, and reverberate around the room without the help of speakers. Certain music played at Sala So Paulo such Mozarts Jupiter require less reverberation time (1.5 seconds) so the ceiling is adjusted down. There is less air in the hall and less space for the notes to reverberate. Other concerts such as Brahms Rquiem require a longer reverberation time (2.1 seconds) so the ceiling is moved up. The higher ceiling means more air, so the music can bounce around more. Upon its completion, the Sala So Paulo project received the highest award for acoustics from the United States Institute for Theater Technology. On a more practical level Sala So Paulo also has excellent parking facilities, and an excellent refreshments area. Before the concert and during intermission, one can enjoy delicious soups, crepes, pastries and champagne. And the hot chocolate alone makes the trip across town well worthwhile! So once you are back from vacation, unpacked, back in the rhythm, try out a concert from Mozarteum or OSESP at the beautiful Sala So Paulo. And then be one of the first to call at the beginning of the year to reserve your season tickets, because each year, they sell out faster and faster!

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July 2nd was a Fourth to be applauded


(continued from front page) The smiles returned when the marshmallows were consumed hot and gooey. We want to thank everyone who helped make this a success. Our Decoration and Kitchen teams were fantastic, as well as the Consulate staff who made everything possible. Thank you, thank you, thank you! A special Thank You to David Warren and his family for endless hours of coordination and dedication to making this a fun event for all. Weve uploaded some pictures onto the AMSOC website for your viewing delight.

AmSoc sports - May Tennis tournament


On May 14th AmSoc members gathered at Davids Tennis to take part in the AmSoc tennis tournament. After many fun games Luiz Garcia emerged as the winner and was rewarded with a blue tennis shirt as a prize. We are planning to repeat the tennis tournament in the near future so if you are interested in taking part please contact the AmSoc office to leave your details.
Photo below: The AmSoc tournament team Photo right: Amsoc member John Griffith delivering the prize to winner Luiz Garcia

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August

The American Society of So Paulo

Pra Gente Simplesmente Ser Feliz: An interview with Toquinho


By Simone Kliaas Vida Jovem and the American Society are pleased to invite you to our annual benefit event, to be held on September 24, beginning at 7:30 p.m., at the Sheraton WTCs Golden Hall. The event will begin with a cocktail hour, followed by dinner, an auction, and finally a presentation by the celebrated musician Toquinho and his band. Vida Jovem is the Brazilian affiliate of St. Louis-based Boys Hope Girls Hope, which also operates in Guatemala, Mexico, and Peru as well as 15 US cities. According to Mark Abrams, a member of the American Society and a director at Vida Jovem, the goals of this event are twofold: to raise funds to help cover the operating costs of Vida Jovem and to promote the organization by raising awareness for what the Vida Jovem does to help create opportunities for youth in need. For over 24 years Vida Jovem has battled poverty and worked with children-in-need and their families in So Paulo. Vida Jovem nurtures the children who are placed in its familylike homes and provides healthy food, medical and psychological support and the opportunity for a good education. Many of the children study in private schools and upon high school graduation they are encouraged to continue their studies in college on scholarships provided by Vida Jovem. This years benefit will include a special presentation by Toquinho, one of the great MPB (Popular Brazilian Music) stars of all time. Toquinho formed a partnership with the famous poet and music composer, Vincius de Moraes, and together they made history with a series of hits: Aquarela, Tarde em Itapo, Regra Trs, Samba de Orly, and Carta ao Tom, among many others. In addition to writing songs with Vincius, Toquinho worked with many other music greats, such as Chico Buarque, Jorge Benjor (Que Maravilha) , Paulinho da Viola (Triste, Gente Humilde), Elifas Andreato, and Belchior. Toquinho is also known for his dedication to children, both for the music he has composed and as an advocate for childrens rights. In 1986, working with Elifas Andreato, Toquinho developed his most important work related to children, the CD Cano de Todas as Crianas, which was inspired by the Universal Declaration of Rights for Children 10 principles approved by the United Nations. Toquinho has been recognized by the U.N. for this contribution. And he is looking forward to playing at this years Vida Jovem and American Society benefit. Here is what he had to say in an exclusive interview for Forum. What does taking part in an event like this mean to you? We have to support all projects that seek to offer children, adolescents, and their families a chance to build or rebuild their lives. And thats the purpose of Vida Jovem supporting and giving guidance to these people so they can achieve an educational, cultural, and professional level that allows them to live with dignity. What are the highlights of the set list you will play at this concert? The highlights are the songs that were very successful in my career songs the audience likes to hear and to sing along with making the concert a time for relaxation and synergy. And Juliana, a former resident of Vida Jovem, will sing a song with me during the performance. You have always worked in partnership with great musicians. Who are your new partners? I am currently recording a CD with brand-new songs. This CD will include two new partners: Antonio Skrmeta, a great Chilean writer and poet, and Jade, my daughter. There are also songs with old partners, like Francis Hime, Carlinhos Vergueiro, Eduardo Gudin, and Dora Vergueiro. And others for which I have written the lyrics and music. I have done songs with numerous partners who worked with me on particular projects, people like: Paulo Csar Pinheiro, who recorded all the songs on Mosaico with me; Paulinho da Viola (the song Sinal Aberto); Kabelo (the song Cosmonauta Musical); and Elifas Andreato, with whom I am preparing A Casa do Tempo, a recording for children that follows the same playful model as the previous ones. In your opinion, who are the new talents in Brazilian music? There is a lot of new talent appearing on the Brazilian music scene, with different characteristics. Within the MPB music style, I would point to some new musicians who have already built a reputation, like Maria Gad and Roberta S. Others who have attracted a significant number of new fans are Ti, a singer who has already worked with me and who, in addition to her graceful style, has a voice with a lovely tone, with a timbre that is sweet and pleasant to listen to; Vernica Ferriani, who is working with me now, and Kabelo. When will the CD with new songs come out? Who is taking part in it? The launch is scheduled for the end of this year by Biscoito Fino, with Ivete Sangalo and Zeca Pagodinho possibly participating. Tickets for this benefit event and concert are still available. To book yours, please contact Celina at the American Society office: (11) 5182-2074. Event details: September 24, beginning at 7:30 p.m. Golden Hall Sheraton WTC, Av. das Naes Unidas, 12551

