California summer postcards: Samba in the middle of a redwood forest?

Oh, yes—at the annual California Brazil Camp!

Dear Friends,

It has been a busy yet utterly fulfilling spring with the launch of Apsara in April. I am just getting started with my summer writing projects, but undoubtedly June through September in California is a time to savor life a bit more. The unseasonably chilly and wet spring weather has finally departed the Bay Area and I am ready to embrace the summer.

Over the coming weeks, Diaspora California will bring you its new series of California Summer Postcards, highlighting the art, dance, and music on our wish list of summer experiences.

Now where to begin?

Our first postcard introduces a one-of-a-kind camp that transports the sounds and rhythms of Brazilian music and dance to California’s Russian River area.

Every summer, hundreds of students and professional artists from throughout the United States converge at the annual California Brazil Camp (CBC) to study with master Brazilian instructors. The camp provides an intense experience from morning to night each day for a week for artists ready to immerse themselves fully in the arts of Brazil.

Here is a glimpse of a 2009 drum ensemble session taught by Bahian percussionists Marcio Peeter and Wagner Abultre.

Never mind the homemade quality of this video, it captures the energy of the class! Peeter and Abultre will return to CBC this year.

There are many opportunities to perform onstage at CBC as well, such as this pandeiro duel between Carlinhos and Scott Kettner in 2007.

(ASIDE: For award-winning pandeirista Carlinhos, his instrument is a lifelong passion. He introduced many of the techniques used in pandeiro today and he also engages in innovative percussion collaborations, including working with a taiko group during his many years of living in Hawai’i.)

The scoop

CBC offers two sessions this summer: August 21–27 and August 28–September 3, with classes ranging from Orixas dance movement to bossa nova guitar. It promises to be an unforgettable arts immersion experience in an area of breathtaking redwoods!


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