practice on the veranda much?

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Fun fun fun in the sun and the RAIN

Friday, the 21st, I played a gig with a DJ and guitarist, named Caetano Ribeiro, at a local club, called Kabana Bar- got some great pics and video from that- tons of fun, some dancing, singing/rapping/playing on my part. Caetano was awesome, too... he actually still remembers all of the guys who visited Campinas not 2 years ago- Adam, Jack, Zach, AJ, and Jon. Playing that night was seriously some of the most fun I've had in a while- reminded me of a Cincy Brass show, the band Moe and I play with frequently in Cincinnati, who actually is releasing the album on November 18th in Cincinnati, so look out for press release stuff on that. But this gig was about as much fun as I have playing with the Brass- we played "groove" tunes all night- anything from Temptations to Tupac to Average White Band... it was a lot of fun as the horn player. When I asked at first what I was supposed to do as the horn player- am I to memorize all of the lines? He said, "No man... just play along with it and if you know some of the lines and whatnot, go ahead!" Little did they know I was going to sing/rap as well because some of the tunes were right up my "alley"- Stevie Wonder, James Brown... SO YEAH- of course I had lots of fun! And great friends there, too!
While, Moe went to a beach during the last weekend, I had a rehearsal on Saturday in Sao Paulo with an orchestra that's playing for some fundraiser type thing. Anyways, my friend Daisuke is the conductor of the orchestra and I'm getting to play principal on Mozart 41 and a few other "world premiere" pieces as well written here, in Brazil. That was an interesting change after the night I had with Caetano playing with the DJ. That night, I celebrated my close friends' birthdays, Bruna and Guga- the latter of the two who's actually coming to Cincinnati to study abroad in this same FIPSE program--- really cool guitarist.
This past week: (and still Mike)
As far as school- some of the rehearsals and lessons were all sorts of “flip-flopped” and schedule turned into a bit of a mess. Not to worry, we got through things and got stuff done. At this point, normally, school would be winding down for us, since we’ve already had about 12 weeks of class and pretty much 5 more to go… it’s reaaaallly long with out a long break. So, around the holiday this next week, we’ve planned a trip to Brasilia to hang, play, and gig with our friends from there- Renato, Zack, and Jon- 2 of which are the other Americans from Louisville doing this same exchange program. We hope to run into our other friends, as well while we’re there!!!

Friday October 28, I played in Sao Paulo with Bob Wyatt- trying to get some recording stuff together for my graduate auditions. It was a master class featuring young guest artists at the school he works at called, “Faculdade Cantareira.” And guess who the guest artist was!!! The gig went well and I can use some of it I think. Still waiting to get some of the recordings because the master class was held in their recording studio. That was nice- also because my expenses were all covered, in wise of travel. Friday night, I got home and Moe was already gone for Sorocaba, so I chilled!

As far as my Halloween weekend, I’ve mostly spent it practicing, recording, and the master class on Friday. In terms of festivities, I don’t really think Brazil is completely indulged with Halloween as American culture is. So, I stayed in and relaxed- the power went out on Saturday night for a bit- sat around with the family I live with, talked and listened to the storm- really reminded me of Cincinnati and fall weather. I think it’s something like 5 and ½ weeks left until we return. Things are just getting better and better as we get closer to leaving- sometimes, I wish I could stay another 6 months! That’s all from me… onto Moe.

A little over a week ago I went with my landlords and their family on a trip. Sidebar- because one of them is a women would they be called my landpeople? But that just sounds ridiculous...landmasters maybe? Anyway, it was “Kid’s Day” if you were secular, and if you were religious it was ”Mary-Mother-of-God Day”...or something like that. We were supposed to go to São Paulo, but plans changed. First of all, there was some ridiculous fog, the likes of which I have never seen. Traffic came to a compete stand still. As the night crept in and the fog crept out, we decided to just hit the beach instead, Praia Grande (yup, you guessed it, Big Beach). It was my first experience with a Brazilian beach, and it was amazing. The feeling I felt that night running around on the beach was akin only to my first trip to Pirenópolis; on the bus ride there, it was so dark and so “country” I could see a lot of stars, all the stars that I could never see back home. But on this beach, it was kind of like that. Seeing the ocean in all it’s vastness, especially at night. And the sand was so fine, it makes the stuff on Long Island seem like half-chewed chunks of flotsam and jetsam spewed from some unholy orifice of the Earth.
This past weekend I ventured to two more beaches with my surrogate family. One in Bertioga, and the other on a little island nearby, Guarujá. While the beaches were a visual feast unto themselves, I would have been content with just the drive to them. We took the scenic route, driving through the mountains and down the coastline. The mountains were breathtaking, all covered in trees and gargantuan for the most part. One in particular caught my eye, mainly because it was so...cyclopean looking. As I was traveling through a few words came to mind, colossi, monolithic, ancient. And the way that the clouds hung around them, they were like castles in the sky, and the clouds were the drapes. The beaches were nice. Good food, good people, nice scenery. You’re sitting their, sipping on a caipirinha in a beach chair looking out at the ocean, and at the giant, floating island-mountain off to the side, and you can’t help but think, 'Wow, I’m really here, really in Brazil right now.'

More to come from Moe later about his weekend in Sorocaba and some other stuff...

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