Salvador Bahia Brazil

Salvador, Bahia, Brazil


As You've Never Experienced It


"There are certain countries, the names of which fire the popular imagination. Brazil is one of them; an amalgam of primitive and sophisticated, jungle and elegance, beating drums and luscious jazz harmonics -- there's no other place like it in the world. And while Rio, or its fame anyway, tends toward the elegant and sophisticated end of the spectrum, Bahia tends toward the other. Bahia is the land of the drum..."


The irony begins in the Recôncavo, the plantation area around Bahia's great bay (upon which presides the city of Salvador). This is to Brazil what the Mississippi Delta is to the United States: an area of poverty populated by the descendents of enslaved Africans who bequeathed to the nation around them a sublime body-and-soul-lifting art sprung straight from monumental heart. The key to Brazil lies in the alluvial soil here called massapé, fraught with sugarcane, and history.


Below find massapé danced upon in the quilombo (village founded by runaway slaves) of São Braz, Bahia, at the northern end of the Bay of All Saints (about an hour from Salvador by car). This is João do Boi (John of the Ox) and family and friends...

Are You a Dedicated Music Lover?

Join João do Boi (that's João above in the black hat to the right when the clip is running) and  Raimundo Sodré and Bule Bule (in the leather hat below, singing around the corner from our headquarters in a truly splendid clip including other brilliant "unknown" musicians from around Brazil) and hundreds of magnificent musicians both here in Bahia, in Brazil, and around the world...

What do you get for it? Allow me to rephrase the question: "What do others get from your participation?" The answer is that they get recommended by you (who you recommend is of course for you to decide), straight out, or/and categorically (like, a recommendation for playing uilleann pipes, for example). Then somebody landing on your page can find them. As somebody landing on the page of someone recommending you can get to you that way.

More: With all these recommendations together in one systemic network, trails are created (Euterpean Pathways, I like to think of them), allowing people to move, step by step by step, to musicians they might never otherwise find, and experience.

João do Boi, for example, once virtually unreachable, can be accessed through pathways leading from Airto Moreira. And Aaron Goldberg. And Wayne Shorter biographer Michelle Mercer. And Lena Horne / Chet Baker biographer James Gavin. And documentary filmmaker Simon Brook. And New Orleans writer/journalist Jay Mazza. And Mad Genius Peter Dasent. And Irish Soul Man (viz The Commitments) Eamonn Flynn...


Musical backwaters, whether they be in backlands Brazil or backatown New Orleans, become eminently accessible from all over the world. A light is shone. We find ourselves lifted by a little help from our friends and a lot of help from people we don't even know. Earth spins in the blackness of space, humming like a singing top. Somebody oughta hang a sign on the place:


"Welcome to the Musical Planet! (now there's a way to potentially hear it all)"



Tours through Salvador & The Recôncavo



Tours through old Salvador -- the Centro Histórico -- and for the more adventurous, into the Recôncavo around the other side of the bay (analogous in Brazil to the Mississippi Delta in the United States), to the sambas-de-roda (per the clip above) and festivals out there (depending on what's going on).


Help us tell the world about this amazing place and its amazing culture. Links to are incredibly appreciated: twitter, facebook, blogs & websites... News organizations please contact (below we're being interviewed by David Dye of World Café for broadcast on U.S. National Public Radio).