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Best of Brazilian music coming to New York City

Published on NewsOK Modified: July 16, 2014 at 1:19 pm •  Published: July 16, 2014
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NEW YORK (AP) — The World Cup is over but the Brazilian party will go on— in New York City.

Over nine days beginning July 18, nearly 20 acts representing a cross section of Brazilian popular music will play at venues across the city for the fourth annual Brasil Summerfest.

The festival may do little to avenge Brazil's spectacular World Cup flame out, but at the very least it will show that the South American country has more than soccer: They still have their samba.

"Hopefully all the artists will be happy because soccer is a sensitive topic to talk about in Brazil," said Brasil Summerfest founder Petrit Pula, adding that he thinks the festival will get a boost from the Cup, "because you're thinking about Brazil all the time, you're hearing, you're watching a sporting event that's taking place in Brazil and here you have a Brazilian music festival."

While Spanish-language sounds are amply represented in New York City, Portuguese-language Brazilian music has long flown below the radar. Pula aims to change that.

"There was never really a platform for these Brazilian musicians," he said.

When he tried to persuade producers at Central Park's Summerstage to do something to change that, he couldn't seal the deal until he took one of them down to Brazil to hear great music together.

"It was supposed to be a day or two but it turned out to be week and now it's growing fast," he said.

This year's acts range from Bebel Gilberto, daughter of bossa nova giant Joao Gilberto, to Lenine, who spikes intricate rhythms from Brazil's northeast with dashes of electronica. Gilberto will be opening the festival with a free show at Celebrate Brooklyn, while Lenine will play a free show on July 19 at Central Park's Summer stage.

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