Category Archives: African Music

POLYGLOT AUSTIN: OUR MULTILINGUAL, MULTICULTURAL CITY!

Bem-vindos to the latest Portuguese installment of our ongoing ‘Polyglot Austin”  blog series, where we celebrate the city’s cultural diversity while taking an interactive approach to language learning.

Through our beginner and intermediate Portuguese videos below (subtitled, with full transcription provided!), we introduce you to Bruno Vinezof, a Brazilian native and founder of the incredibly soulful rhythm & percussion group Maracatu Texas.

Practice your Portuguese while you learn more about this afro-brazilian percussion genre infusing Brazilian culture into Atx.  Did you know you can join Maracatu in Austin??  Check out their lively performances and classes .

Also! Read on to see how you can win an 8-week Portuguese class at Brazil Day Austin 2014.

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Austin boasts an especially strong and colorful Brazilian music scene. Que lindo maravilhoso!

What an enriching experience learning about the history and culture of  “Maracatu” which conveys, specifically, the rhythm of Northern Brazil.   In the past, in the era of slavery in Brazil, the Maracatu groups crowned a black king and queen who would be the communicators between the Portuguese slave owners and the black community to which they belonged. These traditions are still honored in Marcatu groups today.

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An array of alfaias, a type of Brazilian drum, artwork in themselves!

Watch, listen, read transcripts  – have all kinds of fun!  Then,  answer our questions (em português) in the comment area; one of our teachers will get back to you.

Beginner Level

Beginners, to get the most out of this exercise, watch it first without sound, while reading the subtitles.  Then, watch the video again with sound. See how multiple viewings of segments of the video improve your reading & listening comprehension.

CLICK HERE FOR FULL TRANSCRIPT 

Beginner Questions

  1. Pernambuco fica em qual região do Brasil?
  2. Bruno conhece países nas Américas, e mais um continente. Qual é o outro continente?
  3. Que tipo de instrumentos músicas Bruno toca?

Intermediate Level

J: Pode descrever o lugar onde você cresceu? / B: Eu cresci numa cidade chamada Olinda. É uma cidade muito antiga, com mais de quatrocentos e setenta anos. Olinda tem muito casarões antigos, e é uma cidade com muita música, e o carnaval é muito famoso. CLICK HERE FOR FULL TRANSCRIPT 

Intermediate Questions

  1. A cidade de Olinda tem quantos anos?
  2. Para Bruno, qual é a diferença mais importante entre a música brasileira e a música dos Estados Unidos?
  3. Think about the following two phrases: O Maracatu “veio para o Brasil com os escravos,” and “servia como um intermédio.” Why does Bruno use the preterit in the first phrase, and the imperfect in the second?

We thank our friends of  Morena Soul, the lively, fun, locally grown Brazilian-music band for introducing us to the Brazilian scene in Austin.  Meet them here, in our first Portuguese blog entry and be sure to follow their performances as well (schedule).   What dynamic people, groups and strong bonds that unite Portuguese-speaking musicians in Austin!

Like the sounds and cultural richness of  Brazil and the fast-paced rhythms of samba?  Don’t miss Austin Samba (the largest Brazilian cultural organization of its kind in the US) present the largest celebration of Brazilian music and culture of the year at their event ‘Brazil Day Austin 2014‘!  Dance, drink, eat, practice your Portuguese AND!!!…. enter to win an 8-week  Portuguese language class with Freestyle!  Come meet us at our table there and enter a drawing (free!) to win!

Last, but certainly not least, if you love practicing your Portuguese, make sure BRAZILPOD is in your repertoire!

The Freestyle Lifestyle

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We do language learning a little differently at Freestyle!

Our one-of-a-kind approach to second language acquisition uses technology and interactive media in a way that brings the most recent, relevant, high-usage vocabulary and everyday expressions to our students in an entertaining and effective way. Join us as we continue to revolutionize language learning!

Fall I Session starts 9/2, join us for a free trial class or Saturday ‘cafe’ – info@freestylelanguagecenter.com

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This is What Austin Sounds Like to Me, Part II or “Un gaou à Austin”

It is now spring, getting on towards the end of it anyway, and this is one of my favorite times of the year in Austin.  I can drive with the windows down, music semi-blasting (I’m not young anymore, I’ve got to take care of these aural devices.) The sun is starting to set later and later, which brings le coucher de soleil closer to the moments when I meet friends for drinks or dinner, or, on rare occasions, begin a night of bacchanalian revelry with those friends that are better labeled bad influences.

Magic System is from Côte d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast) and their music is called Zouglou.

There was a stint when I lived in NW Austin, around the Four Points area.  Sometimes too far from my preferred haunts in and near downtown, Magic System made that journey much more tolerable.

“La musique est pour nous un facteur de rapprochement du peuple…”
[Music is, for us, a way to bring people together…]

 Take the drive on 2222 from 620 into town.  Do it as the sun sets, or just as the lights of night start to outshine said gaseous giant as it heads to bed.  Lower your windows, and crank up a little “On va samizé.”

Let the opening notes blow past your ears and the wind blow through your smartly coiffed hair as you descend Tumbleweed hill, foot covering the brake pedal so as not to achieve enough velocity to attempt low-earth orbit or earn some sort of traffic citation.  Cross under 360, pass County Line BBQ and the music, already getting you in the mood to dance, rhythms you in and out of every turn and switch-back on the descent to Mopac.  Go ahead, play it twice, get yourself to Loop 1 to head south for downtown.

Now, having followed Mopac south, take the exit to go au centre-ville, and after you curve to the left, do a little down-and-up shift in the road, then back to the right (just like you’re dancing, man), level out onto 5th and keep Magic System as your copilot.  Switch to their song “Premier Gaou.” Nothing beats it as you patrol the streets, hunting for errant parking spots that are, if you’re lucky, only a few blocks from your destination.  The music keeps your hips primed for dipping in any concert venue, and calms the savageness of parking rage as you hunt.  Long after you’ve paralleled your way between an obnoxiously stationed Hummer and the Car2Go Smart that it dwarfs, despite their separation, you’ll be singing to yourself as you walk downtown

“On dit premier gaou n’est pas gaou, oh…/ C’est deuxième gaou qui est niata, oh…”
[Fool me once, shame on you / Fool me twice, shame on me…]

 

Now that you know the route, give your Sunday drive a Zouglou kick!


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