Samba dancers are expected to provide a provocative time at this year's 14th Annual Brazilian Carnaval on Saturday, March 1 at Club Nokia in downtown Los Angeles. (Brazilian Nites Productions)
Club Nokia in Downtown LA will be dressed in full color and joy on Saturday, March 1 as it presents the 14th Annual Brazilian Carnaval.
This is Brazil’s year and all eyes around the world will fall upon this South American nation as it hosts the 2014 FIFA World Cup. “Carnaval” festivities are springing up all over the glove, and Los Angeles is no exception.
Patricia Leao, Founder and President of Brazilian Nites Productions, has once again set about bringing an original Brazilian Carnaval to LA, this time with a World Cup theme since Brazil is serving as host.
Leao, a master instructor of samba and lambada, will be presenting this spectacle for the 14th year in a row. Originally held at the Hollywood Palladium and later The Queen Mary, it has taken residence at Club Nokia for the past 5 years, and with great success.
The sole purpose of this event, which starts at 8 p.m. and runs through 2 a.m., is to offer Angelinos unfamiliar with Brazil and its “Carnaval” celebrations a chance to experience these fantastic festivities up close and personal. Music, dancing, food and drinks are expected to highlight the night.
“A number of various bands and dance troupes will be performing on the same stage in a night full of samba, axé and reggae samba,” said Leao, who also owns a restaurant of Mexican food. “The dancers will be wearing very colorful and diverse costumes, and this year, we will be celebrating the FIFA World Cup.”
Leao also managed to partner with the Los Angeles Galaxy in an effort to provide an additional spark at this year’s event. Soccer players Leonardo, Juninho, Marcelo Sarvas and Samuel are scheduled to attend the 14th Annual Brazilian Carnaval to engage with the audience and sign autographs. Their presence will be a plus.
According to Leao, the evening will feature a plethora of fun and vibrant sets and activities.
“A group of percussionists will start out immediately, and then one of our dancers will hold a 30-minute samba dance lesson,” she said. “At 9 p.m., a parade will take place on the dance floor, similar to what goes on in the streets of Rio de Janeiro. Patrons are encouraged to join the parade onstage. After that, there will be non-stop live entertainment.”
After the parade, Chalo Eduardo and his Banda Electrico will take over, performing rhythms characteristic of “Carnaval,” as well as featuring Capoeira performances. Eduardo is also the coordinator of the event and talent. His band will be playing alternative Latin rock with a Brazilian flavor to it, according to him.
“We are going to spice it up and rock the night for sure,” said Eduardo.
Over the years, Eduardo has performed with such stars as Carlos Santana, Sergio Mendes, Stevie Wonder, Ricky Martin and Mickey Hart.
Lessons and different musical performances will occur throughout the evening, including from the group Brasilidade, which will entertain until the end of the festival.
“We are talking about the influence of the celebration of life,” added Eduardo. “Basically, everybody connects to that celebration. And the Brazilian music and culture really has a way of blending in with all the nationalities. It’s just so infectious.”
Leao also mentioned that this event will encompass the authentic Brazilian “Carnaval” experience while focusing on Brazil’s three most important “Carnaval” experiences from Rio de Janeiro, Salvador de Bahia and Recife.
“For those of you who don’t know Brazil, this is an excellent opportunity to get to know the culture, music, dance, cuisine, art and jubilant Brazilian spirit right here in your own back yard,” said Leao.
Presale tickets carry a $45 cost for general admission (standing room only) or $55 at the door, and $67.50 for preferred seating or $77.50 at the door.
For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.braziliannites.com or (818) 566-1111.
Marvin Vasquez and Edison Millan contributed to this story.