Posted by: Steve Scherer | March 20, 2010

Geneseo B.P. – Saturday, the final post before flying

We are in the airport in Rio.  I’ll make one more post before we fly.  Last night we played at the Samba School in the favela.  Actually, the building was on the very edge of the fevela.  We were first taken into an adjacent building that is an actual school that has music classes.  While there, we received a short demonstration performance by a group that was most like a jazz band.  Drums, piano, two trombones, two trumpets, two alto saxes, two clarinets and a flute.  Again, a wide age range from high school to mature adult.  Their music was jazz that was very much like what any American jazz band might play.  They had four or five people improvise solos, and a couple of them were very good.  They played well and were rewarded with generous applause from our band.  There drummer was late getting there, so our four college percussionists filled in and improvised on drum set and latin hand percussion.

Next, we went next door to the samba school.  As expected, it was a huge warehouse type building.  There was a stage and a thrust with kind of a catwalk out to a round platform area.  The center of the building was big and clear and flat.  Along the sides were facilities, concessions, and elevated boxes and platforms for observation.  I snooped around a little and found rooms with drum shells stacked very high.  Another room was so full of costumes there was no room to move.  It was clear that Carnival just got done a month ago, and these items are stored for the off-season.  One of the guys I talked to explained that each Samba School has to have a story that they tell with their performance.  There are main characters that promote the story.  Since the one group can have as many as 5000, they practice in groups that will become sections in the parade.  I have to go.



  1. Wow, that’s different having a flute in the jazz band. The way some of your drummers filled in for the guy who was late reminded me of Garrin playing his trombone with the band in Texas… good times. The Carnival sounds amazing. What what a big thing to do. It kind of reminds me of Madrigal… but on a much much larger scale.

  2. That’s cool. It’s funny that you went all the way to Brazil to hear a jazz band, when jazz music was born in the U.S.

  3. That’d be cool to compare their jazz to our jazz with them being so similar

  4. That would be cool to listen to a jazz band from another country.

  5. lol, drummers

  6. The Samba Schools performances sound awesome! Too bad you couldn’t see one…the costume part is intriguing. Is it a traditional parade or something new they do for entertainment?

  7. hope you enjoyed the trip, and have a safe trip home.

  8. the performance sounds interesting actually being kind of like American jazz…it would be cool to see a Brazilian carnival 🙂

  9. It must have been cool to hear some jazz from that area. Have a safe flight home!

  10. Isso soa como uma grande maneira de terminar qualquer viagem. Espero que todos realmente gostei do jazz. Eu espero que nos comecamos a ouvir alguns videos desta banda e todos os outros grupos na excursao. Estamos todos, devido a algumas vitaminas video………estou me sentindo um poco fraca em C8-me!!!

  11. wow that sounds really cool and their “jazz band” must like the # 2 because its pretty much in pairs 😀

  12. The samba school sounds really neat! i love listening to jazz bands..wish i could have heard them. Enjoy your flight home, see you monday!

  13. i bet the jazz band did really good on the latin songs since they like invented them.

  14. It’s cool how their jazz bands are kind of like ours, but not exactly. It shows how there’s the same kinds of music around the world, just different interpretations.

  15. Sounds really fun! I bet it was cool to hear a jazz band from another country play! See you on Monday =]

  16. Considering how different most of their music is from ours, it’s interesting that they have the same jazz instrumentation and play the same type of jazz music. Enjoy your flight

  17. I’ve never seen a jazz band with a clarinet and flute! that’s really neat that they played similar music to what we have as well. See you monday!

  18. That’s really neat how similar their band was to a jazz band here. I found it interesting how pretty much all the bands you’ve mentioned are made up of young and old people like Maple City Band. Have a safe trip home and see you on Monday!!!!

  19. The Samba school sounds really neat…I thought it was cool that the college drummers got to play with the jazz band and that their jazz band and our jazz band are similar

  20. Thank you for keeping up a good blog. I know that it is hard while traveling as you need to stay in the moment and don’t have alot of time to write to us. I have lived vicariously through all of the band members this week and have really enjoyed your words and feelings that have been portrayed to us during this amazing trip to another world. Music IS the international language and will be forever, I hope.

  21. The Samba School sounds really neat! That’s not an experience that a lot of people get to have. I remember my sister playing her flute in the middle school jazz band, but it wasn’t like that when I was in middle school. It’d be so cool to play oboe in a jazz band. The parade also sounds cool how the performers tell stories through their performances. Can’t wait to hear more on Monday!

  22. That’s cool that you’re drummers got to play with them because that’s an experience a lot of people wouldn’t get to have. I think it’s interesting how their jazz instrumentation is a little different than ours but its still essentially the same. Sounds like some fun stuff going on! :] See ya monday!

  23. It sounds like that was a cool type of band. Like our typical jazz band doesn’t have flutes and clarinets in it, but there they are. But, the style was still similar. can’t wait to hear the rest of the story.

  24. The fact that our jazz and their jazz are similiar is sweeeeeet! Have a safe trip home and see you on monday!

  25. the samba school sounds pretty neat. hope you guys have a safe trip home!

  26. It sounds like you guys had a great time at the Samba school! I am sure that your percussionists had fun improving with the other band while they waited for percussionists to come. Well, I am sure you will have lots to tell us when you get back on Monday. See you then!

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