Saturday, September 8, 2012

Harmonia do Samba Plays Pompano

Top Brazilian Group Harmonia do Samba Plays Pompano Beach

By Skip Sheffield

It is hard not to notice the growing number of Brazilians and their influence in South Florida. In some neighborhoods Portuguese is heard more often than Spanish or English, especially in West Boca Raton, where there is a Brazilian church, Brazilian restaurants and even a Brazilian motorcycle club.

Mauro Santos has been promoting things Brazilian in South Florida for 17 years, including a magazine, “Tititi,” and a Brazilian Film Festival, which just had its 16th anniversary.

Santos and his partner Carlos Salles through a group called Brazilian Party Productions are hosting the popular Brazilian musical party group Harmonia do Samba in concert at 9 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 22 at the Cinema Club, 3251 N. Federal Highway, Pompano Beach. The concert is part of Harmonia do Samba’s third national tour of the USA.

“We first had them at the grand opening of the Cinema Club,” reveals Santos. “They will be playing Boston, New York City and San Francisco. Boston has the highest number of Brazilians. South Florida is in second place and growing.”

It is estimated there are more than 300,000 Brazilians in South Florida alone, and well over a million nationwide.

Harmonia do Samba was formed in 1993 in Salvador, Bahia Brazil. The group has recorded 12 CDs and three DVDs, sold more than 4 million albums and it performs around 120 concerts worldwide. The group is fronted by Alexandre Xanddy, who is famous for his improvisational skills.

Brazil celebrated its 190th Independence Day on Sept. 7. There was a large public party with free entertainment at Sanborn Park in downtown Boca Raton. One person manning a booth there was none other than Boca Raton Tribune Publisher Douglas Heizer, who arrived with his family from Rio de Janeiro more than ten years ago.

“There used to be more Brazilians in Pompano. Now West Boca has one of the largest populations,” he said. “There are quite a few super-rich Brazilians who fly their jets into Boca Raton Airport. South Florida is relatively much cheaper than Brazil. That is one of the reasons people keep coming here. A two-bedroom apartment in Rio costs as much as a four-bedroom house in Boca.”

General admission tickets for Harmonia do Samba are $55. VIP tickets are $65-$85. Tickets are available at Picanha Brazil, 22797 ST 7, west Boca Raton, Christine & Company Hair Salon, 4400 W. Hillsboro Blvd. and several other locations. Lo on to

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