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December 21, 2010 - January 4, 2011 BRAZIL São Paulo / Camburi
  A Busca (The Hunt)
  In their search for the Brazilian Sound, Steve and Gary find unique instruments, song-loving kids and of course, the night spots where locals get their 'Samba' on.
  World Dance with Paola Blanton
  On The Beat and Path meets up with global dancer and Brazilian spirit Paola Blanton as she shares her dance philosophies and performs a Christmas Day beach "art peace."
Who's Got the Beat?
  Steve and Gary are welcomed to a São Paulo Samba School's drum core rehearsal as Pérola Negra demonstrate their skills in preparation for Carnaval 2011.
City Center Muppet Session  
Staying focused on the topic of music is no simple task when you're in Brazil, with churrascarias, bikinis and caipirinhas around every corner.  
Recorded in São Paulo, January 4, 2011

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Brazil: A Working Holiday.  
Brazil marked a few firsts for us. It was the first time the On The Beat and Path crew traveled to South America and it was the first time that we were taking a ‘holiday’ since we started production on the show in July. Many can argue that our existence is a holiday as we travel far and wide to meet musicians and play music and frolic on the beach and for the most part, I won’t argue. It has been an extraordinary project and we have been blessed with the generous people we have met and the music we have discovered. That said, everyone needs a holiday.

If you have never been to Brazil, it is only appropriate to have certain lofty expectations about what awaits you. For myself it was the bikini, or what I had hoped, the lack there of. Much has been spoken about the Brazilian string bikini: its sexyness, lack of lycra and the spawning of a hair removal system inspired by the look. Much has been spoken and much has been imagined. We were to be on the beaches of Camburi and surrounding area for the first few weeks so I was on the cusp of witnessing the fruition of my imagination.
Here’s the deal with imagination: unless you are Tim Burton or Hugh Hefner, they rarely become reality (and even if you are the aforementioned gentlemen, often you reality can achieve a little stink). While there was nothing whatsoever to complaing about whilst strolling the Brazilian beaches, it did become quickly evident that more material was being used in the manufacture of local swimsuits. That said, we were there to also witness music and the arts so I have already spent too much time documenting the domestic swimwear.

Our first shoot was with Macedonian born, American raised, Brazil based dancer and movement specialist Paola Blanton. Paola helped out a local NGO providing programs for disadvantaged youth. Projeto Ativo provided art classes, music lessons, sports programs and now dance for the local kids. Our arrival to the clubhouse was overwhelming. The kids were milling about, involved in their own activities before we arrived. Our entrance brought immediate attention as Paola never takes too long to get in to character. Dressed in her Angel wardrobe, Paola flew throughout the grounds as children chased her, danced with her, hugged her, laughed with her and circled her awaiting their turn to entertain.

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When it was the kids’ turn, they created a massive circle decorating the perimeter of the grounds. One of the adult volunteers grabbed a beat-up guitar while the kids prepared for the Christmas concert, excited with anticipation. Their performance was heartwarming, not to mention well-choreo- graphed and wonderfully produced. One by one, local Brazilian folk songs were mixed with traditional Christmas carols. Every child was given a chance to shine. It was a wonderful hour, but we knew it was up when the kids suddenly and dutifully lined up for their next lesson - martial arts.
Bonus Scenes
  Feijoada Tasting
  Gary takes us through the delicious ingredients of Brazil's famous soul-food cuisine: Feijoada.
  Recording of "Todo Dia" ("Everyday")
  Inspired by the mojo of Brazil, Steve wrote this song on the balcony of Casa Musa, situated in the Brazilian rainforest of São Paulo state.
  São Paulo Graffiti Tour
  São Paulo's district of Vila Madalena is the canvas for the city's most impressive graffiti art. Here is what Steve and Gary captured while on their hunt for local music.
  Interview with Antonio Pinto
  At the feijoada restaurant, a curious Antonio approached Steve & Gary and asked if they were filming a music show. That led to an invitation to the music composer's studio.
  Full Interview with Paola Blanton
  Here's the full 8-minute uncut version.
  Trail Diaries - Walk Through the Jungle
  Steve decides to go it alone and stroll through the Brazilian jungle on the look out for exotic animals and as always, music.
Our two weeks at the beach provided incredible meals and shirtless dudes in convertible jeeps (think a much more gay, South American Melrose Place). While it was difficult to leave the coast, it was São Paulo, a city of 22 million inhabitants where we were going to get the majority of our footage. The term Urban Sprawl must have been created from the observed development of São Paulo. The city just seems to go on and on. A location four kilometers away could take you five minutes or five hours. One never knows. Luckily, we were visiting during the holiday season, a time when six million locals traditionally leave the city. Six million leave! That is more than the populations of Brunei, Fiji, Malta, Estonia, Trinidad & Tobago, Belize and Guyana combined.

