I finally played in Brasil this past July. Thanks to the efforts of my friend Geraldo DeOliveira in Chicago, and Ciro Cruz and Flavio Guimaraes in Brasil, everything happened just as it was supposed to. Ciro put together the band- Toca DeLamare on piano, Mila Schiavo on percussion, and himself on bass.

We performed a combination of my tunes, Brasilian music, and some Trio Globo compositions that Ciro and the band learned on their own. Onstage at the first show in Rio, I got an incredible rush from the feeling of actually playing in Brasil after having played Brasilian music for so many years. We had three guest artists. I played 2 tunes with the great chromatic harmonica player and composer Mauricio Einhorn, and Flavio got up and joined us on harp (with me on piano) for a version of “Summertime”. Bernardo Lobo also sang his tune “Luz e Breu”.

I conducted harmonica workshops in Rio and Sao Paulo- many players showed up, and Mila and Flavio translated for me. After 2 nights at Bourbon Street in SP, I recorded a track with Flavio and a berimbau player for his next cd. Then, we played a blues gig together with Flavio’s excellent band in Campinas, a few hours drive inland. There is a thriving blues scene in Brasil. It’s a big country with as many musical styles as the US. The hospitality of the people, the great food, and just the feeling of being there make me want to go back many more times.

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