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Bahia Orchestra Project in the Midwest

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[/device]Conductor Ricardo Castro founded the Bahia Orchestra Project in 2007, following in the footsteps of “El Sistema,” the rigorous training system developed by Venezuelan youth music orchestra compounds. Castro’s government-supported program (known in Portuguese as Núcleos Estaduais de Orquestras Juvenis e Infantis da Bahia, or Neojibá) helps underprivileged kids as young as 7 master classical music.

Neojibá launched its first U.S. tour on Feb. 3 and made two stop in the Midwest. Their Feb. 11 performance at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts em Kansas City, Mo., received a rave review from a local newspaper. After a 10-hour drive across three states, Neojibá received a standing ovation at the Center for the Performing Arts in Carmel, Ind., on Feb. 13.  A day after that concert, six Neojibá students met with counterparts from Carmel’s Creekside Middle School for a cultural exchange and a combined rehearsal led by Brazilian conductor Yuri Azevedo.

Here are some photos of the Indiana concert:

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Gallery: Carnaval 2014 with The Handphibians

The Handphibians, Madison’s own community percussion bateria, celebrated Carnaval 2014 with two nights of music at High Noon Saloon and Majestic Madison. They shared the stage with Ótimo Madison Brazilian Dance, Mama Digdown’s Brass Band, Metabaque, Madison Choro Ensemble, Drum Power, David Irwin, and special guests the Samba Novistas and Grupo Balança. Check out these visuals by Candid Lens Photography.

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Watch: Omaha’s Brasil Carnaval 2014

Below zero temps, crazy blowing wind … nope, that didn’t stop the annual Brasil Carnaval party at the Nebraska cultural hotspot House of Loom on Feb. 28. Shout-outs to João de Brito for the art, Marta Preininger for the food, Tomás Morales, Jason Horacek & Topiltzin Mariano Alarcon for the percussion, Brent Crampton for the music selections, and Hot Tail Honeys for the samba gals.

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Brazilian Carnaval across the Midwest

Yes, Carnaval is almost here to chase away the polar vortex and whatever else has been giving you the blues! We’ve gathered info on no less than 13 Brazilian extravaganzas all the way from the Twin Cities to Cleveland by way of St. Louis; most of them are this weekend, but there are a few over the next couple of weeks, and we suspect there will be a few more popping up.

Click on the event posters or the “More info” links to get the lowdown on each one. And BTW, we’re not sure why this is happening, but we’re happy to report that most events are properly called Carnaval rather than Carnival.

Do you know of any Carnaval parties in the Midwest that we don’t? Let us know in the comments and we’ll add it to this gallery.

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Yeah, we know — it’s been pretty quiet around here. So we’re happy to report that Brazil in the Midwest is back in action with a (slightly) different look and a greater focus on community-driven content. More details on the way!

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