Paulo Padilha and Group arrive in Harrisburg, PA

By Beto González

Paulo Padilha and Group arrived in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, last week to find snow covered lawns and fields—quite a sight for our warm weather friends from Brazil!

We stopped for a photo after a successful workshop at Highland Elementary. Left to right is road manager Beto González, guitar player Leo Mendes, our Harrisburg contact Melissa Snyder, percussionist Samba Sam, ensemble leader Paulo Padilha, percussionist and sound engineer André Magalhães, and Ken Carlson of Arts Midwest.

During the workshop at Highland Elementary, Paulo danced with students on stage. He eventually jumped right into the middle of the audience and led a dance train that snaked through the whole gymnasium.

It turned out to be great fun for all, and the students couldn’t get enough of Samba Sam afterwards! He thrilled them all with his twirling tambourine and energetic percussion, and there was a long line of students eagerly waiting for a high five at the end. Lots of fun!

The students at the Capital Area School for the Arts were also enthusiastic when Paulo and the ensemble played for their class, and they attended and joined in singing later at the Penn State show.

After the show at the Marshal Math Science Academy, several boys who played drums came up and wanted to learn more about Brazilian rhythms. André, the drummer for Paulo Padilha and Group, jumped on the drum set that was already backstage and showed them some grooves.

The weather created a chilly start to the tour, but already we’ve had an abundance of warm encounters with new friends—and we’re looking forward to more!


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