Tag Archives: Music

Alexia Bomtempo: Chasing Storms and Stars

Curiosities Insider Interviews Alexia Bomtempo Flying Hair

Brazilian-American singer and songwriter Alexia Bomtempo recently released her 3rd album and has been part of New York’s music scene. Come read about her arrival in NYC, the challenges, the new album, some of her top NYC secret spots and more!

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The Brazilian singer and song writer, Alexia Bomtempo, just released her 3rd album and has been part of the best of New York’s music scene.

The new album, calling “Chasing Storms and Stars”, reflects a self-exploration of her identity and experiments with her surroundings over the past years.

After growing up in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, she now calls New York City her “home”. Lucky us!

Moreover, she performs in some of the best venues around the city, so be sure to check out her website to see where you can find her and have a taste of her fantastic music.

The upcoming show will be this Thursday – November 9th, at 8pm, at Symphony Space, one of the best sounding rooms in Manhattan.


1) Tell us a bit about how you started your career, when/where was your first contact with music and when this gift came to life?

I had quite the distinctive childhood in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. My dad used to be a concert promoter and I grew up going to shows and experiencing that magical atmosphere behind the scenes.

So, while my friends were busy doing the normal things that kids do, I was going out to see legends like Baden Powell and Gilberto Gil.

Being exposed to music on this level as a child was very powerful and I knew then that I wanted to follow an artistic path. Later on, after studying classical voice in the U.S., I decided to move back to Rio and pursue a career in music.

I was very lucky to work with Brazilian music icon Dadi, who produced my first album (and became a great friend).

2) Why did you decide to leave Rio de Janeiro in 2013 and move to NYC?

After releasing my sophomore album “I Just Happen to Be Here”, a collection of English songs written by Caetano Veloso during his 1969-71 exile in London, I was invited to perform at “Brasil Summerfest” in NYC.

I was looking for a change of scenery and the borderless approach to music that New York has to offer really motivated me.

So, I moved here with a one-way ticket and one big suitcase – within a few weeks, I knew that the city would be my home.

3) Upon arrival, which were the biggest challenges you faced? Did something happen differently than what you had expected?

I arrived excited about exploring and open to new possibilities. Furthermore, I was looking forward to experimenting with my music and was fortunate to quickly fall into the East Village Nublu scene, which offered me the chance be exposed to many different genres and that significantly affected the way that I view and make my own music today.

Maybe, the biggest challenge was understanding that, if you’re going to be here as an artist, you have to commit to the pace of the city. Everyday life can be challenging and finding a routine that works for you is key.

4) How would you describe NYC’s music scene when talking about emerging bands that dream in spreading their music?

Being a musician in NYC forces you to go deeper into the meaning behind the art you make. The city has certainly driven me to be more resilient and focused – and that pressure is a beautiful thing.

And, the level of talent all around is inspiring and requires that you find what makes you stand out as an artist.

Curiosities Insider Interviews Alexia Bomtempo Standing

5) I’m sure there are many, but which are some of the bands that you’re most inspired by?

Mutantes, Radiohead, Caetano Veloso, Dinah Washington, Jon Brion, Blossom Dearie, Gal Costa… and the list goes on.

6) How would you describe your music style?

Cinematic dream pop with a tropical indie rock twist.

7) Tell us about your new album “Chasing Storms and Stars”? What’s the main theme around it? How was the process and challenges of creating, writing and composing it?

This is the third album of my career, but my first American release. It’s inspired by the massive changes in my life that have taken place in the 5 years since my last album came out.

Shortly after I relocated from Rio de Janeiro to New York I was offered a performance residency in Tokyo. So, I completely immersed myself in Japanese culture. I spent much time alone, reflecting on memories and experimenting with new melodies.

This lonesome state of mind inspired me to write and, for the first time, I felt the freedom and independence as an artist to make my own voice more prominent in what I was creating. I had always been a bit self-conscious about writing, especially having started out in Rio as a singer of Brazilian Popular Music, where historically, female vocalists didn’t write most of their material.

