Cultural Conversation: Boca’s Brazilian Beat

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Staff report

Boca Raton is celebrating Brazilian Independence Day with Samba, Zumba and a Rio-inspired parade during the 6th Annual Brazilian Beat.

Catch the sights, sounds and tastes of Brazil in Boca from 6 to 11 p.m. on Sept. 9 at Mizner Park Amphitheater.

Headlining the event is Latin Grammy winning singer Vanessa da Mata. Her Boca performance will kick-off her United States debut tour.

Her third album “Sim” won a Latin Grammy for “Best Album” and featured appearances from the acclaimed pianist João Donato and American rocker Ben Harper. The hit song “Boa Sorte” (Good Luck) with Harper reached the top of the charts in Brazil, South America and Europe.

Batuke Samba Funk,which mixes rhythms from Afro-samba and Brazilian big band with classic 70s funk, will open for da Mata.

Batuke’s music “Brazilianizes” American sounds, and “Americanizes” Brazilian sounds. The band is formed by several of Miami’s top Brazilian musicians including bassist and composer Diogo Brown, and singer Mari Mac.

Other performances scheduled include the SambaLa Samba School that will showcase a Rio-style parade with beautifully costumed dancers and Samba drummers.

There will also be a Zumba showcase, Capoeira circle, street dancing and Brazilian food and drinks for sale.

The acts are produced by The Rhythm Foundation, a non-profit cultural organization celebrating 30 years of presenting outstanding international music in South Florida. Brazilian Beat is presented with help from the city and Downtown Boca.

The event is free and open to the public. Limited seating will be available on a first come first serve basis. No outside chairs allowed.

Free parking for Brazilian Beat is available at City Hall (201 W. Palmetto Park Road), the Downtown Library (400 NW 2nd Avenue), Building Administration (200 NW 2nd Avenue), and other locations downtown where event signage is featured. Free trolleys will be available to and from the Mizner Park Amphitheater.