Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Dennis in Africa (Ghana, West Africa) 1961

The children were not mine. (I had only just arrived in the country). They were extremely curious about the European (me) who had just moved into a flat in their district.

Dennis starts doing his homework - Brazilian music

I'm being a good pupil, you see. My teachers Carla, Carmen, Janaine and Lisias suggested I should find out somethi8ng about Brazilian music and gave me some suggestions.

This where I began.

Tom Jobin Garota de Ipanema

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Brazilian Music

Dear Dennis,

On one of your posts to Salejandra, you mentioned that you didn´t know anything about Brazilian music. So here it goes some thoughts on it by our group! If you get interested, let us know, for we can provide you with the best of our rhythm!

Carla and students


Brazilian music has a great diversity of styles because of our extensive territory. We mix different kinds of music. Usually, people rate Brazilian music in many categories, such as Sertanejo, or Country Music, Funk, Forró, Samba, Frevo, Xaxado, Bossa Nova, Maracatu and other styles that are part of this rich culture. If you are interested in Brazilian music, you should choose one of those styles and deepen your knowledge in it, but if you want and have some free time, you should go over all of them.

In foreign countries, the most famous Brazilian styles are: Samba, Bossa Nova, MPB, and, nowadays, Funk. So I´m going to talk about these three. We could start with Samba, our traditional rhythm.

Samba started in Africa and was brought to Brazil by the slaves. This rhythm is very popular all over the world because of Carnival. If you want to really know the power of Samba, you have to got to Carnival in Rio de Janeiro.

Bossa Nova is another well-known music style in foreign countries. Tom Jobim is a brilliant Brazilian musician. He composed beautiful songs and made unique arrangements. You must listen to "Garota de Ipanema", an icon of this artistic movement.

MPB holds different definitions. The abbreviation MPB means Brazilian Popular Music, but, in general, people recognize MPB as a movement called Tropicália, which started in the sixties. You should listen to Caetano Veloso, Chico Buarque, Gal Costa and Gilberto Gil to start to understand MPB. These singers, or rather, musicians, are considered the first to have started defining the Brazilian Popular Music.

Funk can be considered the genuine voice of the Brazilian people. This rhythm started in the poorest communities in Brazil. Its lyrics talk about the daily lives of those communities. Violence, sex, drugs, traffic, religion are frequent topics of the lyrics.

By Janaina


I´m 47 years old, so I like the kind of music of the 70´s and 80´s. I like, mainly, Brazilian Popular Music. I think the lyrics are full of love.

I like Roberto Carlos, Vinicius de Moraes and Chico Buarque.

When I was younger, I used to memorize the lyrics I liked, so I know many songs.

My mother used to sing when I was cleaning the house. So I kept listening to her.

Today, I sing in a Choir. I sing MPB, but also sing the classical music. I´m still learning it, but I love it. I sing in English and Latin. It is fun.

When I have a record of my group, I´ll send it to you.

By Carmem


To appreciate Brazilian music, you have to open your mind. This is necessary because there are several to appreciate Brazilian songs.There are many music styles here. To learn about them, you have to come to Brazil.

In the South, you can listen to "The Flamenco Guitar", style originated in old Spain. In Rio de Janeiro, you can listen to Samba. In the middle of Brazil, you can listen to Brazilian Country Music. In Bahia, you should liste to Axé Music. In the Northeast, you can also listen to Forró and Frevo. Finally, in the North of Brazil, you can listen to some "northern" styles.

These are only some styles that you can listen to here. There are many others. But it would be a topic for another text.

by Lísias

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Dennis is back from Hungary

Esztergom Hungary
For the last week, I was at a TEFL (teaching English as a foreign language) conference in Esztergom, Hungary. I got back late last night. I will read the new introductions and answer them today or tomorrow.

Best wishes to you all.


Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Meet Leolita

I'm sorry, people, today is not a good day to say something about me. I am so sad because last week I lost one of my sisters. But, untortunately, death is part of life too. Our family is trying to keep the life on and I know that through time, things will be ok again.



Meet Janaina


Well, I was born in Goiânia and moved to Brasília in 2001. I graduated in Industrial Design at University of Brasília. Nowadays I am working with the production of animations and motion design. That is my interest area in design, but I also like graphic design, that makes magazines, brands projects and web design. I love my job, and all the things related whith creativity and visual language. I spend lot of time looking to visual news. Music is my hobby. No, I dont play anything, I just like to search for new bands on the net. I also like to draw and take pictures.Well, truly I like all the things related to art and culture.


Meet Lísias

Hello, Dennis!

I'm Lísias. I was born in Uberaba, MG, Brazil. I have been living in Brasilia, the Capital of Brazil since 1985. I'm married and I have 04 kids: a boy 12, a girl 07 and twin boys 04. I love them. I'm a businessman. We have a company that sells computer network components. I love plants and on the weekends I work on my garden a lot. I love music, too. I like some sports: mountain biking, swimming and running.

That´s it!

Dennis, nice to meet you.


Meet Karen

I was born in Brasília. I'm married and I have two children.
I'm architect, but I used to work in my husband's office. Now I don't work anymore, I quit.
I'm looking for new things, maybe working in my own store.

My kids are grown up, and now I have more time.
I love traveling, and I love the winter even live in Brazil I don't like the summer and beach.
The best place I have been is New York. the city is great, the buildings are beautiful and I loved to walk in the street and see the snow.

On the weekends I go out with my family, we go the movie, restaurants and the shooping mall on Sundays I´m going to the church and work in the School Bible with kids.
I have a good life, I'm blessed.