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by Nellie Huang
“Tê tê te, Tetetê tetê! Samba de Bahia, Samba de Bahia…”
You don’t have to be a samba lover to know this song. The catchy tune of “Maria Caipirinha” (video below) has won the world over with its infectious samba beats and Bahia feel. The creator of this and many other Bahia-inspired tunes is none other than Carlinhos Brown, a six-time Grammy Award winner and a native of Salvador da Bahia, Brazil.
Carlinhos Brown’s Love for Salvador
Born and raised in Candeal Pequenho, a small neighborhood in Salvador, Carlinhos learned the traditions of Brazilian folklore and percussion from the Master of Bongo himself. He started fusing percussions and rhythms from the Bahia area with electronic beats and psychodelic strings, but always keeping a touch of Brazil in his music. Despite his worldwide success, Carlinhos continues to dedicate his life to his hometown, where he founded the Pracatum Music School as a non-profit organization to help educate and develop cultural programs in the city.
Salvador da Bahia: Music Capital of Brazil
As the birthplace of Carlinhos Brown and other musicians like Tom Zé, Salvador da Bahia is famed for its music, countless outdoor parties and street carnivals. Dubbed as the Brazil capital of happiness, it’s here where you go to soak up the undercurrents of the country’s music scene and learn how to samba. In Salvador da Bahia, it’s easy to let your hair down and immerse yourself in the atmosphere.
But Salvador da Bahia has a lot more to offer than just music. As the first capital of Brazil, it is considered the oldest city in the New World and therefore plays host to a myriad of historical buildings and sights. The historical centre of the city, known as Pelourinho, has a beautiful collection of Portuguese colonial architecture on display, along with monuments dating back as far as the 17th century.
With pleasant year-round temperatures, it’s also the best place to soak up some sun and let the sea breeze sweep you off your feet. The beach is just a hop away from the Old Town and the coastline offers plenty of entertainment for you if you’re looking to just kick back and relax.