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CLASSifiEdS
H ousing
Furnished apartment for rent Vila Nova Conceio. So Paulos Best place to live. Near Ibirapuera Park. Modern building with sports facilities, heated swimming pool, three bedrooms (one suite), a living room with terrace, complete kitchen, maids bedroom and bathroom, big service area, two parking spaces. Fully furnished with all appliances. Call Alex or Eliane at (11) 3849-7085 or (11) 8635-7788, or send an e-mail to alex@caboverde.com.br. Furnished apartment for rent in Bela Vista Brand new apartment and building a few blocks from Paulista and the Metro. 52 sq mts, hard wood floors, all new fixtures, appliances, two bedrooms, one bathroom, living room and open kitchen, balconies, laundry room, two garage spaces. Building amenities include garden, gym and common living/receiving space downstairs, rooftop swimming pool and bar. Call Ann at 8578-9134

S ervices
Personal Trainer I will come to your home, office, or workout facility and create an exercise/fitness program tailored to your health concerns, fitness goals, and schedule. For adults and children, individuals or groups. Sessions in English, Spanish, or Portuguese. For more information please contact Daniela Franco at (11) 9739-6191 or dsf29@ hotmail.com. Selling Up Go with a pro! We have been selling household goods for families, individuals, and companies for more than 20 years in So Paulo and Brasilia for embassies. We have hundreds of preselected clients wanting to buy from you, safe and sound! Send an e-mail to meredithsales@ zaquie.com or zaquie@zaquie.com or call (11) 5908-1144 or (11) 7997-8808. Ask for Ms. Zaquie Meredith. Argos Dog Kennel Traveling? What about your dog? Argos Kennel Hotel could be his second home in the country. Food, water, and shelter with lots of love and personal care. No lonely kennel for him, but our home and the freedom of a spacious garden. Fetch and carry service. English and French spoken. Call Jean or Christiane at (11) 4661-1430 or (11) 7143-0837 or send an e-mail to jean.chris@uol.com.br. Embu Guau, SP. Math and Science Tutor Former Graded and Chapel teacher, with 25years experience, tutors Math, Physics, Chemistry, and Science for all levels, including but not limited to the IB, IGCSE, SAT-I & II, AP and Brazilian vestibular. Elementary and middle school students are also welcome (all subjects). Call Fernando Knijnik at (11) 9134-6700. American-Licensed Expat Psychologist American-Licensed Psychotherapist In this busy and ever-changing world, people often feel stressed and overwhelmed with no place to turn. Psychotherapy/counseling can provide a safe place to receive professional guidance and support. Brief or longer-term therapy offered depending on your needs, goals and expectations. Services: individual, couples, child/adolescent. Certified to conduct Adoption Home Study for American Citizens. Contact: Pamela Wax, MSW/LCSW at 5051-5988 or 9656-2106 or send an e-mail to pamwax@gmail.com. Located in Moema. American-Licensed Clinical Psychologist Heloisa Garman, Psy.D. U.S.-licensed Clinical Psychologist (covered by U.S. health insurance). Bilingual, with extensive private practice in Chicago and former therapist at the Family Institute at Northwestern Uni. Treats individuals, couples, and families. Specialized in anxiety, depression, cultural issues, and adjustment disorders. Call Dr. Garman at (11)7179-9723 or 3898-2330 or send an e-mail to hcbgarman@aol.com. Music classes for piano or keyboard Special method for children 4 years and older, teenagers, adults and senior citizens. Classes in Portuguese or English. Contact Suely Azevedo, 8456-5365. Years of successful experience! Class in your house in Morumbi and South area. Art Business I create and supervise the production of artistic custom-made trophies for sports competitions, employee incentive programs, promotional campaigns and Christmas gifts. Bronze, resin and marble are the materials usually used and its possible to make any quantity. Id like to invite you to visit my site: www.nadjavenezian.com.br, art@nadjavenezian.com.br. Nadja 5535-0937 or 8921-0165

