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Rio coming to Remuera

Street party brings Brazil to Auckland

Last updated 05:00 19/02/2014
Brazilian Divas
HEAD TURNERS: Brazilian Divas Angelica Americo and Kellen Pinhiero will perform a Samba show at the Rio Comes to Remuera event on March 1.
Jennifer Zea
LATIN BEATS: Venezuelan singer Jennifer Zea will perform at Silo Park’s Rice and Beans Festival on February 22.

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The inaugural Remuera Goes to Rio street party will showcase the best of Brazilian music, dance and food on March 1.

Kellen Pinheiro from samba dance group The Brazilian Divas can't wait to take part. "It's the biggest party in Brazil and people who come along on the day are going to experience the real carnival," she says.

Ms Pinheiro is from the northeastern city of Fortaleza. She came to Auckland six years ago and started Brazilian Divas soon after with a friend.

The group performs Samba shows at corporate events, birthday parties, street festivals and weddings.

"Whenever we perform people love it because it's so different," Ms Pinheiro says.

Six divas will do three 20-minute performances with costume changes along Remuera Rd on the day. It will be interactive because samba is about inviting the crowd to join in, Ms Americo says.

Remuera Business Association manager Laura Carr says it will be a day for all ages to enjoy, with storytelling and craft activities for children.

Community arts facilitator Jill Walker will be giving workshops before the event to help volunteers create paper flowers to display on the archway leading to Remuera Village Green.

Join in the fun at Remuera Community Library on February 21 at 3.30pm.

Go to remuera.org.nz for more information.

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RICE AND BEANS FESTIVAL

Jennifer Zea was about 8 when she knew she wanted to be a singer.

The Venezuelan experimented with musical styles as a teenager before moving on to learn bossa nova.

The training she underwent was very disciplined. She would spend a month practising a song to make sure it was absolutely perfect and spent time in Brazil improving her Portuguese.

The Kohimarama resident fulfilled her ambition to live in New Zealand in 2008.

She'd seen the feature film The Piano in 1994 and was captivated by the scenery.

She's looking forward to performing again as part of the Latin-funk, soul and hip hop band Latinaotearoa at the third annual Rice and Beans Festival at Silo Park this Saturday.

"Last time it was awesome. It was a beautiful sunny day, there were stalls with wonderful Latin and Caribbean food and lots of rice and beans. That's the food of the Caribbean coast, it's our fish and chips."

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Ms Zea says she is in her element when on stage.

"I become an extravagant Latina character.

"Kiwis are open to all styles of music. That's the beauty of this country."

Go to silopark.co.nz and click on Sessions for more information.

- East And Bays Courier

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