by Tom Nguyen
The 18th Annual Brazilian Carnaval happens next Saturday, February 24, at Cafe Club Fais Do Do! This year features singer Neguinho da Beija-Flor, direct from Rio de Janeiro, and I was able to interview Brazilian Nites Productions founder, Patricia Leao, who has been putting on the faithful reproduction of Rio-style Carnaval for almost two decades in Los Angeles.
EnClave.LA: Congratulations on another successful year of Brazilian Carnaval! What do you have in store for us this year?
Brazilian Nites: Thank you! Exited to have yet one more traditional Brazilian Carnaval that will celebrate 18 years with the very special presence of the Samba Star of Carnaval – NEGUINHO DA BEIJA FLOR directly from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil…I would like to say directly from Marquez de Sapucai to be more precise…This is where all the samba schools of Rio parade for 2 full nights competing against each other, with over 3000 dancers per school, amazing floats and special themes.
We have extended our event to a Kids Matinee Carnaval…after all Carnaval is for everyone in Brazil. This will be from 2pm-6pm and then 8pm to 2am is our Carnaval Party.
We also have a “Market place” that will have food, crafts, giveaways, etc.
So Fais Do Do has three areas that will all be turned into a Brazil for a day from 2pm to 2am!
EnClave.LA: You’re always bringing great Brazilian artists to the US, often for the very first time, like this year’s headliner Neguinho da Beija-Flor. Why has it taken so long to bring artists like him to the US, and what other artists are you planning to or would love to present in the future?
Brazilian Nites: I have been wanting to bring Neguinho da Beija Flor for at least 8 years or more… and he knows this… the timing was just not right. Lucky me, last year he approached me and here I am, touring him in 10 cities. You can see them in my website. From the west coast to the east coast…US is in for a treat!
Working on a few projects…just gets me so exited! Not fully confirmed, but we have the great Hamilton de Holanda with Roberta Sá and Diogo Nogueria, maybe even Pixote.
Would love to bring this amazing band Baiana System!
EnClave.LA: Parents are going to love knowing your Carnaval is family friendly! Can you tell us more?
Brazilian Nites: The Kids Matinee is hosted by two amazing ladies, Bia and Mariana from Brazilian Play and Learn who keep the traditions, songs, story telling of Brazil alive for the local children. We will have games, arts and crafts, dance (marchinhas), drum circle, giveaways and a surprise! You can guess what [it is]….
This edition of Carnaval will have a special reason to celebrate: Neguinho led his samba school, G.R.E.S Beija-Flor de Nilópolis, as the champions of this year’s Rio de Janeiro Carnaval Parade this past week! Their performers and parade floats were not only magnificent but also sent a message of social conscience to the country, using Frankenstein as an analogy for Brazil’s social ills.
Enjoy the highlight reel below and enter our ticket giveaway to win tickets to see Neguinho on his first US tour at the 18th Annual Brazilian Carnaval, Friday, February 24, 2pm-2am, at Club Cafe Fais Do Do. Kids Matinee Carnaval is $15 (kids under 12 are FREE) and 18th Annual Brazilian Carnaval featuring Neguinho da Beija-Flor is $45 general admission. More info and ticket purchase at BrazilianNites.com.