Salvador da Bahia, Brazil Central
The Deep Guide to Brazil's Essentiality

Sprawled across broad equatorial latitudes, stoked and steamed and sensual in the widest sense of the word... limned in cadenced song...
its very name born in heat and embers, Brazil is a conundrum wrapped in a smile inside an irony.
  Salvador - Small World
To: Musicians/Journalists/Dedicated Listeners

From: An American Music Producer in Brazil

Subject: In music, all too often it's you can't get there from here. This is blatantly unnecessary nowadays and we're working to change it (with a lot of help from our friends).

- We are all very well connected: You and me and Quincy Jones. And Nicholas Payton and Tommy Peoples. And Joshua Bell and Mick Jagger. Plus every living musician and producer out there. Via the phenomenon known as Small World/Six Degrees of Separation

- If we turn these intangible relations between musicians (and the people who listen to them) into tracks which can be followed, there will be a way, within a few short hops, for anybody to potentially reach any musician anywhere in the world (even if they've never heard of them).

- That's the theory. How do we put it into practice? Like this: Let people create followable connections to musicians (and others) in an online codex (codex is Latin for "book"). As in life, the connections themselves will be interconnected, meaning that people can move from musician to musician to musician (or any member) throughout the system.

- e.g. Herbie Hancock connects to a genius bass player known to him and his erudite friends. That guy connects to a singer in Cape Verde. She connects to a singer in Rio de Janeiro, who connects to a widely unknown band in New Orleans. They connect to a magnificent gypsy jazz guitarist who lives in a trailer in Belgium...

- Beyond world-wide-wired interlinkability, codex pages can also be linked out to everything else one might want findable: website, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube channel, Spotify, Soundcloud, music download sites, etc.

- The beautiful upshot of all this being that for the first time since man began making music over 30,000 years ago, musicians across-the-board are within reach of the world-at-large. By way of a musical democracy curated by the deepest, most subtle and powerful recommendation software ever devised: the collective human mind.

- I hope you'll be a part of it! (Non-musicians welcome too.)

- Thank you!

www.musicodex.com

Sparrow Roberts
www.musicodex.com/profile/sparrowroberts

- Who am I and why do I care about this?

- I'm an American who's lived for the past twenty-two years in Bahia, Brazil, where among other things I opened a record shop (Cana Brava Records) devoted to the primordial samba of the Bahian backlands and where I spend the time I can out in the small communities (fishing villages usually) where this music still exists.

- "Sparrow" is the English-language version of what Brazilians call me...Pardal. David Dye was here last year and I organized a show for his World Café:

http://www.xpn.org/world-cafe/guests/item/2917-samba-chula-de-sao-braz-and-randy-sparrow-roberts

- I work with masterful but far-from-the-mainstream musicians who inspired the creation of a system of human chainlinks to carry knowledge of them and their music -- and that of others -- out into the world beyond the horizon.

- Before moving to Brazil I lived in New York city and "rescued" unpaid royalties for Led Zeppelin, Mongo Santamaria, Aretha Franklin, Barbra Streisand, Philip Glass, the estate of Duke Ellington, Jim Hall, Ray Barretto, Airto Moreira, Astrud Gilberto, The Cadillacs (Earl Carroll), The Flamingos (Jake and Zeke Carey), among others.
CONTENTS

Salvador sits on a vast bay -- a Baía de Todos os Santos (the Bay of All Saints), which at 1,100 square kilometers, 70 kilometers from north to south, and 60 kilometers from east to west (at its widest point) is the largest in Brazil.  A Baía de Todos os Santos is fed by the Paraguaçu river (among numerous smaller sources), which opens into the smaller bay of Iguape, which in turn gives onto the principal bay. The largest town along the Paraguaçu is Cachoeira.

Itaparica

What appears to be the other side of the bay as you look out over the water from Salvador, is actually the ilha (island) of Itaparica (ee-tah-pah-REE-kah). Itaparica is the largest of the bay's 56 islands, and there are two ways of getting there: the ferryboat and the pequena lancha, or small boat (actually, if one is approaching the island from the far side of the bay, there is a short bridge). The pequena lancha has my vote, unless you're taking a car across.


Terminal Marítimo

The pequena lancha leaves from the Terminal Marítimo -- a blue-and-white building behind the Mercado Modelo -- and takes you right across to Mar Grande (a forty minute or so trip). It's not a small boat like, say, a rowboat (something I feel is necessary to point out given that pequena lancha = small boat), but it's small enough that the ride across the bay feels like an adventure in itself for more landlocked people...sun, sea, and air. Mar Grande (Big Sea) is a small town with a nice enough beach and some great barracas. The beach scene is especially hot (people-wise) during the summer months of January and February.


