One year ago, when Trio Bruxo was in São Paulo, vibraphonist, producer, and man-about-town Guga Stroeter was kind enough to show us around Centro Cultural Rio Verde and studio Sambatá across the street. He gave us phone numbers of fantastic musicians in town, equipment for our upcoming gigs, and CDs that his great band Orquestra HB (Heartbreakers) have put out. Two of them feature the singer Sapopemba on traditional songs from various regions of Brazil; one CD traces the common roots of candomblé and santería to the Nigerian Yoruban traditions, and unites a band that is half-Cuban, half-Brazilian. Both of these albums floored me when I got back to Montreal. What's more is that Guga told us Sapopemba is (or was?) a truck driver, whose parents used to take him to all the parties in town - that's how he learned Brazilian folklore and according to Guga, "knows more about the folkloric history of Brazil than any professor."
Guga posted this on Facebook this morning: a program on TV Cultura called Ensaio (Rehearsal), featuring Sapopemba & Orquestra HB. As the weather starts to get colder here in Montreal, this music brings me right back to São Paulo. Muito obrigado. Axé.