By Pedro Souza
November 28, 2017

The guitar is an instrument that has inspired millions of people all over the world, giving birth to a plethora of musicians that took the instrument to its limits and created new forms, some more enduring than others. Among this legion of guitar players, few musicians have been able to play the instrument with as much mastery, intimacy and passion as Baden Powell de Aquino, more commonly known as Baden Powell.

Born in 1937, Powell was named after the founder of the scouting movement by his father, who used to be a boy scout. At the age of seven, he started playing the guitar when his father taught him a few basic chords. The young Powell quickly fell in love with the instrument, and soon learned everything his father could teach. The next year, he began to take classes from Jayme Florence, who used to play with legendary MPB musician Benedito Lacerda.

Powell learned very quickly, and at 9 years old he competed in a musical contest named “Papel Carbono”, which was played in the famous radio network “Rádio Nacional”. With his cover of Dilmerando Reis’ “magoado”, he was awarded first place in his category, which made him even more motivated to dedicate himself to playing guitar. At 13 years old he finished his guitar course, having had contact with many great musicians. He started then playing as a professional, playing for a cache in many different venues.

After finishing high school, Baden started playing at the orchestra of the “Rádio Nacional”, travelling through Brazil and playing through the country. In the fifties, he joined the trio of a pianist named Ed Lincoln, playing with them in a venue in Copacabana named Boite Plaza. As Powell made a name for himself, he started composing and playing with many musicians, such as Nilo Queiroz, Aloysio de Oliveira and Ruy Guerra. From this period, many of his hits were born; songs like “Não é Bem Assím”, “Rosa Flor”, “Vou Por Aí” and “Samba Triste”, which remains one of his most popular songs.

In the sixties, his life would change when he was visited by legendary poet and lyricist Vinicius de Moraes while playing a concert in Copacabana. Moraes called out to Powell and proposed that they write a few songs together. Soon, they would spend three months together in Moraes’ apartment with a tape recorder, a guitar and plenty of whiskey. This was the start of a legendary partnership, which resulted in some of Baden’s best works. It was from this partnership that the “afro-sambas” were born, albums that mixed classical samba with African rhythms and lyrics that were heavily influenced by African-Brazilian religion candomblé.

Still in the sixties, Powell would begin to make international tours and spread his music through the world. While he lived, he took the guitar to a new level, exploring a variety of styles such as jazz, bossa nova, MPB and samba. When he died in 2000, he had produced more than 40 albums, as well as a countless single recordings with some of the best musicians of his time. Though the man is gone, he has left some of the most beautiful guitar songs that have ever been recorded, and his memory lives on in every one that was inspired and touched by his music.

By Pedro Souza
November 28, 2017

Covering most the northwest of Brazil as well as parts of Peru, Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Chile, Suriname, Guyana and French Guyana, the Amazon Rainforest is the largest rainforest in the world. This forest has always fascinated and inspired those who have seen its beauty and amazing biodiversity. To get you better acquainted with it, we have compiled some facts about this wonderful forest.

Running through 8 countries from the Andes to the Atlantic Ocean and passing through the Amazon Rainforest, the Amazon River is the largest river in the world in terms of volume. It deposits 12.6 million liters of water per minute in the Atlantic Ocean. It is also the second longest river in the world, standing behind only the Nile River in Egypt.

The forest took more than 50 million years to form.

It is believed that more than 5 million people inhabited the Amazon Rainforest at one point. By 1980 its population stood at less than 200,000. Nowadays, there is an estimated 2,500 people inhabiting the forest.

Archeological evidence found inside a cave known as Caverna da Pedra Pintada (Cave of the Painted Rock) suggest that humans settled in the Amazon at least 11,200 years ago.

The Amazon Basin covers an area of 7,000,000 square kilometers, of which 5,500,000 square kilometers are covered by rainforest. Currently, the Amazon Rainforest represents half of all the world’s rainforests. In fact it is so large that if it was a country it would be the 9th largest in the world.

It is estimated that the Amazon Rainforest has over 390 billion trees. Unfortunately, that number decreases every day.

There are more fish species in the Amazon rainforest than in all of Europe. Fish play a key role in the diet and life of many of the forest’s inhabitants.

In 1542, Spanish explorer and conquistador Francisco de Orellana became the first European to travel the length of the Amazon River.

The Amazon rainforest is the most biodiverse forest in the world. So far, biologists have already catalogued around 2.5 million insects, 2,200 fishes, 1,300 birds, 430 amphibians, 40,000 plants, 380 reptiles and 430 mammals that live in it.

A third of all bird species discovered so far live in the Amazon Rainforest.

There are around 215 ethnic groups living in the Amazon Rainforest, speaking over 170 different languages.

More than 70% of the deforestation of the forest is currently caused by cattle ranching.

The forest is sometimes referred to as the “lungs of the planet” because it produces around 20% of the world’s oxygen.

There are around 3,000 known edible fruits species in the amazon, of which only 200 are cultivated. The natives eat around 1,500 of all these species.

An estimated 50 tribes that have never had any contact with civilization live in the Amazon Rainforest.

The loudest creature in the Amazon rainforest is the Toucan, which can be heard from almost a kilometer away.

A single hectare of the Amazon Rainforest hold around 900 tons of living plants.

The Amazon rainforest receives around 3 meters of rainfall every year.