This album made me explore my identity and experiment with my surroundings. The collaboration with Jake Owen (my partner in music and in life) is an essential element to the album.

From the writing process to the final product, he challenged me to work hard and believe in my potential to create.

8) Do you already have a favorite song?

I go through phases where there is always one song that sticks out the most. Recently it has been “Mexico”.

Jake and I wrote this song during a road trip through West Texas. I had never seen that part of the country and was very moved by the desert, the sky, the open roads…

The landscape had a serious affect on how the song came about. The “murder ballad” tradition of the place we were in led us to explore different themes.

Curiosities Insider Interviews Alexia Bomtempo

9) This is your 3rd album. What’s new and different about it, in relation to the first two? How have you grown from the first albums?

My first two Brazilian releases were heavily influenced by Bossa Nova and Brazilian Popular Music.

For “Chasing Storms and Stars”, I have written or co-written all the songs, except for one cover. Jake is a Texas-born, Brooklyn-based producer and heavily influenced by music of the southern United States.

With our contrasting backgrounds we managed to piece together a mixture of sounds incorporating cinematic strings, Brazilian percussion, electric guitars, and psychedelic keyboards.

We took the work we started in Brooklyn and finished it in Austin, with veteran producer and engineer David Boyle.

10) Where can people find your album to buy? Any upcoming shows that we can share so people have a chance to see you Live?

The new album is available on all digital platforms and the vinyl record can be purchased on my website, along with some cool merchandise: www.alexiabomtempo.com

My next New York performance is part of the “LatiNew” concert series. It celebrates the synergy between the Latin and Brazilian music communities. The show is on Thursday, November 9, at 8pm, at Symphony Space, one of the best sounding rooms in Manhattan.

So, for tickets, click here.

11) What are some of your favorite, off-the-beaten-track spots in New York?

Restaurant: Gennaro
“A hidden gem on the Upper West Side. The best Italian food I’ve had in the city. A local favorite!”
Location: 665 Amsterdam Avenue

Bar: Bell Book & Candle
“The bar at Bell Book & Candle feels like a friend’s living room. Sunday nights are particularly special where talented singer/songwriter Alfonso Velez holds down his weekly residency.”
Location: 141 West 10th Street

Live Music Venue: Berlin
“Berlin is my favorite hangout for local musicians. It’s an easy going and seems to recapture the old spirit of the East Village.”
Location: 25 Avenue A

Park: Riverside Park
“I love biking through the park and taking in the river views.”

Museum: Whitney Museum
“There is always a new piece that absolutely blows my mind.”
Location: 99 Gansevoort Street

Thank you, Alexia, for being part of our Insider Interviews and for sharing with us these exciting stories about your journey, career and favorite NY spots!

We are exited to see your show on November 9th!

7 Best Places in Long Island City for Art Lovers

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You’ve done Museum Mile, hit up the Chelsea galleries on a Thursday, and perused the sidewalk art in SoHo. So, for your next art fix, head to Queens’ Long Island City for a less touristy roster of artsy offerings. See the 7 best places in Long Island City for art lovers.

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We are huge fans of Queens and we love exploring this beautiful Borough. It’s the largest Borough in size, but loses to Brooklyn regarding the total population. Yes, Brooklyn wins! Almost 50{c8399be91965ff06a5fa23750b49beaf0bc09e4b1c94b50d52f75c5d1635bbfd} of the neighborhood are foreigners which is an astounding number right?

We just love this diversity and everything that comes with it! Different cultures, styles, fashion, accents, languages, points of view, music, art. It’s all so inspiring!

Diane Pham and Dana Schutz, from 6sqft have put together the 7 best places in Long Island City for art lovers. The neighborhood is also know as LIC – short and intimate.

And, just because you’re crossing into Queens, don’t think you’ll be sacrificing any creativity or imprimatur.

From world-famous contemporary art collections to smaller spots like a workspace dedicated to figurative drawing.

Noguchi Museum

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It’s not uncommon for a museum to be dedicated to a specific artist, but it is rare for it to be designed and established by the artist himself, in this case Japanese American artist and landscape architect Isamu Noguchi.

