Back from Brazil! Photos from the Santuário Nacional de Nossa Senhora Aparecida

I returned from my artist residency in Brazil on June 11. Since then, I’ve been going through photos, reading my “morning pages” (daily journal entries), and delving into books that I bought during my stay, like this great one on the story of Nossa Senhora Aparecida and why she is so important ito Brazil.

After my eight week residency in Bahia, I stayed in São Paulo for an all-too-short six days. One of my favorite parts of my trip- and something I’d been looking forward to for months- was making a visit to the Santuário Nacional de Nossa Senhora Aparecida (national basilica for Nossa Senhora Aparecida). I took a two-hour bus ride from São Paulo to the town of Aparecida to visit the basilica. The image of Aparecida in the photo above is the one that millions of pilgrims visit each year. The basilica itself is the second largest in the world next to the Vatican. Here are a bunch of photos from the basilica, all of them featuring the artwork of the late Cláudio Pastro.

The image of Nossa Senhora Aparecida that brings millions to this basilica.

From the Chapel of the Resurrection.

From the Capela das Velas (chapel of candles).

Cúpula Central (central dome)

Nossa Senhora Aparecida (Our Lady Aparecida) in the center of a panel of women from the Bible.

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Deanna no Brasil (Deanna in Brazil): Part 2 of 3.

Bom dia (good morning)!

This is my second post from Bahia, Brazil, where I’ve been living since the beginning of April. I have one week left in my residency at the Sacatar Institute on the island of Itaparica, followed  by one week in São Paulo, before I head back to New York.

Here are a few highlights from weeks four through eight:

•Giving a workshop at UFBA (Universidade Federal da Bahia) with forty students in attendance on a day when bus strikes and gasoline shortages were still in effect. And playing on a grand piano for the first time in my entire trip.

With bassist Alexandre Vieira after the UFBA workshop.

•Attending two duo shows with João Bosco and Hamilton de Holanda in their project, Eu Vou pro´Samba after standing in line for three and a half hours at 5:45 in the morning to get a ticket.

With Hamilton de Holanda.


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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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