Viva São João

Today I’m off to Brazil for 10 days to spend São João which is this weekend! Yes, it’s their winter, and it might rain the whole time I’m there, but it’s one of my favourite times of year. Other than carnival the other biggest music related event in Brazil is São João – St John’s, also known as Festa Junina or June Festival.


The festivities originated during the colonial period to celebrate the nativity of St John the Baptist, and are historically related to the European Midsummer festivities. The Northeast of Brazil has very dry and arid landscapes and the festival was an opportunity for the people to give thanks to St John for the rains. Although closely imbedded into the North-eastern culture the festival is celebrated nationwide.


Now a days the festival has evolved into a celebration of traditional rural life, with big street parties in rural areas and now capital cities, with traditional clothing, food, and dancing.


Clothing – guys dress as farm peasants in straw hats and patched up chequered shirts, and girls dress in colourful frilly dresses, their hair in pigtails and freckles painted on their faces.



A little school friend and I in our Sao Joao costumes for our school party
A little school friend and I in our Sao Joao costumes for our school party

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Carnival in Salvador 2013 – top 3

I know Nissa recently posted about carnival in Brasil last year, but I can’t lie that I’m still on a bit of a high from carnival this year which was almost two months ago now booo!


So I thought the best way to share a bit of it with you was to share videos of the three most played songs in Salvador this year.


The first song which, I am not exaggerating, must have heard at least once every ten minutes is Ziriguidum by a band called Filhos de Jorge. I heard somewhere that it’s a version of a Columbian song, but don’t quote me on that. What I must warn you though is that this song will get stuck in your head! As soon as the intro to the song started playing everyone in the street would stretch their arm out and start doing the choreography, which is dead easy so even the most rhythmically challenged could join in…enjoy…


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I first heard BADBADNOTGOOD a year ago now, but recently I’ve just had an urge to listen to them again. They are an instrumental jazz trio who have collaborated with Tyler the Creator and Frank Ocean from Odd Future. I saw them at XOYO last year for my birthday at Gilles Peterson’s Worldwide pre-party and it was so good to hear a live band in the mix of DJs. Here I am with my friends enjoying it!



It all started when the trio posted covers of Odd Future’s tracks on YouTube and it caught the eye of Tyler the Creator. Tyler retweeted their YouTube video and it went viral. Since then they have been invited to back up the likes of Tyler and Frank Ocean, and owe their recent success to Tyler! Just goes to show the power of social media changing people’s lives.

Their covers span from hip hop to James Blake…songs I already love and they twist them in a jazzy way so I can relive the song in another dimension (and I love jazz so win win)! Feast your ears on this:


Cover of one of my favourite Nas tracks, The World is yours


You guessed it: Kanye West, Flashing Lights


Not originally James Blake’s but he has done the most recent cover of Limit to your Love. BBNG has also covered Blake’s CMYK (but I don’t think it’s that good :/).


Live cover of my favourite A Tribe Called Quest’s song Electric Relaxation


Jazz is great. I also love hip hop. So what a lovely marriage! Most (good) hip hop songs’ beats are just covers of old jazz/soul classics anyway, so it does make a good combo. I will delve into this in more detail next week! Happy listening :)