In 1985, his Noguchi Museum opened, displaying what he considered the most representative examples of his life’s work and becoming the catalyst for change in the neighborhood.

In addition, a decade earlier, the artist had purchased a small photogravure plant and gas station across from his studio and filled it with his sculptures, architectural models, stage designs, drawings, and furniture designs.

After a major 2004 renovation, the museum now features two floors of indoor exhibition space, indoor-outdoor galleries, and an outdoor sculpture garden. So, temporary exhibits are now part of the programming, and these explore Noguchi’s influence on contemporary culture.

Wednesday – Friday: 10am – 5pm
Saturday & Sunday: 11am – 6pm
Closed Mondays & Tuesday

Location: 9-01 33rd Road


Socrates Sculpture Park

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A block away from the Noguchi Museum is the Socrates Sculpture Park, a waterfront park and public art museum.

The location was previously an abandoned landfill and illegal dumpsite, but in 1986 a group of local artists and residents, headed up by artist Mark di Suvero, transformed the four-acre site into a public sculpture museum.

Guests have the option of a self-guided tour or a guided tour, and the organization also offers a farmers market, seasonal outdoor film screenings, and activities such as yoga, capoeira, tai chi, and kayaking and canoeing.

And, throughout the year there are plenty of performances, ranging from dance to theater to opera. Plus, it’s free and open every day of the year.

Hours: 365 days a year from 9am to sunset

Location: 32-01 Vernon Blvd


Sculpture Center

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NYC has plenty places to see contemporary art, but this is the only such museum dedicated to contemporary sculpture.

The Sculpture Center moved to its current location in a former trolley repair shop in 2002, and today this building serves as a sculptural piece in itself.

Artist and designer Maya Lin handled the initial redesign and just a few years ago, Andrew Berman Architects expanded and renovated the building, adding an enclosed courtyard for outdoor exhibitions and events.

Furthermore, unlike many institutions, the Sculpture Center is a non-collecting museum, meaning every year you’ll get to see a fresh batch of experimental, innovative exhibits.

They commission new work, as well as present exhibits by emerging and established artists and also have a series of free public programs and events such as artist talks, open studio days, and film screenings.

Thursday – Monday: 11am – 6pm
Closed Tuesdays & Wednesdays

Location: 44-19 Purves Street


Fisher Landau Center for Art

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Adaptive reuse is a theme when it comes to the locations of LIC arts institutions and the Fisher Landau Center for Art is no exception, housed in a former parachute harness factory.

Designed by the late English architect Max Gordon, the modern museum (which offers free admission) houses the 1,500-work contemporary art collection of Emily Fisher Landau.

Moreover, these includes the work of some of the past 50 years’ most influential artists, like Andy Warhol, Kiki Smith, Glenn Ligon, Cy Twombly, Jasper Johns, Jenny Holzer, and Robert Mapplethorpe, many of whom she supported early in their careers.

Also, on display is Ms. Landau’s 150-piece collection of mid-century furniture designer Warren McArthur, as well as a rotating exhibit series.

Thursday – Monday, 12pm – 5pm
Closed Tuesdays & Wednesdays

Location: 38-27 30th Street


Eleventh Street Arts

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Eleventh Street Arts veers from the modern to the traditional, presenting new works of drawings, paintings, and sculptures that invoke, challenge, and celebrate classical tradition.

Also unique is the fact that its exhibitions are curated by artists who lend their own interpretation to a specific style or theme such as still life, nudes, or architecture.

In addition, Eleventh Street Arts offers a chamber music series, from Chiaroscuro to Bach, and sponsors a resident chamber music artist.

Monday – Saturday: By appointment only.

Location: 46-06 11th Street


Grand Central Atelier

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Adjacent to Eleventh Street Arts is the Grand Central Atelier, a collaborative workspace dedicated to figurative drawing, painting, and sculpture.

In addition to exhibitions, concerts, lectures, concerts related to this study, the organization provides rigorous training and open sketch nights, as well as artistic competitions and fellowships.

