Seventh Annual Brazilian Beat Fest Lures Nationals and Spectators Alike

By Max Maldonado

BOCA RATON, Sept. 8- Within the courtyard of the Mizner Park Amphitheatre, the music and colors of Brazil came to life for a crowd of over 8,000 people as the 2018 Brazilian Beat Fest began.

Meant to coincide with Brazil’s Independence day that happens on Sept. 7, Brazilian Beat Fest celebrates all aspects of this country’s culture and has been doing so for the last seven years.

While the festivities were underway, Brazilian and non-Brazilian spectators alike watched as a procession of vibrant paraders from the SambaLá Samba School, danced and sang their way around the Mizner Amphitheater grounds in a mock Carnaval Parade. Later on, in the night attendees of this free event were treated to the music of South Florida’s Forró Cravo & Canela as well as the headliner and two-time Latin-Grammy award winner Diogo Nogueira.

During the intermission for onstage performances, a capoeira circle would form. Capoeira is a form of Brazilian fight-dancing that uses complex dance-like sweeps to confuse an opponent into falsely anticipating an attack.

Luciano Costa, 38, is the leader of the capoeira circle, he also owns his own dance studio, known as Cia do Axé, where he teaches this Afro-Brazilian fighting style.

“I see family here, that is why I really like it,” Costa said, as he looked around the crowd with an electric response after his choreographed demonstration was finished. Costa and his studio have been performing for the Brazilian Beat since 2015, and he looks forward to doing more in the future.

“It’s amazing the Brazilian community here!” Costa said, “I am happy to be here again, performing what I have done for my entire life.”

Originally, the Brazilian Beat was part of a larger event known as a “Night on the Promenade” back in 2011, and it simply featured the Brazilian culture as one of its cumulative events. Soon, however, there turned out to be a desire to see more.

“It seemed to resonate in the community,” said Ilena Olmsted who is the downtown marketing coordinator for Boca Raton and who has been in control of setting up Brazilian Beat for almost four years. “There are a lot of Brazilians in South Florida and Boca Raton. It seemed to really strike a chord and so the following year it was created as an event on its own.”

While the final moments of the night wound to a close and the ending Carnaval parade made its final rounds, the sound of samba still tinged the air.

Charlie Roche,47, is a Brazilian native that has been living within the U.S. for over 19 years, and he saw this event as a great reflection of his home country for everyone to see.

“For everybody that is outside of [Brazil], it is great they have the opportunity to listen to the music and to enjoy the culture,” said Roche, “It is very important to us.”

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Hello! My name is Max Maldonado, I am a photo-journalist based out of South Florida. I have a passion for hearing and telling stories that could go unheard.

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Max Sebastian Maldonado

Hello! My name is Max Maldonado, I am a photo-journalist based out of South Florida. I have a passion for hearing and telling stories that could go unheard.