The Grand Hyatt São Paulo is hosting a special flavors food festival from June 28 to July 4. The festival will take place at the Grand Caffe restaurant and will bring flavors from the northeast by chef Vincent Pellegrini from Bahia as well as from the south with guest chef Rosele Tejada from Rio Grande do Sul. During the seven-day festival clients can taste flavors and spices from traditional Brazilian dishes, prepared by both chefs and served in the form of a buffet for lunch.
Some of the dishes available include:
Moqueca de peixe, o bobó de camarão, carne seca com abóbora, empadão goiano, frango com pequi, galinhada, frango ao Primo Canto and of course feijoada on Saturday.

Price: Mon to Sat R$50 per person. Sun brunch R$65 per person.
Reservations: For more information call (011) 6838 3203

By Bill Dee
My bag is packed and I head out to the airport. It’s very early, and it’s the morning of the concert. It will be a long day. The pilgrimage has started. I have waited forty-two years for this day. The flight is short and I land in Oakland. Should I get on my knees and bow towards the west? After all it is a holy place. I meet up with my new friend John and we are headed over to San Francisco. This was the first time we met. We are to get a hotel room within blocks of the Masonic Auditorium. While en route, my head turns and I glance slowly in every direction. Perhaps O Mito” will be in the crowd. I am determined to find him. I’ve studied every photo. I look around, hoping to see the black guitar case, then perhaps, the short little man, slightly stooped over. Maybe he is wearing his glasses! I’ve studied those pictures too. Every minute passing is bringing us closer and closer to the “holy place.”

We will have part of the day to talk about him and have a nice dinner with his friend Paula at Postrio, a charming little restaurant about 7 blocks away from where the concert is being held. John shows me the tickets for the recital. They are real!

We find the auditorium and stand in line. Our tickets are taken at the door and we are directed to our seats. If he is real, in about 20 minutes the mystical creature from Juazeiro will come out on stage and sit down on his stool, his legs elevated, he will have two microphones, one for the guitar and one for his voice. He will probably be dressed in a medium blue suit. I have studied his every move on video. I have done my homework. If he is not a myth, I will know soon.

We find our seats. I am waiting to see who comes out on stage. After all, it is a recital being performed by someone! Right! I check out the stage. There is the stool, the two microphones and a loudspeaker. Hmmm! My heart starts to beat faster in anticipation of this holy event. I have this strange, funny feeling that he may indeed be real. Have I washed my hands? Am I worthy of this holy place?

The lights start to dim and a few people on the far right start to applaud, probably because they are the first to see him enter the stage from the left. Soon everyone is applauding as this small man crosses the stage floor, guitar in hand, looking down at the stage floor, making a beeline for that stool. He’ll be safe there. This is his turf. It really is João Gilberto, the man, and not a myth! The crowd continues its applause but I don’t hear them. I am aware of hands clapping in slow motion as I look fixedly in amazement at “O Mito.” Am I looking at a God! No, he appears to be just a man. Some say that he is a magician, a grand illusion, he captivates, and he fascinates and enraptures. For a slight moment I swear he is smiling and looking right at me. I am aware that I still have my shoes on. Should I have left them outside on the steps? After all, this is hallowed ground. He puts his guitar down on the stool and gives the audience an applause.

He starts with a few introductory chords and already I know which song it is going to be. Remember that I have studied him very well. There is complete silence as the audience sits there in a trance. They are now seized, held captive by this little man on the stage. He does seem to hover, to rise above the rest of us. His first song is played a little weak, he is setting us up, but is played superbly as only he can play it. It sounds the same as it does on my LPs although at times there are very subtle variations. We expect to hear one thing but the magician fools us again. We applaud and wonder how he performed the trick.

One song after another is played with emotion and repetition. At times you can tell that he is unaware that he is playing at all and he seems to be in an altered state of consciousness. His face full of expression, his eyes opened and sometimes closed, his right knee bouncing back and forth. He is playing chords that sound unfamiliar, but work magically as he seductively hums, clicks and whispers each song. The audience is calm; they are being transformed and so am I. His sensitivity combined with intimate knowledge of each song is intently observed by all. Is João really a God in bodily form? Nobody saw him enter the auditorium. Hmmm! He must be up to his tricks again. Maybe he is an apparition! I am watching him through the binoculars.