Disembarking at Mar Grande

Ponta de Areia (Sandy Point) is a huge, wide beach close to the northern tip of the island, kind of like the Daytona of Itaparica (in terms of the beach itself anyway). It's a good place to spend a day, again and more particularly, during Brazilian summer. Lots of barracas.

Transportation from place to place on the island is available in the form of kombis (a word familiar to German-speakers), usually Volkswagen vans which tend to congregrate at disembarkation points and which will drop one off anywhere along their routes. Likewise they will pick up anyone flagging them down at any point along those routes. There are also city-type buses running from Bom Despacho, the island's landing point for the big ferry-boat.

Of the smaller islands (meaning not Itaparica), one of the most popular as a destination via schooner or ferry boat is the Ilha de Maré (Tide Island), located in the northern area of the bay. Boats generally pull up to the praia (beach) of Itamoabo, and because there is no pier one reaches the beach by getting off the boat into waist-deep water and wading up to dry ground. Itamoabo is nice, though not particularly beautiful in and of itself, and it is lined by the usual Bahian assortment of slap-dash barracas and bars serving beer, carangueijo (crabs), and fish.


Disembarking at the Ilha (Island) of Maré

Some three hundred meters or so along the island's coast to the left (as one faces out to the water) is a truly lovely little beach called Praia das Neves (Beach of the Snows, not much frequented except during high Brazilian summer) which has several houses set up as beachbars, very sweet and organized.

Maré is home to a small population of fishermen. Their communities are not visible from either of the two beaches described above, and are only reachable by boat or walking (not that I'm suggesting an excursion unless one happens to be curious). From Itamoabo a small sidewalk wends its way up a hill, then back down to the community of Santana where, on the weekends, the inhabitants will be doing what the visitors on Itamoabo are doing -- sitting in simple bars drinking beer and talking.


Itamoabo; the walk in the middle leads to back the village of Santana

The next community along -- Praia Grande (Big Beach) -- is only reachable by following the water's edge (or wading if the tide is high). This is perhaps why Praia Grande started its life as a quilombo.

From Praia Grande on one may (or could rather, I'm not recommending this) continue to follow the island's shoreline and circumnavigate; or there is a "shortcut" (a trek along a narrow twisting trail with some very muddy spots, also not recommended!) up through Atlantic rainforest, over the deserted center of the island, and down to the peaceful (and poor) little community of Botelho on the island's far side.

Botelho sits directly across from the Port of Aratú (an industrial boil on what would otherwise be a beautiful landscape) and is home to Maré's only pier. On weekends when the weather is nice Botelho's small, open-air bar is packed with off-islanders who've arrived by speedboat.

Continuing along the coast takes one past the island's high-walled brothel and on to the community of Neves, and thence back to Itamoabo.


Mariene de Castro


Walmir Lima in Cana Brava Records

Ah, eu vim de Ilha de Maré minha senhora
Prá fazer samba na Lavagem do Bonfim
Saltei na rampa do mercado e segui na direção
Cortejo armado na Igreja da Conceição
Aí de carroça andei, comadre,
Aí de carroça andei, compadre

Ah, quando eu cheguei no Bonfim minha senhora
Da carroça enfeitada eu saltei
Com água, flores e perfume,
A escada da colina eu lavei

Aí foi que eu sambei, compadre
Aí foi que eu sambei, comadre...
Aí foi que eu sambei, compadre
Aí foi que eu sambei, comadre...

Ah, I've come from Tide Island my lady
To samba at the Lavagem do Bonfim
I got off at the market ramp and headed for the cortege

Ready at the Church of the Immaculate Conception
From there I went by wagon, comrade,
From there I went by wagon, compadre

Ah, when I arrived in Bonfim my lady
From the decorated wagon I descended
And with water, flowers and perfume,
I washed the stairway on the hill

And it was then that I sambaed, compadre
And it was then that I sambaed, comrade...
And it was then that I sambaed, compadre
And it was then that I sambaed, comrade.