So, those interested in more formal study of the traditional art form can enroll in a full-time program that lasts up to four years.

In addition, the shorter, one-day workshops and classes, ranges in topic from self-portrait and foundations of figure drawing, to still life to the classical architecture methods of the Ecole des Beaux-Arts.

By appointment only.
Wednesday evenings – 5:30pm
Friday afternoons – 12:30pm

Location: 46-06 11th Street



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MoMA PS1 became an affiliate of the Museum of Modern Art in 2000. But, it’s actually one of the oldest and largest nonprofit contemporary art institutions in the nation.

They’re located in an abandoned 19th-century public school building, which they often transform into site-specific works. The most well-known of which, may be their annual summer Warm Up. There, a winning entrant turns the open-air courtyard into a temporary, environmentally focused installation that accompanies a music series.

Satisfying their commitment to displaying the world’s most experimental art, past retrospectives have included Mike Kelley, Franz West, and Gordon Matta-Clark.

So, be sure to see light artist James Turrell’s permanent installation “Meeting,” one of his famed skyspaces. Plus, other long-term installations by Sol LeWitt, Cecily Brown, Alan Saret, and Richard Serra.

Thursday – Monday: 12pm – 6pm
Closed Tuesdays & Wednesdays

Location: 22-25 Jackson Avenue


Lastly, if you are loving the idea of heading out into Long Island City, in Queens to explore these 7 best places in Long Island City for art lovers, but prefer going with a guide, contact us! Our experts can provide art specialists to help you around.

Plus, we work a lot with Corporate groups of all sizes, so let our experts cater a fantastic experience for your team or your clients.


Photo Credits: Courtesy of Scott Hoffmann for MoMa PS1; Nicholas Knight/©The Isamu Noguchi Foundation and Garden Museum, NY/ARS; Kyle Knodell for Sculpture Center, Kelly Akashi for Sculpture Center; Mariana Hernandez-Rivera for Grande Central Atelier; and all museums & galleries.

The Big Takeover Band is literally taking over New York City!

Insider Interviews The Big Takeover Band Show

Our Founder, , recently went to a Sofar Sounds event, hosted at a super cool spot in Bushwick, called Honey’s. There, she saw a fantastic show by The Big Takeover Band and understood “why” they are taking over New York City!

Insider Interviews The Big Takeover Band Show

If you’ve never heard of Sofar Sounds, they host the most exclusive, secret and intimate music gigs in over 300 cites all over the Globe!

“Bringing the magic back to live music. Amazing artists in intimate spaces, performing stripped-back sets to carefully curated audiences. Sit down, settle in and just listen. You’re gonna love it.”

This event is BYOB (bring.your.own.bottle), so you can bring your own Booze! So feel free to bring Wine, Beer, or whatever makes you happy!

During the night at Honey’s, three bands performed for around 25 minutes each. The place is amazing, with an additional space containing a tasting room with wine barrels by Enlightenment Wines. That’s where the event was hosted. Super cool!

At this last event that Fê went, the last band was The Big Takeover Band! She fell completely in love with their music, the style, the vibe and decided to interview them!

The Band:
Nee Nee Rushie – Vocals | Rob Kissner – Bass | Kerry Shaw – Guitar | Andy Vogt – Trombone | Chas Montrose – Sax | Batu Attila – Drums.

Insider Interviews The Big Takeover Band Sofar Sounds NYC
Sofar Sounds NYC event, hosted at Honey’s, in Bushwick, Brooklyn.

So, take a look below to see what they are all about:

1) Lets start with how the band started. Being from the Hudson Valley, how did the band come about?

When I moved to New York from Jamaica to go to college, I met Rob Kissner (bass) and Sam Tritto  (original drummer) in New Paltz. We became friendly and realized we had a common love for Jamaican music.

We eventually formed a reggae band with the best guitar player in town (Jonny Monster) and Sam’s cousin, Andrew Vogt (trombone). Andrew soon brought Chas Montrose (sax) on board. They were old buddies who grew up together.

