There was a shifting sea of yellow and blue moving about the borders of Miami’s Bayfront Park on Sunday. These were the shirts and flags of Brazilians contributing their own flavor to the melting pot of America.
For the first time, TV Globo Internacional brought its featured Brazilian Day event to Miami for one of the most anticipated events of the year; all in the face of mid 60 degree weather and soaking rain showers.
The Brazil Information Center estimates that there are over a million people of Brazilian descent who currently live throughout the entire country of the U.S.
Hundreds of people from all walks of life came to partake in the Brazilian food, art, and most prominently, music. This was an open event, completely free to the public; with the exception of food and merchandise.
Miami’s Bayfront Park was flooded with families, friends, and dancers of all ages. As the drum beats built up from a steady rhythm to an almost hypnotic pulse, people began to move their feet: left to right, left to right, to the cadence of sound. And this carried on throughout the almost 12 hour long event.
The blending of fast paced reggae, African drum beats, wind instruments, and what sounded like a Hawaiian ukelele came together to bring the unique theme of the Brasil culture into perspective.
TV Globo partnered with Sunny Fest and the Let’s Speak Portuguese Foundation to bring the experience to Miami. Just last year, TV Globo hosted Brazilian Day in Canada, England, Japan, and Angola.
The center stage was the main attraction. Nestled between a clamshell of glass faced buildings and the Miami oceanside, this is where the major events were held.
English/Portuguese singer, Samantha Bonser, sang the national anthem and guitarist, Luiz “father of Axé” Caldas, performed as well.
Claudia Leitte, who is a very popular singer in Brasil, recently started touring for a solo album and Brazilian Day in Miami was one of her first concerts, flying solo.
It was still raining 9 hours after the gates opened, when crowds began to pool together in front of the main stage. They were all following the bass beats to one of Leitte’s famous songs. She also played her own renditions of Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” and “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” by The Rolling Stones.
Not too far away, a small family entertained themselves by playing their own music. “It’s raining, what are we supposed to do?” said Paula, with a laugh.
Luciano, nicknamed “Cowboy,” usually plays in bars and at family gatherings, he said, but found himself singing songs by Alan Jackson and George and Matheus on that day under cover of an acoutistical parking garage, just down the street from where Leitte rocked the crowd.
So full of energy, people were dancing in the mud with their friends, hands clasped together up in the air, heads swaying down low to the music, oblivious to the fact that it was pouring down rain in otherwise sunny southern Florida. “I love it, it’s like the whole country comes together for one day,” said Charlene Franca, who came to last year’s Brazilian Day.
Previously published in the Valencia Voice