Each song ends with “O Mito” looking shyly away from the audience, his gaze downward. The performances are breathtaking. You really have to be here to understand his popularity, to get a small glimpse of his elusiveness, to describe that which transcends any definition. Watching him is truly amazing, almost a religious experience. He is the high priest of bossa nova and the stage is his altar. All of us are in a trance-like state and I’m not even sure if we are breathing. We would do nothing to interrupt “the creature.” Some songs are easily recognizable and have been around for 40 years. They are old standards that bring back tastes and aromas of a long forgotten era. The rest are new or are songs written in the ’30’s and the ’40’s played in the bossa nova style. John has studied the songs that are played and knows exactly what key the master will choose. My seat is 50 feet away from him.

This is an enchanting evening and for me personally, it is the pinnacle in my life that has been surrounded by bossa nova music. There has always been Mozart, Chopin, Bach and Schubert in my large collection of LPs, but added to that many years ago was the name of Antnio Carlos Brasileiro de Almeida Jobim. He was the composer who basically started the bossa nova movement and little did he know that he was destined to meet “the creature”. Jobim’s melodic display of notes sprinkled delicately over his keyboard along with the deliberate syncopation of Gilbertos’ voice and intelligently unpredictable, yet quiet rhythms on his guitar were to capture the hearts of listeners for the next 42 years.

On some songs he is playing newly designed chords that I’ve never heard before and throughout the performance he is adding more of the richness of his creative humming. He has changed since his last CD performance. He is slowly being transformed from singer and guitarist to something else I cannot define. He has become the music, leaving this visible trace of bodily form behind. He has transcended into a butterfly and has completely left his shell. Left, is substance.

At one point he announces to the audience that he must change his guitar. He waits quietly to be served. Finally somebody comes out and makes the exchange with a guitar that has slightly more mellow sounds. He continues playing and allows us to see and hear him from a distance. We are totally excluded from the reality of his playing. He is in his own world now, no longer a part of ours.

He has played his last song for the evening. This fragile little man slowly and unsteadily gets up to greet us. The entire audience is applauding him in a standing ovation. They are still caught in the rapture of the magicians’ spell. This was indeed a breathtaking moment in my life. I have seen and experienced the great João Gilberto! John and I look at each other in approval of what we have just been a part of. It is an evening never to be forgotten.

After the concert we float out of the “holy place” and onto the pavement. It is late and the suddenness of being out on the street, completely cut off abruptly from what we have just witnessed, is a bit of a shock. We head back to the hotel. Both of us seem to be hovering just a little bit as we talk about the performance. The Master has knighted us in Sainthood. We are now Sir William and Sir John.

The following morning John and I spend the day in discussion on the performance, have lunch, visit a well know music and guitar shop on the other end of town and leave San Francisco, heading for the airport. We will part as good friends and go our separate ways, but this time we go home enlightened, for we have experienced the divine and we are blessed. The pilgrimage is over.

Again, the trip is short and in a few hours the plane lands. As I leave the airport headed for home, I find myself humming a tune.

“Let me live ‘neath your spell,
Do do that voodoo that you do so well,
For you do something to me,
That nobody else could do.”

Bill Dee plays BN guitar and has several hundred original records that go back to the 60’s. He also collects and trades bossa nova videos, including artists such as Jobim, Gilberto, Gil, Baden, Elizete, Caetano, Bonfa, Tapajos, Lyra, Leao, Menescal and many, many more. He is looking for people who have their own BN video collections, originals or T.V. recordings, in order to trade. He can be contacted at williamdee@earthlink.net

All councilors, members and non-members of the British Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Brazil (Britcham) welcome Sir Roger Bone as Guest of Honour and Key Note Speaker at this event, in which we will bid farewell to Mr. Bone and to his period of success as the British Ambassador in Brazil and also as Britcham’s Honorary President.
His help and support to the British Chamber were really important and made it easier to establish a closer work relationship with the General Consulates in São Paulo and in Rio de Janeiro, and with the Consulate in Porto Alegre, where we will be officially inaugurating a new branch in Rio Grande do Sul next August. This branch will be the first one to be opened since the thirties and represents the return of an organised British business service for the south of Brazil, where the Chamber used to have an active branch 80 years ago. The plan is that this branch be the first step toward a geographic expansion, which will include the opening of Britcham’s offices in other Brazilian states within the next few years.
Roger Bone first assumed the position of diplomat in 1966 working for the United Kingdom Mission in New York. Following that, he served in Stockholm (1968), Moscow (1973), Brussels (1978), and at the Harvard University (Centre of International Studies) (1984).
He was a Councillor and Chief of Chancellery in Washington (1985), Adjunct Secretary of State of Foreign Affairs (1991), and Ambassador in Stockholm between 1995 and 1999.
He received the Order of Saint Michel and the Order of Saint George as Companion (CMG) in 1996 and as ” Knight Commander ” (KCMG) in 2001.