We started playing out and writing songs and people really enjoyed them. We have had some line-up changes along the way, but we have never stopped. That was back in 2007.

2) Was there any local inspiration when you guys started?

New Paltz, where we met and started playing gigs, has a very rich music scene. There is always something interesting music-wise happening there.

When we started out, there were many bands that were playing to very excited people. So we were inspired not only by our peers that were creating independent and good music, but by the people who were so open and excited to hear and see independent artists.

3) The music is very unique, mixing a quite a few different genres. Which bands are the ones you most enjoy and also gather inspiration from?

We gather inspiration from most styles of Jamaican music. We look up to bands and artists from the 60’s and 70’s. And some current artists with the old soul: The Skatalites, The Specials, The Slackers, Sharon Jones and The Dap Kings, Phyllis Dillon, Gregory Isaacs. Too many to mention, really.

4) Before writing a song, is there any ritual or maybe a place you go to be in silence? What are some things that people don’t really know about this creative process and how much work is put in it that you could share?

We always have something conceptualized before we meet and flush it out. It starts with a chord progression or a bass line. I put a vocal melody and lyrics on top of it and the rest of the band works their magic. No special place, no rituals. It comes to us and we play it.

5) You’ve played in over 700 show, throughout the past 10 years, which is simply amazing! I don’t believe that there is only 1 highlight in that timeline, so what were the most memorable moments or experiences that you guys had? Which show (or shows), would you love going back in time and experiencing again?

We love playing festivals in the summer time. That’s our favorite. This year we played Mountain Jam and we loved it. We enjoyed every festival that we have played!

Whenever we get the opportunity to open for a band that we look up to, we enjoy the hell out of it and always wish we can do it again.

We have shared the stage with many people we look up to like: Beres Hammond, Culture, The Wailers, The Skatalites, The Slackers, Eek-a-Mouse…

6) What’s the most exciting part of a show and of performing? The very beginning before going on stage? The middle when you see the crowd vibing with your song? The end, when you have massive applauses? Or another pivotal moment? 

I personally don’t enjoy the time before going on stage. Anytime that is spent not on stage or waiting to be on stage, is not fun for me.

The best part is the entire experience of being on stage from beginning to end. I love to sing, so if I’m singing, I’m happy. When I look out and see happy people, it makes it even better.

7) You are going on a new tour now to promote the “Silly Girl” album! What is the itinerary? What are you most looking forward too and what are some cool things you want to take from this tour? 

We are going to VA, NC, LA, TX, CO, CA and WA and we’re really look forward to it all! It will be amazing since we are going to get to see a lot of the country! We want to see the Grand Canyon, the desert and some wild horses.

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A few other fun questions regarding the Hudson Valley region:

8) What are your top 5 picks in the area of places to go and activities to do? In other words, here would you take your friends and family to explore away from the touristy scene?

We are so lucky to live in such a unique area of the country and love it here! We would recommend walking over the Hudson River (Walkway Over The Hudson), swimming in a water hole (so many all over!), hiking (countless hiking trails), visiting a farm for picking fruits or veggies, visiting a distillery, brewery or cidery.

9) Which are the best spots in New York (5 boroughs) to listen to the best music and upcoming bands?

We don’t get the time to listen to upcoming bands, unless we catch them before or after our set. Manhattan and Brooklyn never fails to have an eye catching act. We’ve seen some great bands at Rockwood Music Hall and The Shrine in Harlem.

Thank you Nee Nee (and band!) for participating in this interview! We are happy to show the world a bit of your story and fantastic work!

Here are 3 video clips of musics we love:

You can purchase there albums here, if you enjoyed the videos!

And, if you want to check them out or go to a show, take a look at their website to follow where they’ll be live next! As we mentioned, they are literally taking over New York City.



Photo Credits: Courtesy of The Big Takeover Band, Matthew Conde and Arius Photography

Dance ‘till the World Ends: Martha Graham, a Modern Dance Queen

Modern Dance Queen Martha Graham by Nycdanceproject

Our dear friend, contributor and famous Brazilian Singer, Aline Muniz, shares an amazing story and an event for those that like to dance, dance, dance! Get inspired by the Modern Dance Queen called Martha Graham.

