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Town Hall presents eve of Brazilian music, dance

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Audience members attending Flushing Town Hall's "World of Brazil" cultural extravaganza Friday, March 9, at 8 p.m., will be treated to an exotic evening of South American music and dance.

At 6:30, there will be free samba dancing lessons. Samba-reggae from Salvador Bahia and the Afro-Brazilian martial art of Capoeira will be showcased. The art was brought to South America by Bantu slaves taken to South America from the Angolan region in Africa.

The spice of South American dance and music will be focused on in the exhibit, "The World of Brazil."

The program also features Nego Gato, a Brazilian singer, drummer, and dance choreographer who along with his troupe of 14 artists, will open a new series of World Music events.

The event is produced for the Flushing Council on Culture and the Arts by noted jazzman Clyde Bullard.

The series will include four other "Jazz and World Music" events on Friday evenings March 23, April 6 and 20 and May 11, with live performances by Papo Vasques' Pirates and Troubadours, the Tabou Combo from Haiti and the Weldon Irvine Quartet as well as a special concert commemorating the life and music of Louis Armstrong featuring Arvel Shaw and the Louis Armstrong Legacy Band.

A native of Salvador Bahia, Nego Gato was given his name, which means "black cat", because of his phenomenal agility and ability to perform high leaps. Trained since childhood in the rhythms, chants and ritual movements of the spiritual ceremonies of Candomble, the least westernized of the various Afro-Brazilian religions, he mastered Capoeira, the acrobatic martial art of the slavery era, which later took on dancing qualities. Slaves who practiced it pretended they were only playing a harmless dancing game.

Tickets for the March 9 "World of Brazil" adventure at Flushing Town Hall are $20 ($15 for members) and are on sale at the Flushing Town Hall box office Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and 90 minutes prior to the event. Tickets also may be ordered by phone and charged by credit card at 463-7700, ext. 222.

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