It was all written on Facebook, in Portuguese, this Gênesis de Gênios, and I did not quite believe my own gut-feeling translation. So I had a Brazilian translate it all for me: Show up, instruments available, sign up, wait your turn, two or three songs, little contest of the best performer each edition getting the feature spot at the next edition…. It was all there. It was indeed an open mic of the kind I know.
Not the Samba sessions sitting around tables and playing samba. Not the jam sessions of the the Lua Nova kind, that I had tasted up to now, and that I absolutely love, but which is more jam than open mic. This was a real, true, youth culture open mic of the kind where you get up behind the mic and sing your songs, your compositions, cover songs, whatever you want.
But it was also Brazilian!!! Most of it was singing Portuguese, although there were a number of songs in English too. And as it turned out, it took place in a very cool bar called Sensorial Discos, which is perfect for open mics, with a long corridor-like feel to it, tables and chairs either side, the stage in front of the bar, a great host and person controlling the sound system….
And huge enthusiasm from the organizers AND the bar. The organizers, a music production company called Gênios, has big plans for the open mic, maybe doing recordings, they do videos, they do photos, maybe finding artists. You name it. Just what I love in the best open mics around the world: A zeitgeist, a reason behind the moment to be wanting to organize the evening.
eighth at Genesis de Genios open mic
My only criticism? Well, it only takes place once per month!!! But what an incredible bit of luck I had to find this place on my first full day in Brazil, the very weekend I was visiting, and just a block and a half from my hotel in the Jardins district. And, oh, there was another incredible factor that came together to permit me to sign up in time and get my name on the list: When I saw I had but one hour to get from Interlagos to my hotel and the open mic, I was virtually certain that I would fail to make it. The traffic at that time in Sao Paulo is usually horrendous. I predicted a ride as bad as 2 and a half hours! But somehow, miraculously, I got to the hotel by just before 6 p.m. and arrived at the open mic by around 6:15 p.m., and I was one of the first there!!!
eleventh at Genesis de Genios open mic
Just an absolutely FABULOUS night and discovery of this Genesis de Genios open mic. You’ll see in the videos that I took the vast cross-section of music from this Brazilian open mic. I hope I can get back next year!!!
fifteenth at Genesis de Genios open mic