A Week of Food and Brazilian Culture
at Busboys and Poets
2021 14th St. NW Washington, DC
September 9 to 15, 2007
Axé Brasil is a special week of food and culture from Bahia at Busboys and Poets. The word axé can mean many different things, but it is often used in Brazil as a generic term for the positive energy emanating from Afro-Brazilian cults or simply as a daily greeting or blessing, to wish peace and happiness. This week (September 9 to 15) will showcase delicious specialties from Bahia, the most culturally African of the states of Brazil. Busboys and Poets´ chef KK, fresh from a trip to research the flavors of Bahia´s rich and highly appreciated cuisine, and chef Nivaldo, coming from the famous Senac Restaurant School in historic Pelourinho, Bahia, will present some of their recipes, to be accompanied by caipirinha, a mixture of sugar cane liquor and tropical fruit juices that is a favorite drink in Brazil. Aside from the gastronomy itself, there will be other cultural activities, with live music played by artists from Brazil, presentations on religion, food, literature and the screening of award-winning documentaries about the poet Vinicius de Moraes, the singer Maria Bethânia and the drumming troupe Olodum.
Sunday September 9 – From 8 to 9 pm
Accordion player Gigi MacLaughlin plays traditional music from the Northeast of Brazil.
Monday, September 10 – From 6 to 9 pm
Screening of documentary Maria Bethania: Music is Perfume
Post Screening Discussion: Professor Bryan McCann, Georgetown University
In his captivating film, Georges Gachot invites us to enter the universe of Maria Bethania, the famous Brazilian singer. Narrated by Bethania herself, the film not only gives us an insight into the intimate realm of Maria Bethania’s creative process, but focuses on the history of Brazilian music. First a muse of Brazil´s counter culture, and then a queen of romantic ballads, Maria Bethania chronicles her musical life experience along with Brazilian society’s development. In addition to this, filmmaker Gachot gathers together a fantastic ensemble of contributors including Gilberto Gil, Nana Caymmi, Miucha, Chico Buarque and Caetano Veloso.
Tuesday, September 11 – From 6 to 8 pm
Poets night – Inspired by Jorge Amado.
Talk : Food and literature, the spice of Brazilian Culture
Speaker and moderator: Professor Regina Igel, University of Maryland
The talk will evoke the way Jorge Amado, one of Brazil most beloved writers (he died in 2001 at age 93), enlivened his novels with rapturous pleasures put forth by food in Bahia, thus uncovering the epicurean sensuality of many of his Bahian characters..
Wednesday, September 12 – From 6 to 8 pm
There will be a cooking demonstration by Chef Nivaldo Lins Filho from the Senac Restaurant School in Pelourinho, Bahia, where he is the Head of the Cuisine Department. He participated in the 1994 International Trade Show, in Nancy, France, in the 1998 International Show on Bahian Cuisine, in Lisbon, Portugal, and the 2006 International Show on Bahian Cuisine, in Bogota, Colombia. Chef Nivaldo has also been the winner of many regional cooking contests held by the hospitality industry in Brazil.
Cooking for Orixás, Food and Religion in the Afro-Brazilian Cultural Tradition, by Paulo Andre Lima, a diplomat and researcher on cultural issues.
The lecture will explore the relationship between food and religion in Candomblé, one of the main Afro-Brazilian religious traditions, in order to show how cooking, offering, eating and sharing food play a pivotal role in the ritual worship of the orixás, in the public religious celebrations and in the transmission of the axé, the intangible force that is at the core of the yoruba cosmology.
From 8 to 10pm
Screening of documentary Olodum, a drumming troupe from Bahia. 25th anniversary show, at the summer festival in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil. This is the band that made samba reggae famous. The music of Olodum is enigmatic and sensual. It creates dreams based on traditional rituals.
Thursday, September 13 – From 6 to 7.30 pm – Capoeira Demonstration
Developed by African slaves in Brazil, Capoeira (ka-poo-eh-ra) is a 400-year-old martial art filled with self-expression that blends music, dance, singing, and acrobatics to create a holistic approach to teaching self-defense and to demonstrate the potential of the human body and spirit. The songs sung by capoeiristas are accompanied by a number of percussion instruments like the tambourine (pandeiro), bells (agogo), and, most importantly, the berimbau, a one-stringed instrument brought from Africa. The ginga, roughly translated as swing, is the basic movement that is set to the rhythm of the instruments. After the abolition of slavery in Brazil, a law prohibited the practice of capoeira. However, capoeiristas did their best to keep the tradition alive, and by presenting it as a folk art, they made the practice of capoeira more acceptable to the society. Still, feeling that capoeira was losing its characteristics, Mestre Bimba, a legendary Capoeira Master, rescued the art form and decided to create a particular method, known today as Regional Baiana. In 1932, he opened capoeira´s first school in Bahia, Brazil. Today Capoeira is practiced all over the world. With the addition of Mestre Bimba’s newer and faster style.
