Música da Copa do Mundo: São Paulo

A football as a thousand exploding suns.

A football as a thousand exploding suns.

Musician Alastair Kerr looks at the musical traditions of each of the host cities for the infrastructure-endowed 2014 FIFA World Cup™. So far we’ve pondered the musical culture of the cities that will host the Socceroos: CuiabáPorto Alegre and Curitiba. More recently we’ve visited a city that has a musical tradition: Recife. Next stop is São Paulo.

São Paulo hosts Brazil’s opening match against Croatia on June 12 at the newly redeveloped home ground of Corinthians.  Home to world-famous traffic jams, São Paulo’s super-rich get around in helicopters.  As such, they may not have noticed some of the recent chaos caused by striking public transport workers.

If you can get to Corinthians, you’re well placed to see very little of São Paulo’s culture.  That may suit you just fine, but if you want to get to know a bit more about this amazing city, head to Vila Madalena where great bars, clubs and restaurants are crammed together, all within walking distance.  Not that Paulistas really walk anywhere.  Perhaps best to get a taxi – you’ll hand over your money, but at least you won’t get stabbed.

One of the gems of Vila Madalena is the samba and choro club Ó do Borogodó, which has some of the best musicians in town every night of the week.  This is not your “dinner/show/early bed” kind of club.  The music starts late (11pm) and goes well into the morning.  But in São Paulo, 4am is a good time to head home – there’s much less traffic.

The legendary Dona Inah has been a regular at Ó do Borogodó for years.  Here she is with some of São Paulo’s young lions.

Drummer/percussionist Alastair Kerr has performed with many of Australia’s finest jazz musicians. He is recognized as one of Australia’s leading Brazilian percussionists.