A mere few months after I’ve enjoyed The Final Four at the Birdland in Manhattan, yesterday I’ve had the opportunity to listen again to one of the most important jazz players and composers worldwide, this time at the Jazz Club (A.K.A. Il torrione) in Ferrara. Steve Kuhn played in a trio, together with Billy Drummond (drum) and David Finck (bass). Read the rest of this entry »
Last time I’ve been in Rio de Janeiro I spent my best night at Rio Scenarium, a sort of samba dance floor with real Brazilian live music and a stunning choreography right in the center of Lapa, the historic center of ancient Rio. During daylight, this place is a huge antiquarian’s shop three floors high, with all sorts of things hanging from the walls and from the roof. At night, two thousand people easily fit in to have fun, dance, drink caipirinha and meet people. Last year this was declared as one of the top 10 bars worldwide by The Guardian.
The setting is so surreal that I first I was speechless, like I were in a different time-space. Colors everywhere, strange things surrounding joyful people, wonderful traditional music, party atmosphere. Definitely a must if you happen to travel to Rio.
This week Ferrara celebrates the 20th Buskers Festival. For seven days straight, every night the medieval town center will be invaded by a few hundred street performers coming from all over the world and playing the most amazing instruments and music styles. It’s like the whole town became a giant stage 50 acres wide, surrounded by monuments and typical shops and shared by many parallel concerts. If all those performances were to be executed one after the other, they would continue uninterrupted for over 100 days. Read the rest of this entry »
So I’ve been to Matteo and Flavia’s wedding, and it’s been amazing. The wedding was on Saturday night. I got to Vitória the same day and spent half the afternoon by the pool on the roof of our hotel, together with the groom (meanwhile the bride was relaxing in a spa), then we dressed up and 7pm went to the place. No church, just a restaurant organized as a ceremonial room, with a small ritual table in the middle of several dinner tables. No grand-pa/mas in sight. Just the four parents and about fifteen pairs of uncle-aunts. Average age was in the 30-35 range. Men were dressed with a dark suit, while ladies had a long soirée dress. Lots of ladies. Gorgeous. Read the rest of this entry »
I’m currently in Udine, where yesterday began the 9th edition of the Far East Film Festival. This is the 3rd year in a row I come here to attend the festival. In case you don’t know, FEFF is the largest showcase of popular Asian cinema held in the western world. Here you can see international previews of movies that will come to our theaters months ahead, and several movies that will never reach european theaters. Of course directors, producers and main actors come to Udine to present their work and feel the warm welcome this city can give them. They shoot movies from Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, China, Hong Kong, Philippines, and so on.
Today I attended five movies in a row and now I’m exhausted. The most interesting was Eye in the sky. I’ll keep you posted!
Was quite a bit I didn’t attend a concert and I’m a big fan of J.S.Bach, so tonight I was eager to go to the event at Santo Stefano al ponte.
After a wonderful performance of Air on a G string, the Academic Chamber Orchestra SKC University of Nis proposed Cantata BWV51 Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen. The soprano was very excited and lost attacks, lagged behind and ultimately appeared out of context. Watching director Milena Injac (a woman!) while she desperately tried to let her catch up was real fun.
Next was a very good Doppio Concerto BWV1060. I had never heard this one and was a nice suprise, expecially the bright and joyful 1st and 3rd movement.
Last came the well known Brandeburg concerto no.5 BWV1050. Despite the harpsichord Rossella Giannetti had probably never played with this orchestra before (and the fact was quite evident) I liked the performance.
Last night I’ve been at Supperclub in Rome. It was Marco’s birthday party and there was lots of people from work. The interesting thing about this place is that the dinner party happens in a sort of gigantic bed. Between pillows and bed linen you sit side by side with people, without shoes, drinking and eating, so you’re pretty much forced to meet people and small talk with them. On top of this, you get shiatsu massages provided by a professional. This is about the most relaxing and socializing party experience you can get.
Happy new 2007 from Copacabana! Yesterday was a rainy day in Rio de Janeiro and people fought saudade by visiting shopping malls. I was too tired for that, so I spent the day recovering some lost sleep and having some rest. At night, everybody finally decided that – rain or not – they had to go to Copacabana to attend the biggest beach party and fireworks show ever. So did I.
Finding a taxi was a hard challenge, and even then you had to bargain on the price cause they were asking 2-6 times the normal fare. Everybody was assembling on the beach and there was a big traffic jam, but still somehow ordinate. People were mostly wearing in white, cause they say this brings you luck. Lots of gorgeous girls (oh man!) drinking caipirinhas and dancing samba on the sand while all the several kilometers long beach was entertained by the same music played on a stage in front of Marriot hotel. A dozen big cruise ships were in line in front of the beach, to participate to the party. Rain was still falling but nobody really cared.
Only strangers carried a champagne bottle and at midnight I understood the reason: the fireworks started and everybody was so impressed that almost forgot to drink the champagne or even kiss other people around. After the fireworks some people had a sip in the sea while most of them got their feet wet jumping waves and throwing flowers in a ritual exercise.
After a while everybody started to walk to Ipanema where the Black eyed peas where beginning their concert. The flow was very ordinate but when we arrived to the other beach it was so crowded we couldn’t stand it. We had to give up. Great night anyway.
A merry Christmas to all of my friends!
So Christmas is coming. This golden rain picture has been taken in Florence, walking to Piazza della Signoria. I’m used to associate Christmas with cold, snow, winter, Santa, deers, but this just because I’m European. People living in the southern half of the planet have copletely different experience. This year I’m flying to Rio de Janeiro and will spend my new years eve on Copacabana beach. I’ll keep you posted, promise!