From 8 to 10pm – Chora Brasil Band Live feed with WPFW Sounds of Brasil
Choro is an instrumental style of Brazilian music that developed in the late nineteenth century (c. 1870) in Rio de Janeiro. It is an urban popular style that has many similarities with American Ragtime and is the root of most Brazilian music, including samba and bossa nova. The choro ensemble Chora Brasil is a typical formation consisting of 7-string guitar, cavaquinho (a small four-string instrument similar and related to the ukelele), flute, pandeiro (tambourine) and trombone. The pieces were selected from the standard choro repertoire dating back to 1893: Vê se Gostas and Delicado (Waldyr Azevedo), Doce de Coco, Receita de Samba and Noites Cariocas (Jacob do Bandolim), Carinhoso and Lamento (Pixinguinha), Sons de Carrilhões (João Pernambuco), Brejeiro (Ernesto Nazareth) and Tico Tico no Fubá (Zequinha de Abreu).
Friday, September 14 – From 12:30am to 1:30pm
Lunch with Bossa Nova. Live music with Brazilian guitar player Richard Miller.
From 6 to 8pm
Screening of documentary Vinicius, about the Brazilian poet Vinicius de Moraes.
From 8 to 9pm
Post Screening discussion with Professor Regina Igel, University of Maryland.
Vinicius de Moraes (1913-1980), the Rio de Janeiro-based legend who was also a poet, playwright, and diplomat. This affectionate documentary, directed by his ex-son-in-law and produced by his daughter, marshals a literal Who’s Who of Brazilian arts and letters to reminisce about the man, read his poetry, and sing his songs. There is, of course, archival footage of the poet himself, and the closing credits unfold to his own rendition of Samba de Bencao. Reportedly the second most popular Brazilian documentary of all time, Vinicius is an ingenious, resonant tribute. – Eddie Cockrell
Saturday, September 15 – From 10am to 1 pm
Rhythm experience – Batalá (an all women drumming band that will do its regular rehearsal at Busboys and Poets) Batalá is a form of Samba Drum music which originates in Salvador , Bahia in North Eastern Brazil. The music has its roots in African traditional music which found its way to Brazil and has been incorporated in to Brazilian culture since. http://www.batalawashington.com/
From 12:00 to 2pm
Workshop percussion with berimbau, tambourine and drums. Bring your instrument if you have one!
From 10pm to 1am
Axé Brasil Carnaval with Origem band, hosted by Tony Regusters (WPFW Radio Station)
Plus samba classes with Zezeh Pereira and the drawing of a raffle ( including 2 tickets to Bahia)
The Brazilian music group Origem has been performing in the Washington Metropolitan area for over 15 years. The group´s mission is to bring awareness of Brazilian culture through music. Origem has performed in many local and national music festivals and venues such as The Kennedy Center, The Carter Baron Amphitheater, the Taste of DC Festival, the Smithsonian Folk Life Festival, The National Gallery of Art among others. The group performs a variety of Brazilian music styles from the Southeast and Northeast regions of Brazil such as Samba, Bossa Nova , Forro, Afoxe and Maracatu. Origem was awarded a grant by DC. Arts Commission in 1998 to record a CD and its cofounders and leaders, Alejandro and Leonardo Lucini, have been nominated “Best Latin Musician” by WAMA. Origem is known for its incredible energy and fantastic repertoire, sure to bring the audience to its feet.
– Brazilian Embassy in Washington: www.brasilemb.org
– Busboys and Poets: www.busboysandpoets.com
– Pacifica Radio WPFW 89.3 FM: www.wpfw.org
– Bahiatursa – Bahia Tourism Authority: www.bahiatursa.ba.gov.br
– Tropical Hotel Bahia: http://www.tropicalhotel.com.br/destiny.page
– Restaurant School: www.ba.senac.br/html/unidades/unidades.asp?idunidade=9