Brazil declared its independence from Portugal on Sept. 7, 1822. This month, Brazilians around the world are celebrating the anniversary with festivals, food, and music. The first such festival in Detroit was held in 2017. Kelvin Wyatt organized the Brazilian Day Street Festival and is trying to make it an annual tradition.
Wyatt is a student of Brazilian music and dance. He practices a martial art form known as capoeira, which he learned from a master, Caboclinho Aruanda. Wyatt also dabbles in Brazilian music by playing the tambourine (pandeiro) and the berimbau, a stringed instrument.
Wyatt says he’s learned a lot about the local Brazilian community since immersing himself in the culture.
“We have a nice, sizeable community,” Wyatt says.
Because last year’s festival was the first, Wyatt says the crowd was relatively small, about 300 people. He expects more than 400 to attend the second one. Those who come can try traditional Brazilian food such as acaraje.
“It’s a black-eyed pea fritter,” Wyatt says. “It’s fried, cut in half, and you put ingredients inside it (such as shrimp).”
The 2018 Brazilian Day Street Festival happens Saturday, Sept. 15 from noon until 7 p.m. at Dabl’s African Bead Gallery, 6559 Grand River Ave. in Detroit.
Click on the audio player to hear the conversation with WDET’s Pat Batcheller.