Brazil:  Amazon and Salvador da Bahia, July 2009
Pelourinho, The Second Time Seeing Grupo Z.J.A.P.
Page 14 of 16


I thought I'd relax after the unusual afternoon I'd had.  I checked email and photographed some of the fitas ("wish ribbons") from Bonfim that were hung decoratively over some of the windows at Open House Barra.

I told Alex about the attempted bag snatching along the beach.  "Oh, that area is bad," he said.  "I thought that the street along the beach is safe," I replied.  "Yes, but not there.  There is a bad neighborhood between Rio Vermelho and Ondina, up in the hills.  A lot of poor people beyond the street.  Ondina and Barra are much safer." 

Just before the attempted bag snatching, I had just walked out of a really expensive hotel and was walking along a busy street in the middle of the afternoon.  It was growing more difficult to figure out what was safe.  Others I told later were surprised that it happened there.

What I did know is that the few times I had my camera bag, I was an instant target.  The attempts to unzip my bag on Tuesday coupled with today's bag-snatching attempt seemed proof of that.

I made a sandwich, then took off around 4pm for the Pelourinho with the small Leica, a considerably safer option that still allowed me to photograph fantastic finds such as this T-shirt.  Lisa had felt that I should purchase this shirt and one of the caps with dreadlocks flowing out of it.


The cobblestone streets of historic Pelourinho, deemed a World Heritage Site in 1985.

I arrived at Cana Brava at 4:45pm to meet Randy and go over to see Paulinho and Grupo Z.J.A.P. perform at Boteca do Dy again.  His friend Gordon from Toronto was there.  I purchased 5 more CDs, my biggest shopping vice, and we were off to the restaurant.

Pictured is Randy and Gordon.

The mandolin player of Grupo Z.J.A.P., playing chorinho.  I had seen them last week, and had to return.

While I had taken many photos the previous week, I wanted to take closer, more intimate photographs.  They smiled when we showed up, and Paulinho in particular kept giving Randy props.

Grupo Z.J.A.P. plays Boteca do Dy Restaurante every Friday evening from 6-10pm.  It's a popular local scene, and a warm friendly environment.

Grupo Z.J.A.P plays a form of samba called chorinho ("little cry" or "little lament"), also known as choro.  And despite the name, it's an upbeat, lively form of music, a sort of urban samba Brazilian singer Aquiles Rique Reis described as ”classical music played with bare feet and callus on the hands.”

This is Paulinho, playing a tambourine known as the pandeiro.  The skin can be tuned, and the platinelas, or metal jingles, are cupped and have considerably less ring and sustain than Western tambourines.


Note the seven strings.  If it's good enough for Steve Vai, it's good enough for Grupo Z.J.A.P.  This enables him to play some of the bass lines.

Paulinho and his pandeiro, coaxing fluid, complex rhythms by tapping with his fingers and alternating the thumb, fingertips, heel, and palm of the hand.

Paulinho of the pandeiro.

Paulinho played on.  A peanut vendor, once again, wandered to our table.  And just like last week, Paulinho signaled to me that he'd love to have some peanuts.  It was my pleasure. And again, I had a thought that his band was, quite literally, playing for peanuts. We also bought them drinks.

Many of the same locals were at Boteca do Dy again, dancing and having a great time.  They asked if I still loved The Doors.  Nothing had changed my mind, I still loved The Doors.  And the Red Hot Chili Peppers.  And this group.  And this place.  All was right in the world.

Ben, a guide who has lived in Salvador for quite some time, and Randy.

When Ben heard about the two guys who attempted to snatch my camera bag earlier in the day, he said.  "I've been here 19 years and never had that happen.  Well, that's not quite true.  Once, I was walking in the Pelourinho with a buddy of mine.  Someone raced past and grabbed something out my pocket.  My buddy said, 'Aren't you going to chase after him?'  I told him no.  'He just stole my snotty rag.' "

After the first set, Paulinho came and hung out with us, occasionally touching his heart and pointing at Randy.  It was very clear that they had great respect for one another.

I left around 8:30, going back to Open House Barra. I met Josafá, a taxi driver who had taken me from the Pelourinho back to Barra the day before. "He is my new friend," he said to the other taxi drivers. Again, he offered to take me back for 10 reals, a reasonable price.  We were able to converse fairly well as like yesterday, talking about everything from the necessity of running red lights at night to samba with relative ease despite my lack of Portuguese.

Brazil:  Amazon and Salvador da Bahia, July 2009
Page 14 of


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