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Deanna cover photo for Raindrop (no text)

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Deanna no Brasil: The first three weeks!

Greetings from Itaparica, Bahia, Brazil! 

As I write in my beachfront studio, I am looking out on water, sand, sky, clouds, and five Brazilian boys who are doing flips on the beach! It is a little strange sometimes to realize that people on the beach and in the water can see me inside the studio…but seeing boats and horses go by in the water is pretty cool.

(In case you missed it, I’m here until early June doing research for my Nossa Senhora Suite, which you can read about- and contribute to- HERE)!

View from the keyboard in my studio.

Today marks exactly three weeks since I arrived here in Itaparica. It takes a good two hours to get into Salvador, the main city, because it’s necessary to take a taxi or van to get to a lancha (small passenger boat) or a larger ferry boat to board to cross the bay. Sometimes the lancha doesn’t run when the tide is too low or when the water is too turbulent. I’ve gotten accustomed to breathing deeply when the waves are choppy.

One of the passenger boats that crosses the bay between Itaparica and Salvador.

Even with the long trek, I’ve gotten into the city five times so far. The first time was to hear Gilberto Gil and Letieres Leite’s Orquestra Rumpilezz at the Teatro Castro Alves. This was the highlight of my trip thus far. The next weekend, I sat in at a jam session at the Museum of Modern Art, known as Jam no MAM. The last time I sat in here was eight years ago! During the entire session, dancers next to the stage interpret the music with movement! Marcelo Thomaz from Sacatar shot a video with clips of me playing, which you can see HERE.


Click to watch video of Deanna playing at Jam no MAM in Salvador, Bahia.

Last night I went to a candomblé ceremony in Misericórdia, the next town over from Itaparica. I was told that usually photos or videos aren’t allowed, so I didn’t bring my recorder. However, after arriving, I was told that photos were OK- in fact, someone was filming the entire ceremony (see photos below). I plan on incorporating some candomblé rhythms into part of the Nossa Senhora Suite, at least in the movement for Iemanjá, the orixá of the seas. Continue reading

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