A classified of up to 350 characters costs R$55 for AmSoc members and R$80 for non-members. To place a classified please call (11) 5182-2074 from 8:30 a.m. until 1 p.m., or send an e-mail to amsoc1@ americansociety.com.br.

Forum does not check all of the advertisers appearing in this newsletter. We urge you to use these services; however, thoroughly check prices and services prior to finalizing any service or purchase agreement.

Richard Morhaime, Psy.D., offers skilled psychotherapy for children and adults. He also provides complete diagnostic evaluations in English for children with academic or behavioral difficulties, featuring individualized recommendations for school and home. For more information, contact Dr. Morhaime at 5538-0099 or 9669-8057 or visit www.expatpsychologist.com.

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A Note to Our Readers

Place a Classified

Forum

August

CALENdAr
August 2011
01 Monday
Important Dates: 14 Fathers Day (Br)

The American Society of So Paulo


Learn more about this months AmSoc events (highlighted) at www.amsoc.com.br.
Scottish Country Dancing Club 1st Monday of every month, outside Drake's Pub, in the Brazilian British Centre in Pinheiros, at 8 pm. A menina das nuvens is the story of a child that was created by the Time and decides to come to Earth to search for her origins. The opera rescues to our repertoire a forgotten piece of the greatest Brazilian composer of the twentieth century, Villa-Lobos, revealing its strength, vigor and poetry. At Theatro Municipal de So Paulo, a great opportunity to visit the theatre that has been remodelled. For more informations and to buy your ticket click on www.ingressorapido.com.br From 9am 12pm at Scandinavian Church - Rua Job Lane, 1030. Members - Free; NonMembers - R$10. Were invited dozens of local crafts people and artisans to offer their wares in a comfortable environment for shopping. For more information, visit www.newcomers-sp.com.br At Graded School from 9am - 11am. More information on www.amsoc.com.br

07 - 14

Sunday to Sunday

Opera A menina das nuvens

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Wednesday

INC Monthly Coffee & Bazzar

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Saturday

Little League sign-up and pancake breakfast Dionne Warwick In Concert (SINGLE PRESENTATION)

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Tuesday

Hits as "Walk on By" and "Say A Little Prayer" Dionne Warwick comes to Theatre Bradesco - Shopping Bourbon R. Turiassu - Piso Perdizes. In one presentation at 21pm. Buy your ticket: www.ingressorapido.com.br It will be held from 10:00 - 12:00 p.m. RSVP redrose@newcomers-sp.com.br by August 15th,2011. For more information, visit www.newcomers-sp.com.br More information on www.amsoc.com.br Die Meister Stube - Rua Baro do Triunfo, 1213 - Brooklin - Clube Kolpinghaus. Buffet style incluiding the following: Cocktail, buffet of selection of German food, pasta, beef stew Salads and vegetables Potatoes and rice Dessert (apfelstrudel with ice cream). R$ 44,00 per person except drinks. Please RSVP to luncheons@newcomers-sp.com.br

