How’s your samba? If it’s a little rusty, you can learn a few pointers at a new festival coming to Detroit. The Brazilian Day Street Festival features food, music, dance, and a demonstration of capoeira, a form of martial art. It’s happening on Saturday, Sep. 16, 2017 from noon to 7 p.m.
Kelvin Wyatt organized the event. He says he was inspired by similar celebrations of Brazil’s independence in September 1822.
“It actually started from my teacher,” Wyatt says. “He started his first Brazilian Day in 2013 in Sacramento.”
Wyatt is a network systems administrator by trade, but his passion is teaching capoeira, samba, and batucada Brazilian culture. Once he started sharing these art forms with others, he says it was only natural to start a festival in Detroit.
“It just became that time,” he says. “Michigan needs this, and more importantly, Detroit needs this.”
One of the musical instruments to be featured at the festival is the berimbau. It looks like a bow and arrow, with a single string attached to a curved pole. The player strikes the string with a stick to make the sound, which reverberates through a hollowed-out gourd on the end. The musician also holds a small shaker to produce a maraca effect. The string itself came from a tire, which Wyatt says is appropriate.
“We are the Motor City. We have tires,” he says.
“If you’ve ever seen a tire that’s exploded or shredded, you’ll see the actual metal inside. That string wraps around it and keeps the tire together.”
Wyatt says Detroit’s Brazilian community isn’t well-known. He hopes the festival changes that.
“There is a rising, growing community inside Detroit,” he says. “The actual change that’s happening in Detroit is bringing more individuals from other cultures and countries, including Brazil.”
The festival takes place at Dabl’s African Bead Gallery at 6559 Grand River Ave in Detroit. Click HERE for more information.