Posted by: Steve Scherer | March 14, 2010

Geneseo Brazil Project – Sunday part 2

We’re back at the hotel for a late dinner.  I’ll finish about last night, and then tell about today.

At the beach festival, after the Orkestra Rumpelezz was finished with their performance, the next group scheduled to perform was Buenna Vista.  This is Brazil’s favorite band from Cuba.  So they were the “headliner” of the whole festival.  When their performance started, many who had been sitting, stood.  And as soon as they started playing, the entire crowd began moving.  And then couples and singles began to dance the Salsa, a traditional afro-cuban dance.  When I used to teach the Geneseo Knights Drum and Bugle Corps, in 1986 I spent a summer with an instructor who came to us from New Jersey.  He had studied afro-cuban rhythms and taught me several of them.  The origins of the rhythms are on hand percussion such as conga, bongo, clave, etc.  He taught me adaptations that had been adapted to the drum set.  One was gua gua co (sp), another was nanningo. Each rhythm has a name and a meaning.  Last night I heard both of these rhythms performed in their authentic context by a Cuban band.  After I was finished being proud of myself for recognizing it, I was fascinated with how natural and flowing the music was along with those rhythms.

Go to you tube and type in Cuban Salsa music, or Buena Vista Cuban band, and see what comes up.  Listen to a few examples.  I had never heard any of it, but the people loved it so much, they were dancing and singing, and when they started a new song, people would hear the first few notes, and begin cheering for the song the recognized, just like you would cheer for the beginning of a well-known song by a popular group if you saw them at the I wireless center.  You can probably find Orkestra Rumpelezz on you tube also.

Two interesting things I saw and then I’m done with this.  When Rumpelezz was out on the stage in the water, there were fans who were so excited about seeing them, that they swam out to the stage with a camera in their hand, and took pictures of the band close to the stage.  It was weird to see flashes coming from the water.  The other interesting thing was this food vendor.  This girl walked around with a cooking pot with the handle missing.  Then there were 3 heavy wires through the top edge that came together into a hook about 18 inches above the pot, like a hanging plant.  In the pot were red-hot coals, and with her other arm she carried a large Tupperware type container that had food ingredients.  Whatever it was, someone would ask for what she had, and she would set the hot coal pot down on the sand, make this white doughy stuff into a kind of a pancake shape, lay it right on the coals, and then cook the ingrediants they wanted, right into that outer layer.  Then she would give them their hot food item, pick up the pot, shake the coals, and move on to the next.

I had time to really get lost in the atmosphere last night.  Everyone was in the same zone.  It was happy because of many things, but especially because of the music.  I looked up, and there were the stars.  They look the same as they look in my back yard.  It’s Sunday night.  We’re leaving for dinner now, and then I’ll write about today.  See Abby’s pictures and videos from today.  We saw some spectacular sights and performed with a Brazilian band in a concert today.  Details in a couple of hours.




  1. If you do not have the chance to do what you want to build up and promote your brand nowadays is online advertising.


  3. Can someone please tell Dr. Fansler that email and blogs are great but his children would really like to speak to him by phone. It has been four days now and I am sure others have “called” home. And even if they haven’t someone of his position, with such a prestigious reputation should be able to either pull some strings or simply pay the hotel to enable him to call home.
    Amy Fansler

  4. the concert sounds sweet! that music is really cool. just an fyi the hobbits thing is nearing completion; should be done tonight.

  5. I looked up the Buena Vista as well. I think it’s really interesting what you were saying about all the different rhythms meaning things, I’d never considered something like that before and it would be really interesting to learn about…so I might have to look into that sometime. The music is great! I agree with Allison that it makes you want to dance and has a relaxing feel as well. I’m excited to hear more about this all! 🙂

  6. So I looked up on youtube the cuban salsa band, and I listened to some stuff. The sound is definently different, but I like how it makes you want to dance!

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