It began as a quiet, humid Saturday afternoon

Copyright Keith Kenney, 2012

Special thanks to Susanna Melo for writing this blog entry.

After finding a place to stay for the night, we walked through the mostly deserted streets of Sao Joao del Rei in search of the historic district. We soon observed that in this large town/small city, the shops closed on Saturday afternoon. The place was dead! Then we heard a trombone playing. We followed the sound to Bar Santo Antonio. This place was hopping!

The small, narrow bar was packed with men having fun improvising Brazilian popular music on mostly improvised instruments.  The beer and “caipirinhas” fueled their animated spirits. As soon as we arrived, the men made room for us. Needless to say, the cameras came out.  They might have felt like movie stars; we felt thrilled to be part of this local, genuine and “ethnographic” experience.

Copyright Keith Kenney, 2012

Geraldo played a trombone.  His nickname is “mestre” (master) because years ago he conducted an army band. Marcellus played an acoustic guitar. Dimas was tapping a large, empty blue water container or thumping it on the floor. He also blew through a comb covered with a piece of paper to carry a melody with a kazoo-type sound. Luisao’s percussion instrument was a metal napkin holder. Elson kept time by “drumming” on a large aluminum kitchen pot. Adolfo strummed the “cavaquinho” (small guitar-like instrument) with passion. Tiao “o maluquinho” (the little crazy man) used a fork to strike a tin can for additional rhythm. These middle-aged men were all singing, dancing and playing Brazilian popular songs, old timey tunes, Samba and Carnival music with a lot of emotion.

Copyright Keith Kenney, 2012

Copyright Susanna Melo, 2012

Copyright Susanna Melo, 2012

Copyright Susanna Melo, 2012


About keithrkenney
Keith Kenney is a professor of visual communication at the University of South Carolina. He is living in Tbilisi, Georgia, for a year. This blog is about several topics. "CSJMM-Journalism" is about the students, faculty and staff members of the Caucasus School of Journalism and Media Management in Tbilisi, Georgia. "USC-Journalism" is about the students, faculty and staff members of the School of Journalism and Mass Communications (SJMC) at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, SC. CSJMM and SJMC are recipients of a "Journalism School Partnership" program grant from the US Department of State. The purpose of this $750,000 grant is to improve CSJMM and ensure its sustainability. "Tbilisi, Georgia" is about Susanna Melo and my experiences in Tbilisi. "Columbia, SC" will be about our experiences in our home town--Columbia--when we return home. "Georgia" is about Susanna and my experiences when we travel in Georgia outside of Tbilisi. "United States" is about our experiences traveling in the US. "Films and Photography" is about two documentary films I'm working on in Georgia. One story follows how Adishi handles the rapid tourism that is being developed in Svaneti. The other story follows Tamaz Jalagania, who is a craftsman of swords and guns, an opera singer, and an extraordinary storyteller. "Scholarship" is about my current books, articles, reviews, and grants.

One Response to It began as a quiet, humid Saturday afternoon

  1. agogo22 says:

    Reblogged this on msamba.

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