The music won
March 9, 2011 5:55 PM   Subscribe

Carnaval (or Carnival) week is over in Brazil, and the judges have decided: the winning samba schools of the two main parades in the country, Rio and São Paulo, were Beija-Flor and Vai-Vai. And both chose musicians as their themes. Beija-Flor honored Roberto Carlos, known as the king of Brazilian music. From his origins in Jovem Guarda (an early form of Brazilian pop and rock'n'roll) to the adoption of romantic melodies, he is considered a living Elvis Presley. Vai-Vai, on the other hand, chose as a subject João Carlos Martins - whose life could be a MeFi post in itself.

At age 20, the concert pianist Martins was already known globally one of the top experts in Bach (warning, broken English) and played in Carnegie Hall, sponsored by Eleanor Roosevelt. After years of glory, he injured his hand during a soccer match. With a damaged nerve, he lost the movement in his right hand.

After extensive treatments, he gained the ability to play again, but in the 1990s while he was on tour in Bulgaria, robbers hit him on the head with an iron bar, and the brain damage destroyed Martins' motor skills. When he could play, he used only his left hand and the knuckles of his right.

And today, his crooked hands are used to conduct an orchestra with young poor Brazilians.
posted by Trielli (2 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
I watched the Rio parade streaming live on Globo. By the time Beija-flor finished, the sun had already come up! And the commentators kept saying how simple the costumes were, when I thought they were quite fancy. Apparently there was a fire this year that destroyed the props of a lot of the schools not long before the event, so the costumes and floats were in most cases more hastily put together.
posted by Joe Chip at 4:22 AM on March 10, 2011

Globo was streaming online? awwww! had no idea *pouts*
posted by liza at 12:44 PM on March 10, 2011

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