Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Welcome to Pedra do Sal

Last weekend our friends invited us to hear live music at Pedra do Sal, a tiny little square and massive rock with a meaningful past rooted in Afro-Brazilian culture. It's located in a neighborhood called Saúde, which is where the first African migrants from Bahia settled in Rio. There was a huge slave market in Pedra do Sal, but it later became home to escaped and freed slaves. Saúde quickly became known as "Little Africa" by locals with Pedro do Sal as its epicenter. It is the birthplace of samba music and every Monday and Friday, the square fills with samba music and dancers.

A massive rock dominates the square with a set of shallow stairs leading to the top and people gather on either side. The neighbors living around the square seemed to be enjoying a live music too, windows were wide open and some peered down. 

That Saturday night we grooved to the sounds of  Fela Kuti. I had never heard of Fela, but he lead a very interesting but short life. He was a Nigerian musician known for his Afro-beats and for speaking out against political and social issues through his music. There's a documentary out now called Finding Fela! which recently premiered at Sundance.

The band and DJ were fantastic and the evening reminded me of that amazing block party in Lapa. Here's a clip of some of the music from Pedra do Sal. 

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