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Wednesday

INC Red Rose

18 27 31

Thursday Saturday Wednesday

INC Let's Speak Portuguese Club Jazz Night INC Monthly Lucheon

Enjoyed this publication? Become an American Society Member and get a free Forum subscription!
For more than 60 years The American Society of So Paulo has worked to establish a strong network for expats living and working in So Paulo. Join Today!!! Visit our website at www.amsoc.com.br and fill in our on-line form or call the AmSoc office at 5182-2074

2011

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15

Samba School starts now


By Maureen Kennedy Alves, AmSoc board member Yes, its August and still winter in So Paulo. But if youre looking to put a little sizzle into a cold winter night, nothing beats a visit to one of the citys many samba schools. If youre new to Brazil, you may be wondering what a samba school is. In that case, think Carnaval. Each group that showcases its elaborate music, costumes and floats on the Sambodromo the main way to cap off a romantic evening. Youll want to visit a samba school when youre in the mood to shake what we call in the United States your booty or at least have fun watching others shake theirs. The eliminatrias and rehearsals are generally held in what is called a quadra a large open space that resembles more a small airport hangar than an intimate music lounge. Crowds can reach a thousand, but dont let that intimidate y o u . Everybody is happy, singing and dancing to the infectious beats of the bateria the infamous s a m b a band with drums. And, of course, t h e r e s always cold beer and caipirinhas for sale in case youre Samba school Vai-Vai h a v i n g trouble finding your Carnaval parade ground is a samba inner Brasileiro. school. And while Carnaval doesnt start The tradition of samba schools first until mid-February, July and August is started in Rio, back in the late 1920s. By when the action heats up again. 1935, the samba schools had expanded During the winter months, the schools to So Paulo and the city held its first are busy with the important task of samba school competition in 1950. Today choosing the song that they will take to there are over 20 samba schools in So Carnaval. Each school chooses a theme Paulo, but some are more famous than or enredo and then various composers others. Vai-Vai is perhaps one of the best create original samba music around that known in the city and was the winner of theme. During the next couple of months, the Carnaval competition last year. Other the schools will hold eliminatrias every famous schools include Gavies da Fiel, week, during which they play the different Mocidade Alegre, Sociedade Rosas de songs until one is finally chosen. Once the Ouro and X-9 Paulistana. theme song is selected, the official samba Below is the website and contact school rehearsals or ensaios begin. information for these schools, as well as When you go to a samba school the days and times of their eliminatrias. eliminatria or rehearsal, keep in mind Admission price is listed when available that it may not be the best family event be sure to bring cash with you as credit for the kids. Nor would it be an ideal cards may not be accepted. Gavies da Fiel www.gavioes.com.br R. Cristina Tomaz, 183 Bom Retiro 11-3221-2066 Fridays (Beginning September 9) at 10 pm, $R10 Mocidade Alegre www.mocidadealegre.com.br Av. Casa Verde, 3498 Limo 11-3857-7525 Sundays at 5 pm, R$12 Sociedade Rosas de Ouro www.sociedaderosasdeouro.com.br R. Coronel Euclides Machado, 1066 Freguesia do 11-3931-0608 Fridays at 7 pm, R$10 Vai Vai www.vaivai.com.br R. So Vicente, 276 Bela Vista 11-3266-2581 Sundays at 7 pm X-9 Paulistana www.x9paulistana.com.br Av. Luiz Dumont Villares, 324 Parada Inglesa 11-2959-3377 Sundays at 8 pm If going to a samba school rehearsal just isnt enough, you can take it one step further and actually participate in the Carnaval parade. All you need to do is buy a samba school costume (called a fantasia) and show up where and when the school tells you to. No rehearsal or dance experience necessary. The samba schools of So Paulo start selling their costumes in October. For more information, call the samba school directly (if your Portuguese allows) or contact a tourist agency like the one below about special Carnaval packages that include the price of a costume. RCS Travel & Tourism www.rio-carnival.net