Next Best Thing to Catching a Plane to Brazil
Patricia LeĂŁo is everything Brazil in L.A.Â Originally from Brazilâ€™s neighboring country Bolivia, she grew up infused with Brazilian culture and quickly fell in love â€“ the dance, the food, and the people overtook her.Â For over 20 years now, Patricia and her Brazilian husband Gilberto have been bridging Angelenos with Brazilian culture. Â Brazilian Nites Productions brings you a taste of Brazil from beautiful samba dancers in ornate feathered headdresses and jeweled bikinis and the capoeira martial arts dance, to delectable grilled meat platters and perfectly muddled caipirinhas, Brazilâ€™s national cocktail.Â You experience it all.
Patricia ignited her career as a dancer and what began as a movement to spread the lambada fever in L.A. nightclubs, quickly exploded into a full-fledged production company.Â Brazilian Nites Productions has gained worldwide acclaim by bringing legendary musicians and bands from Brazil to create the hottest Brazilian events in Los Angeles.
Iâ€™ve never been to Brazil but am dying to go.Â I have heard only incredible stories from friends, who ecstatic to recount their travel experience, say there is no other place like it in the world.Â Filled with nostalgia, they tell me about the international influences, the exotic locals, the intoxicating nightlife, the never-ending dancing, the magnificent beaches, and the luscious cocktails.Â Who wouldnâ€™t want to visit?
Longing for a taste, Jake and I ventured downtown to Club Nokia to indulge in this yearâ€™s Carnaval Festival.Â We were shocked at the number of people in attendance! Â All wore expressions of appreciation and joy as they felt the music infiltrate their bodies â€“ they had waited all year for this celebration.Â Some formed circles and danced with friends, others cluttered around the DJ booth and jumped up-and-down holding hands, while others sat back and sipped on caipirinhas, fixated by the dancers on stage.
Curious as to where these people were all from, I began doing some market research.Â As we walked through the crowd to the bar, I heard a group of girls in their 30s speaking Spanish.Â Another group was speaking Portuguese and English.Â They were from Brazil and had been coming to this event for the last five years.Â Another group from UCLA wore Mardi Gras beads while sporting â€śhatsâ€ť made of balloons.
The legendary band Trio ElĂ©trico, with Armandinho, Dodo e Osmar (led by descendants of the originators of the Brazilian band on wheels from 1950) took center stage arriving directly from Salvador, Bahia in Brazil.Â Think Jimi Hendrix or Led Zeppelin with Latin flair.Â The lead played an electric guitar half the size of a normal electric guitar but resonated at twice the capacity, weaving its way through notes and singing its own musical verses.Â The musicians were enchanting.
Luckily, the 17th annual Brazilian Summer Festival is around the corner.Â Save the date: September 26 at the Ford Amphitheatre with performance by Olodum, the famous Afro-Brazilian creators of samba-reggae â€“ from Salvador, Bahia, Brazil. Â Inspired by Bob Marley, they combine Brazilian samba with Jamaican reggae, merengue and salsa. Â To purchase tickets visit: http://braziliannites.com/.
If you canâ€™t wait until then, you can check out a smaller scale, free event this Sunday called Brazilian Day in L.A. from 12 to 6 PM at La Brea Tarpits.
For more information on upcoming events: Brazilian Nites Productions: (818) 566-1111,Â http://braziliannites.com/
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