The fishing village of Santana on the Ilha de Maré

The Ilha do Paty & As Paparutas


As Paparutas dancing to Bahian samba (samba-de-roda) with dishes typical to the region

The Ilha do Paty was once the location of a quilombo (village or collection of villages founded by runaway slaves from the region's numerous sugarcane plantations), and the quilombo continues there to this day (although, like Brazil's other quilombos, it is no longer known as such, the currently used term being remanescente do quilombo ("remains of a quilombo"). In English that sounds dead, and these places are very much alive. There is no regular boat service to the island, one of two principal points of embarkation being the fishing village of Santo Estevão, below.


Santo Estevão


The Ilha do Paty, with the village at the bottom (thanks Google!)


Paparutas on their off hours


Mario of Santo Estevão on the rudder, returning from Paty.

Cajaíba, New Luxury on the Northernmost Island


Casa Grande (the Big House) on the Island of Cajaíba

The expansive residence in the paradisical setting above was the abode of the tyrannical Barão de Cajaiba (Baron of Cajaíba), infamous for his cruelty to his slaves. Not surprisingly, there was a quilombo hidden away on another island in the area, one which still exists to this day.

 


Cajaíba from the air, with São Francisco do Conde in the upper right-hand corner. Cajaíba fits into the northernmost point of the bay like a piece into a puzzle.

And, in a twist of modern irony, the entire island was recently purchased and will be developed as a luxury resort.


TOURS of SALVADOR & ENVIRONS
by writer Ben Paris
The Good, the Bad, & the Beautiful
Apartment Rental Salvador: Alain!

Apartment Rental Salvador: Alain

An American in Brazil
A-Class Service & Communication!
Apartment Rental Salvador: Daniel!

Apartment Rental Salvador: Daniel

A San Francisco Native in Brazil
A-Class Service & Communication!
ALL Available Hotels
in Salvador!

All Hotels in Salvador

Much More Comfortable than
Sleeping on the Beach!
Home - Salvador Central

Home: Salvador Central

A Tour Guide to
Salvador & Environs

A Tour Guide to Salvador

Salvador, the City

Salvador & Its Spirit

A Short History of
Salvador da Bahia

A Short History of Salvador da Bahia

Carnival in Salvador

Carnival in Salvador

What Brazil Does Best...

Salvador's Music Site

The World Cup in Salvador

World Cup Salvador

Salvador's Old City: Pelourinho

Salvador's Old City

Salvador's Neighborhoods, Streets,
Praças & Byways

Salvador's Neighborhoods

Blood, Sweat, & Prayers: Salvador Sites
& History

Salvador Sites

Once Upon a Night in Brazil:
A Short History of
Brazilian Music

A History of Brazilian Music

Sweet Fields, Bitter Harvest:
The Music of Bahia

Music of Bahia

And the Whole Musical Planet!

Salvador's Music Site

About Us

About Us

The Sacred & the Profana: Festas

Festas

Food & Eating Out in Salvador

Food in Salvador

Drinking in Salvador

Drinking in Salvador

Salvador's Beach Scene

Salvador's Beaches

Islands in the Bay

Islands in the Bay

What's On in Salvador

What's On in Salvador

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Download GREAT
Brazilian Music

Download Great Brazilian Music

Ubiquitous Deities: Candomblé

Candomblé

Capoeira: Dance Like a Baryshnikov, Hit Like a Kalashnikov

Capoeira

Salvador's Afoxés & Blocos Afros

Salvador's Afoxe's & Blocos Afros

Percussion Classes in Salvador:
Heaviest Hands

Percussion Classes in Salvador

Brazilian Music
Workshops & Tours

Brazilian Music Workshops

Group Lodging in Salvador:
Professional & Student

Group Lodging in Salvador

Learning Portuguese:
Lessons & Classes

Learning Portuguese

Money Matters

Money Matters

Buying Property in Salvador

Buying Property in Salvador

S.O.S. Brazil: Volunteer Work

Volunteer Work

How to Avoid Being
Robbed & Cheated

How to Avoid Being Robbed & Cheated

Off Salvador's Beaten Track

Off Salvador's Beaten Track

How to Get Around:
Buses, Taxis, & Cars

How to Get Around

Black Market: Bahian Bazaar

Black Market

Outside of Salvador

Outside of Salvador

Other Voices

Other Voices

Kindred Spirits &
Fellow Travellers

Kindred Spirits

Fiction from Bahia

Fiction from Bahia

Dental Help in Salvador

Dental Help in Salvador

Current Weather & the Forecast

Current Weather

Apartment Rental Salvador: Alain!

Apartment Rental Salvador: Alain

Apartment Rental Salvador: Daniel!

Apartment Rental Salvador: Daniel

A Seaside Musical Guesthouse!