Where: Terrao e Restaurante do Centro Brasileiro Britnico, Rua Ferreira de Arajo, 741, 4o. andar, Pinheiros
When: Tuesday, July 6. Cocktail: 11:45 and Lunch: 12:30
Cost: Members R$90, Non-members R$135
Reservations Courses and Events Dept. with Andra or Felipe (11) 3819-0265″

Banespa, part of the Banco Santander group, has launched a unique service in Brazil, offering its customers the possibility to withdraw US dollars from automatic teller machines (ATMs) in São Paulo.

The service will be initially offered at ATMs at the Guarulhos and Congonhas airports and the USP and Unicamp universities.

The service will be offered to Banespa clients using special machines to withdraw dollars from their Brazilian real-denominated accounts. The exchange rate will be the official rate on the date of withdrawal. The operation is similar to an ordinary cash withdrawal and is exempt from any charge if carried out between 7h00 and 18h00. The minimum withdrawal is $100 and the maximum is $1000 per day.

When carrying out this type of service, clients choose the normal withdrawal option, type in their password and then opt for the item ‘saque em dólar’ choosing the amount they wish to withdraw. They then have to give details about the date and destination of their trip abroad, to justify the withdrawal.

At the end of the transaction, the exchange rate and total amount in Brazilian reals is given and the customer has the option to confirm or cancel the operation.

This is a unique service, providing clients with ease and safety to withdraw dollars and saves them from having to go to a foreign exchange bureau,” said Jose Paiva Ferreira, vice-president for marketing at Santander Banespa.

ATMs which provide dollar withdrawals for Banespa customers

Guarulhos International Airport: Rua Jamil João Zarif, s/n – Guarulhos – SP.
Congonhas Airport: Avenida Washington Lus, s/n – São Paulo – SP.
Universidade de São Paulo – PAB USP:Avenida Professor Luciano Gualberto, s/n – Cidade Universitria – SP.
Escola Politcnica da Universidade de São Paulo: Avenida Professor Almeida Prado, 271 – travessa 2 – São Paulo – SP.
Universidade de Campinas – PAB Unicamp: Avenida Professor Zeferino Vaz, s/n – Campinas – SP.

A new long distance telephone service has recently arrived in Brazil that can save you up to 70% on calls from home, the office and even from your mobile phone! Powerfon eliminates all intermediaries and brings you the same quality of service with big savings by directly connecting you to the number you want to call. It works conveniently from anywhere in the world, and you can use it without going to a store to buy calling cards or dialing lengthy access and PIN numbers.
You can sign up sending a text message on your mobile phone or register online at the powerfon website. Click here to sign up now.
You can also sign up by sending an SMS text message from your mobile phone. No risk, no commitment, no obligation! All www.gringoes.com users get $1 in free credit (which is equivalent to a six minute call to the US and most European countries). To make a free test call please click here
Calling from your mobile to the US and most European countries costs 22 cents (US) a minute (which is less than the normal cost of a local mobile call), while from a fixed line the cost is even less at around 15 cents (US) a minute to the US and Europe.
To view all Powerfon rates please click here.

The 34th annual Campos do Jordao music festival will take place this year from July 5 to 27 with a host of international as well as local attractions, including Fred Mills (trumpet) and maestro Ira Levin from the U.S.
Last year the event attracted 1.6 million visitors, making it the largest music event in South America, and organizers are expecting an even bigger crowd this year.
Located in the mountains, 180 km from São Paulo, Campos do Jordao is ideal for a romantic weekend away with Swiss style log cabins and fireplaces.
Website: For full schedule check the official website www.camposdojordao.com.br/festival2003.htm

From Saturday, 12th July, when hosts Portugal take on Greece in the tournament curtain-raiser, for three weeks, the Lord Jim Pub in Ipanema and Rosie O’Grady’s Bar and Grill, on Avenida Atlntica in Leme, will become Football Central for all those fans eager to follow Euro 2004.

All games will be shown live on the big screen and, as usual, the full menu of British favourites, curries and specials from the grill will be available, not to mention the largest selection of imported draught and bottled beers in Brazil!

