Sao Luis is known as Brazil's capital of reggae music. Besides, the state of Maranhao is home to some of the most beautiful musical traditions in the country and the most famous artists from Maranhao are Alcione, Zeca Baleiro and Rita Ribeiro.
If you are one of those, interested in the local music scene... well, this immense diversity of rhytms of Maranhao will certainly give you a lot of pleasure :)
Here are some of my favourites:
Alcione with the famous Nao Deixe o Samba Morrer from the 70s
and 30 years later on DVD Ensaio Geral
Zeca Baleiro - Telegrama
Zeca Baleiro - Lenha
Rita Ribeiro - No Conforto dos Seus Bracos
Rita Ribeiro - E D'Oxum
Sao Luis has been called the Island of Love or Brazilian Athens because it was the birth place of several noted poets and writers, such as Goncalves Dias, Aluiso Azevedo, Graca Aranha, Ferreira Gullar, Odylo Costa Filho, among others. To some extent the literary tradition is continuing.
I came across Poeme-se on my first visit of Sao Luis and immediately liked the place. It's a combination of bookshop, CD shop and cybercafe, most prominent place in the city for buying books, CDs and vinyls. This bookshop is quite small compared to those in the big cities and it's got a good feel. Poeme-se is a meeting point of writers, journalists and artists.
It has a good collection focusing on the publications (books and CDs) from Maranhao, bestsellers, complete works and collections, new publications, rare and sold out books, second-hand books, CDs, vinyls and DVDs, postcards and posters of Sao Luis and Maranhao. I especially liked some photo books and books on culture and traditions of Sao Luis and Maranhao. Most of the books are in Portuguese.
Poema-seis located on Rua do Sol 451. Walking the alleys of the centro historico, I encountered another Poeme-se on Rua Joao Gualberto.
On New Year's Eve (Reveillon) Sao Luis gathers people not only from the city but also from other parts of Maranhao. Though there is a party with DJs and live music in the centro historico, the main celebration takes place on Avenida Litoranea, some 45 minutes by bus from Praia Grande.
They build four stages along the long beach where local stars perform. The party starts early in the evening and each stage hosts different party with different music style so you can choose the one that suit you best. Compared to the celebration in Salvador da Bahia, I was surprised to find that many people here organize their own party within the big public party. They bring chairs, tables, music equipment, food and drink. And for those who come empty-handed, the beach is filled with stalls to buy drink and food.
Fondest memory: On the day of my arrival in Sao Luis I visited Centro de Criatividade Odylo Costa Filho to ask about the cultural events in the days of my visit of the city. I was more than happy to find out that one of the big stars at the New Year's celebration was, beside Rita Ribeiro, Tribo de Jah and Leo Magalhaes, Zeca Baleiro, who has been one of my most beloved Brazilians singers for quite a long time.
When I arrived in the hostel there was another surprise for me. When I entered a hostel's room I did not expect to see Sandra, my Paulistana friend. We met for the first time exactly a year ago, in the same hostel and at the same time, but then ufortunately lost the contact. We were so happy to see each other again, one more reason to look forward to the New Year's Eve, which ended up to be the best one ever!!! To come in the new year in the company of Zeca Baleiro, that was really something :)))
more pics in the Travelogues