So with 23 days in Brazil, how long do we devote to shooting in São Paulo? Two days. Yikes. Talk about pressure, reminiscent of our time in Bangkok shooting our first pilot episode in 48 hours. So on our first day in São Paulo, Gary and I hit the streets. Firstly it’s impossible not to notice the grafitti that decorates the entire city. There are a lot of ghetto tags with extremely limited artistic integrity. But for every poorly thought out scrawl, there is an intricately painted mural demonstrating a myriad of graffiti styles: tags, celebrity graffiti, surreal fiction, elaborate scenic murals, anime, the list goes on.

We stopped for lunch at a traditional feijoada joint. Feijoada has it’s origins in the favelas. It is a stew of beans and all the parts of the pig that weren’t used for traditional meals: ears, feet, tongues…you know, the good stuff. Of course nowadays, many assume that people may not want to eat pig tongue and so they offer feijoada as a buffet with some of the more traditional parts of swine. Regardless, it is still delicious. 

When it was my turn to feast, I was approached by a gentleman in line. This was a treat as not many locals in Brazil speak English so I welcomed the opportunity to speak with someone from São Paulo. “Are you creating a music documentary”, the stranger inquired. I assumed that he had already spoken with Gary who was already back at his seat. This was not the case.

“Yes”, I replied.

My new friend proceeded to tell me a little about himself which was instantly astonishing. Antonio Pinto was a musician, composer and ran a production studio in São Paulo. “Have you ever seen City of God?” Of course I have seen City of God. Great film and one of Brazil’s greatest film exports. “I composed the music for that film”. He was humble and it wasn’t until I did some research on him myself that I discovered he also composed music for Hollywood blockbusters such as Collateral and Lord of War (regrettably movies that star my least favourite actors on the planet in Cruise and Cage respectively).

Pinto invited us (well it would be more appropriate to note that we invited ourselves) to his studio where he shared with us some of the incredible projects he has been involved with which includes production of an album starring a Brazilian drug lord and an album of songs by kids for kids with accompanying animated videos. Brilliant stuff.

Our final stop before our midnight flight back to Malaysia was a stop at a local Carnaval Club. Carnaval is a massive festival, Brazil’s largest and is held 40 days before Easter. The country essentially shuts down as costumed dancers and musicians parade the street celebrating their culture. Our invitation allowed us to witness the club’s percussion practice. The enclosed warehouse-like space erupted in a rhythmic succession of beats that easily hypnotized us and kept us amazing as the conductor brought the band through their set list and kept them in unison throughout their choreographed movement sequence. 

Before we hit the airport, we stopped to gorge on limitless meat at a churrascaria. This is an unimaginable display of carnivorical delight as the most scrumptious cuts of beed, lamb, chicken and pork paraded themselves by our table via exceptionally polite waiters. A small coaster like device, one side red and one side green, notified our desire for seconds (thirds, fourths, fifths, etc.).

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Mission: On the Beat and Path provides a window into the planet's love and longing for music, using music as the primary language of global communication in order to develop a multi-media outlet for the sharing of music, travel and friendship.
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