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– 19 de Agusto – Shane Porter

August 19, 2012

Classes are going well.  My schedule is getting its final additions this week, as I find a definite time for my lessons and for rehearsals.  I’ll be in four groups this semester, a jazz quintet, a samba and bossa group, a funk band, and big band.  It’ll be a taxing schedule but I’m anxious to play in all of these different styles.  I wasn’t sure what kind of music the funk band would be playing (funk has a slightly different meaning here), but it seems like it’s going to be the classic American strain i.e. James Brown, so I’ll be sure to do my best Maceo Parker.  In all of these groups I’ll be playing alto, including big band, as the likelihood of finding a baritone to use dwindles every day.  All of these groups expect to get paying gigs, and any opportunity to play and make money for it is a good one.

The language is also coming along. Naturally I’m learning more from conversing with people than being in my Portuguese class.  The class started at the basics, which I learned while in Brasilia, but I guess it’s good to reiterate that stuff.  Being on campus for a good part of the day has separated me from my American associates more so than before, so I find myself having to speak my brand of Portuguese more often and without the aid of someone who speaks English.  It’s in these situations you realize you know more than you think you do.  Bilingual conversations are also common.  If someone I’m with speaks English, we will switch back and forth between that and Portuguese, usually if one of us needs help with our second language.  Another guy that lives in house with me, Guillerme, is learning English, and conversations with him will often involve him speaking English and me speaking Portuguese.  The experience is both educational and hilarious.  All things considered, everything’s going very well; the sun is always shining, I’m busy but not to the point of insanity, and while I probably won’t find a bari sax to use, I can just work my alto chops for the next 4 months.

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