By: Nuvia Enriquez
Last week I had the chance to talk to Miguel Ivery, long-time DJ, owner of Afro Baile Records and organizer of the biggest Brazilian events in the Valley: Brazilian Day Arizona Festival and Carnaval do Brazil.
He has an interesting story. For starters, he’s not Brazilian. He was born and raised in Arizona; his dad is African American and his mom is Mexican European. He became interested in Brazilian music and its overall culture in 2004 when he heard a song by Jorge Ben. He fell in love with it and at that moment he started researching Brazilian culture and buying Brazilian music records. His fascination led him to launch a monthly event that showcased Afro-Brazilian and Afro-Latino music in 2006. The event was called Afro Baile.
That event later morphed into Afro Baile Records, the only independent Brazilian record label in the United States. Currently, 99% of the artists that are part of the record label live in Brazil. Their music gets sent to Miguel and he and his team market the albums and distribute them in the United States and in some places in Europe where they have a following. Miguel also books some of the artists for their Arizona events.
For Miguel it’s very important that people learn about the culture of Brazil and that’s why he started the two major events in the Valley. The next one coming up is Brazilian Day Arizona Festival, which is a celebration of Brazil’s independence. An average of 2,500 people come together every year to celebrate Brazil’s culture as a whole. The event features bands playing Brazilian music of different genres, dance performances like Zamba, Axe, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Capoeira. The also have arts and food vendors that offer the best in Brazilian cuisine.
One of the coolest aspects of this family festival is the education component. People actually get to attend workshops where they can learn about Brazilian instruments, practice Capoeira and Jiu Jitsu among other things intrinsic of Brazil’s rich culture.
This year, the Brazilian Day Arizona Festival is taking place on September 19. If you like learning about different cultures and having unique experiences, this is a great option. Plus, you get to take the entire family on a tour of the largest country in South America without having to jump on a plane.
WHAT: 6th Annual Brazilian Day Arizona Festival
WHEN: Saturday, September 19, 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.
WHERE: Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, 7380 E. 2nd Street, Scottsdale, Arizona
COST: $12 General Admission, $5 Children 10 and under
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