Drumming In Salvador, Bahia, Brazil


Drumming In Salvador, Bahia

“Life is about rhythm. We vibrate, our hearts are pumping blood, we are a rhythm machine, that’s what we are. “ Mickey Hart

When the 4.5 to 8 million African slaves  disembarked from the hell hole of the slave ships, those who lived, brought with them their belief system, their religion and their gods.Their orishas or deities would retain their African names, characteristics, and functions, but assumed new forms  in Latin America and the Caribbean. Millions came to Bahia, the center of Brazil’s sugar and slave trades, and today more than 80% of the population has African ancestry. In Brazil, the religion is called Candoble.

African slaves believed in a pantheon of protector gods  who not only personify natural forces such as fire, wind and water,  but also animals, colors, a day of the week or a certain food group.

Drums are the heart of this religious tradition which now blends African beliefs with Portuguese Catholic influences.

In worship ceremonies, devotees commune with deities known as orixas through dance, chants, offerings and music rituals in which drumming plays a prominent role. The drums speak to the gods. 

We were fortunate to spend some time with Maestro Macambira. 


 He explained the significance of the different drums and drum beats.

Offerings are always around for the deities. Each orixa has its favorite drink or sweet.

The beat of tall, conga-like drums, and atabaques, a conical hand drum that comes in three sizes, calls forth the orixas and creates a trance-like mood for encountering the divine.

He demonstrated  some of the beats. It turns out that the Bf is a drummer -who knew? Special thanks to Maestra Macambira for the lesson and the duets.


The music and dance of Candoble have influenced Brazilian musicians and artists and the beats sound familiar. Walking along the streets of Pelourinho (the old city) it  is very common to hear the sound of drums in the rhythm of student groups that amazes everyone with its vibrant and lively beat. Sound  is everywhere.


Fly safe,

The World Is Smaller


The World Is Smaller

“Music in the soul can be heard by the universe”. Lao Tzu

The world shrunk a bit more when people started posting youtube videos. The planet is full of normal people  having normal lives  and not always the crazy place the media makes it out to be. Music, dance and singing has always been a way to engage people in a common conversation. People want  to feel connected to each other and they are just as curious about us as we are about them. Here are some of my favorite youtube videos that show this.






New Zealand




Fly safe,


30 Songs That Inspired Me To Travel

30 Songs That Inspired Me To Travel

“There must be some kind of way out of here,’ said the joker to the thief..” Bob Dylan

Music is called the universal language. Songs are successful in communicating ideas and feelings to everyone who hears them. I listen to different songs depending on my moods. A song resonates with me when I hear it and I think, how did they know that is how I was feeling?

These songs always took me somewhere else. Sometimes it was the poetry in the lyrics or music that made me want to travel. Other times it was the foreign language and melody.   I picked a few to play. They are in order of my memory of the titles. i have them all on iTunes.  Enjoy them.

America – Simon and Garfunkel

Bamboleo – Gypsy Kings

Marilou Sous La Niege – Serge Gainsbourg

Scatterlings of Africa – Johnny Clegg and Juluka

Leaving On A Jet Plane – Peter Paul and Mary

Guantanamera – Lucca Feliciano

A Rainy Night In Soho – Pogues

One Night In Bangkok – Murray Head

Hopeless Wanderer – Mumford and Sons

New York State Of Mind – Billy Joel

Sorrow (Your Heart) – Trevor Rabin

Jerusalem – Matisyahu

Les Champs-Elysees – Joe Dassin

City of New Orleans – Arlo Guthrie

Where Do You Go To (My Lovely) – Peter Sarstedt

Africa – Toto

Budapest – George Ezra

Carolina Day – Livingston Taylor

Diablo Rojo – Rodrigo and Gabriela

99 Luftballons – Nena

Rubylove – Cat Stevens

Mexico James Taylor

Walking in Memphis – Marc Cohn

Chan Chan – Buena Vista Social Club

Ca Plane Pour Moi – Plastic Bertrand

Sweet Home Alabama – Lynyrd Skynyrd

Mozambique – Bob Dylan

Here There And Everywhere – Beatles

Fly Safe,


French Pop

“Everything ends this way in France –everything.  Weddings,  christenings,  duels, burials, swindlings, diplomatic affairs – everything is a pretext for a good dinner. “ Jean Anouihl

French Pop

Im not as cool as I look..  The truth is I love French  Pop Music.   Its not the Beatles, Old School,   Alternative , Classic Vinyl or  the ever popular Grouplove.

According to Wikipedia, “ French Pop is pop music sung in the French language.  The target audience is primarily France and largely independent from the mainstream anglophile market.  French Pop and the earlier category of French music, Chanson, have now combined forming the French Pop music of today”

French pop music always transports me to Europe. I am sitting in a cafe having  a petit dejeuner of pain au chocolat and café au lait  sans sucre  .  I am standing in a train station (gare de somewhere) having my first Croques Monsieur.  I am in Cap Ferrat with a special boy having un verre du vin blanc.. I might be in a European club where people never dance as well as they do here.  It is so much less intimidating.   If its Edith Piaf, I’m in one of those WW2 goodbye scenes.

Here is my list of  top French pop songs. Check them out.

Joe Dassin    Anything  JD  – I saw him perform in the south of France.

Champs Elysees

L’Ete Indien


Et Si Tu N’Existais Pas

Serge Gainsbourg   Anything Serge – he was the coolest. He dated Brigitte Bardot.

Marilou Sous La Neige (i wish there was a younger one  -this is sad, i put a younger one as well)

Je T’aime Moi Non Plus with Jane Birkin ( of course)

Alain Souchon

Foule Sentimentale

Francil Cabrel

Elle Dort

Edith Piaf   Anything Piaf –  because she is Edith Piaf.

La Vie En Rose

Rien De Rien

Sous La Ciel De Paris

Gillian Hills

Zu Bisou Bisou

bonne voyage en toute securite