After revamping my blog, I posted my first ‘review’ on one of São Paulo’s unusual attractions a few weeks ago. I hoped my take on the Bin Laden bar would be of interest to those curious about a side of city life here you’re not likely to find in any guide books. Little did I know after posting it, it would spark a media frenzy and be mentioned on most major news websites around the world! But more on that in my next post….right now, I’d like to introduce you to an aspect of life here not celebrated nearly enough as it should be:
Street performers on Avenida Paulista.
If you’re coming over to the city for the World Cup and fancy giving your cash cards a break, these guys will be vying for both your attention and the change in your pocket. What I’ll do now is give you a run down of my favorite three.
#3 – Bruno Kioshi- Baterista de Rua
This guy is relatively new to performing on Paulista, but he has already made a huge impression. He is a professional percussionist by day, but come the weekend he can be found here at night playing…the buckets!
He regularly pulls in huge crowds too, and from the video below you’ll be able to see why.
#2 – Travesti Alessia
OK, perhaps the inclusion of Alessia the Transvestite (this is how she promotes herself) on this list is likely to raise a few eyebrows. After all, the other 2 street acts in my top 3 are incredibly talented, whereas Alessia’s talent as a singer is, well…a little less obvious. But here lies her charm. With a repertoire of, erm, not many songs (including Amy Winehouse’s ‘Rehab’), you’d have thought she would have learnt the words to the English songs she sings, right? After all, her spot next to Consolação station is a prime location to showcase her act to the masses.
Well, no. Despite performing for years she still doesn’t know the words to them all. In fact, she seems to be more concerned with swinging her pink feather bower in the air and pouting than she does singing. But Alessia has a plan to detract everyone from noticing she has no idea what she is singing. Every time she gets to a verse she doesn’t know she will talk to the crowds, “whoop” along to the song playing from her speakers and even try to get people to clap along with her (I’ve yet to see anyone clap back).
Here are the original lyrics to “Rehab” by Amy Winehouse:
They tried to make me go to rehab but I said, ‘No, no, no.’ Yes, I’ve been black but when I come back you’ll know, know, know, I don’t ever wanna drink again, I just, ooh, I just need a friend
Here is how I’ve heard Alessia sing them:
Woooooooo, Wooooooo, ‘No, No, No.’ Wooooooo! Wooooooooooooooooooo! “Oi, gente! (Hey everyone) ‘No, no, no.
‘Boa noite (Good evening), Woooooooooooo! Woooooooooooooooo! Ah, calor, ne? (It’s hot, isn’t it!)”
She might not be the most gifted singer on that avenue, but she is certainly one of the most entertaining. In recent months her spot seems to have been occupied by the Hari Krishnas, which is a great shame…because Alessia, the all singing, all dancing, all feather-bower-shaking transvestite needs to be heard! Hopefully she will reappear on Paulista Avenue in time for the World Cup!
#1 – Irmãos Jacksons
As far as i’m concerned, these guys OWN the avenue. Perhaps I’m a little biased though, I’m a huge Michael Jackson fan. But judging from the huge crowds who gather outside Shopping 3 every weekend to see them dance to MJ’s classic hits (after 3.30pm), it would seem I’m not alone.
These three brothers not only take turns to dance, they also perform tightly choreographed routines together too. The youngest usually has the crowd eating out of the palm of his hand, although the most impressive moves come courtesy of his two older brothers. Its a family affair, as their mother accompanies them each week to sit by the speaker, organise the music and hand over clothes for costume changes.
Don’t just take my word for how good they are, take a look.
Warning: The video below is likely to leave you seriously impressed!
What do you think to this list?
Have I missed out your favourite street performer?
Have I got these guys in the wrong order?