There will also be an innovation for this particular festival of sport. During every game, a hand-picked panel of highly respected fashionistas (i.e. Doug and Julian!), will be casting their expert eye over the assembled throng and picking out the most originally attired fan. The lucky winner will receive a free one litre Stein” of chopp, with which to celebrate a famous victory or drown their sorrows.

So, come one, come all and let’s make Euro 2004 a tournament to remember (hangovers permitting, of course!).

Opening times on game days:
Monday to Thursday, 12:00 – 02:30.
Friday, 12:00 – 05:00.
Saturday, 11:00 – 05:00
Sunday, 11:00 – 02:30
For table reservations please call:
Lord Jim Pub – Rua Paul Redfern 63, Ipanema, Tel: (21) 2259 3047 (Ask for Doug, Julian or Tony)
Rosie O’Grady’s – Avenida Atlntica 994 Loja A, 974, Loja B, Leme, Tel.: (21) 2543 1483 (Ask for Hilton)

Downtempo sounds, nujazz, electro, deep house, broken beats, 2 step, tropiclia, all wrapped up in the jetsetter ambience of one of São Paulo’sbetter nightspots, the AmpGalaxy. Cheesy porn films from the 1960’s and 70’s play on the big screen. Invited guest DJ’s Alastair Stewart (UK) and William Wattie (New Zealand) join DJ Gus and Tim Adams (Canada) for a stylish set of eclecticstyles for the more sophisticated and discerning punter.

When: Every Wednesday
Price: R$ 5.00 entry. Promotion from 19h to 22h, buy two drinks and get the third one free!
Where: AMPGALAXY, Rua Fradique Coutinho, 352 (directly in front of Sala UOL Cinema) – Pinheiros. Tel. 3085-7067

By Bill Dee
The dictionary describes a pilgrimage as a journey to a holy place or shrine or an extended journey or search, esp. one of exalted purpose. At least once in their lives, all Muslims who are physically and financially able are enjoined to make a pilgrimage to Mecca.
Last week I made my first pilgrimage and the journey took me to San Francisco. The holy place, the Masonic Auditorium. The shrine, was a living shrine. I saw the bossa nova legend known to many as the mysterious and elusive O Mito.” I saw the great João Gilberto! I did! I really saw him! I didn’t think he actually existed, even though the myth goes on to say that he does. My forty-two year search for this “mythical musical creature” ended last week. It was Friday, June 25th, 2004, 8:00 p.m.
I was always physically able to go see him but never quite had the funds to travel a great distance by air, afford the price of a concert ticket, overnight accommodations and of course, don’t forget food! Even though I had seen pictures of him, listened intensely with great joy for over forty years as he sang and played his guitar, I was really never quite sure of his existence. As the legend goes, here was a man with somewhat mystical qualities that seemed to hover over the rest of us musical mortals, a man (creature of God?) who simply mystified his audience and had the power to hypnotize us. He would be 72 years old now.
Two months before the concert, I became acquainted with another bossa nova enthusiast through the Internet and within three weeks of knowing him, he had decided that I needed to make this pilgrimage to see João. There was no argument, no discussion. That was final! Again, I didn’t have the funds to make the trip. Remember that pilgrimages for an “exalted purpose,” in most part, are for those who are physically and financially able to do so. This kind and generous person said he would pay for the entire trip. Can you believe that! Somehow during the course of our many conversations by email and over the phone, he decided that I (after 40 plus years of dedication to bossa nova), simply had to make this holy pilgrimage. We began to make our plans and he ordered the tickets and made reservations for the flight. I was elated!
For several weeks I poured through my books with pictures of “The Legend.” I listened with “new ears” to the sounds produced on the strings of his magical guitar and listened fiercely to the voice that I have heard a thousand times over, all in preparation for the day of the concert. I watched with intent, recitals of his performances captured in video form. Even though I was watching the video, I was still not convinced that he was “a living being,” but an illusion, fictional, a myth! Hmmm! If John has the tickets, then we must be going somewhere! Perhaps I am mistaken and he really exists….to be continued.

Bill Dee plays BN guitar and has several hundred original records that go back to the 60’s. He also collects and trades bossa nova videos, including artists such as Jobim, Gilberto, Gil, Baden, Elizete, Caetano, Bonfa, Tapajos, Lyra, Leao, Menescal and many, many more. He is looking for people who have their own BN video collections, originals or T.V. recordings, in order to trade. He can be contacted at williamdee@earthlink.net