A Seaside Musical Guesthouse

An English-Owned Hotel!

An English-Owned Hotel

ALL Available Hotels
in Salvador!

All Hotels in Salvador


Ilha dos Frades (Isle of the Monks)


Beach on Ilha dos Frades


View of beach from 17th century church on hill


Church on hilltop

 
Salvador, the City

Salvador & Its Spirit
An Introduction to Salvador, Brazil

A Short History

A Short History of Salvador da Bahia
Some History of Salvador, Brazil

Musicians' Area

Salvador's Music Site
Non-musicians welcome too

Carnival in Salvador

Carnival in Salvador
Carnival in Salvador, Brazil

The World Cup

World Cup Salvador
The World Cup in Salvador, Brazil

The Old City: Pelourinho

Salvador's Old City
The Old Town in Salvador, Brazil

Salvador's Neighborhoods

Salvador's Neighborhoods
Neighborhoods in Salvador, Brazil

Salvador Sites & History

Salvador Sites
Some Sites in Salvador, Brazil

Brazilian Music

A History of Brazilian Music
Brazil's Brilliant Musical History

Apartment Rental: Alain

Apartment Rental Salvador: Alain
Apartments in Salvador, Brazil

The Music of Bahia

Music of Bahia
About Music in Salvador, Brazil

Bangin' Brazilian Music!


Listen to Music from Salvador, Brazil!

About Us

About Us
Stranger in a Strange Land

The Sacred & the Profana

Festas
Festas in Salvador, Brazil

Apartment Rental: Daniel

Apartment Rental Salvador: Daniel
Apartments in Salvador, Brazil

Food & Eating Out in Salvador

Food in Salvador
Cuisine in Salvador, Brazil

Drinking in Salvador

Drinking in Salvador
Tippling in Salvador, Brazil

Salvador's Beach Scene

Salvador's Beaches
Beaches in and About Salvador, Brazil

Islands in the Bay

Islands in the Bay
Islands in Salvador's Baía de Todos os Santos

An English-Owned Hotel!

An English-Owned Hotel
British Organization in Salvador, Brazil

What's On in Salvador

What's On in Salvador
Happenings in Salvador, Brazil

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions
Questions About Salvador, Brazil

Download Music

Download Great Brazilian Music
Get Music!

Ubiquitous Deities: Candomblé

Candomblé
Candomblé in Salvador, Brazil

A Seaside Musical Guesthouse!

A Seaside Musical Guesthouse
Musically Informed and Inspired

Capoeira: Dance Like a Baryshnikov, Hit Like
a Kalashnikov

Capoeira
Capoeira in Salvador, Brazil

Salvador's Afoxés &
Blocos Afros

Salvador's Afoxe's & Blocos Afros
Salvador's African Carnival Music

Percussion Classes in Salvador: Heaviest Hands

Percussion Classes in Salvador
Great Percussion Teachers in Salvador

Brazilian Music
Workshops & Tours

Brazilian Music Workshops
Music Tours of Salvador & Environs

Fiction from Bahia

Fiction from Bahia
Fiction Conceived and Written Here

Group Lodging in Salvador Professional & Student

Group Lodging in Salvador
Lodging in Salvador, Brazil

Learning Portuguese:
Lessons & Classes

Learning Portuguese
Portuguese Classes in Salvador, Brazil

Money Matters

Money Matters
Where to Change Money, etc.

Buying Property in Salvador

Buying Property in Salvador
Property in Salvador, Brazil

Dental Help in Salvador

Dental Help in Salvador
Hopefully you won't need it, but...

S.O.S. Brazil: Volunteer Work

Volunteer Work
Helping in Salvador, Brazil

How to Avoid Problems

How to Avoid Being Robbed & Cheated
Prudence in Salvador, Bahia

Off Salvador's Beaten Track

Off Salvador's Beaten Track
Far from the Maddening Crowds

Buses, Taxis, & Cars

How to Get Around
Gettin' Around in Salvador, Brazil

Current Weather & the Forecast

Current Weather
The Weather in Salvador, Brazil

Black Market: Bahian Bazaar

Black Market
Out of the Common Purchases

Outside of Salvador

Outside of Salvador
Ranging Outside of Salvador, Brazil

Other Voices

Other Voices
On Brazil, Life & Culture

Kindred Spirits

Kindred Spirits
Related Tenuously But Truly

Salvador Tours

 A Tour Guide to Salvador
A Writer's Tours