Culture Music Modern Dance Queen Martha Graham by Danceinsoul
Photo Credit: Danceinsoul

If you enjoy Pop Music you probably know: Michael Jackson. If you like F1 Racing, you know: Michael Schumacher. And…if you like Modern Dance you need know another name that also starts with “M” and has revolutionized the craft of dancing.

She has made her mark in history, just like the two other “masters” I’ve mentioned above.

Her name is Martha Graham and, trust me, you really need to learn about her.

Born in 1894, in Allegheny, Pittsburgh, she became one of the most influential artists and choreographers of the 20th Century, and her work is a real beauty.

It doesn’t matter in what era we live in, it has been always of crucial importance for art mavens, like Martha, to make people access their feelings. Not only was Martha an expert in that, but she transformed modern dance, as well as disseminated it around the world.

Intensity, freedom, passion, anger…you can easily find it all in Graham’s movements and choreography. I guess that is the job of modern dance, right? To make the dancers and the audience focus on the core. The heart.

She urges us to refrain the shortness of breath and present the inner will to move freely using the breath in the same intensity and extension as a movement.

Contract and release”: two words that definitely rule her vocabulary.

Modern Dance Queen Martha Graham by Nycdanceproject
Photo Credit: Nycdanceproject

Since the launch of the “Martha Graham Dance Company” in 1926, they’ve been showcasing the best of the Contemporary Dance to world. From the classic masterworks to the new pieces from contemporary choreographers, the company brings to New York the “New York Season at The Joyce”, on February 14th – 26th and the “Graham Studio Series: Sacred/Profane Project”, on May 2nd and 3rd.

The Joyce theater will host it with the charm that only a specialized dance theater possesses.

In the heart of Chelsea, you’ll immerse yourself into the Modern Dance Queen’s World.

Culture Music Modern Dance Queen Martha Graham, the Joyce Theatre, by Grandlifehotels
Photo Credit: Grandlifehotels

Great dancers are not great because of their technique, they are great because of their passion.” ~ Martha Graham


New York Season at The Joyce
When: February 14th – 26th
Where: The Joyce NYC, 175 Eighth Avenue, Chelsea
Tickets: Starts at $10

Check Joyce Theater’s website for further information.


Graham Studio Series: Sacred/Profane Project
When: May 2nd and 3rd
Where: Martha Graham Studio Theater – 55 Bethune Street, 11th Floor
Tickets: Starts at $25

Website, for further information.

If you need assistance to organize a great cultural itinerary during your trip to NYC, or for your company gathering, contact our experts to help you out!

Culture Music Modern Dance Queen Martha Graham by Lois-Greenfield
Photo Credit: Lois-Greenfield


Photo Credits: Courtesy of danceinsoul, nycdanceproject, Lois-Greenfield and grandlifehotels

Singer Aline Muniz: In NYC, Directly from Brazil

Culture Music Aline Muniz Singer Portrait

We are so excited to have the Brazilian pop songwriter and singer Aline Muniz, in New York! We love when she flies in, since she lives between NYC and São Paulo, Brazil.

*Take a close look at the Music Clip above! Our Founder, , is part of this beautiful work!*

The singer Aline Muniz is definitely an amazing “multi-faceted” artist. She’s one of the leading exponents of the new and exciting Brazilian music scene.

She started at the young age of 15, fell in love with music and dance, and never stopped after that! Lucky us!!!

All through the Spring and Summer of 2017, Aline will promote a great project, with live performances in the US. Plus, a new original album is slated for a Fall 2017 release. We can guarantee that we’ll be hosting event with her, so keep your eyes opened! We can’t wait!

Aline will be part of one of our Secret Live Music Projects that will launch in a the next couple of weeks. Stay tuned and you’ll be able to come meet her in person!

Culture Music Aline Muniz Singer and Marco Vita
Aline with her Husband! We always agree when we hear: “Find a guy that will look at you, the way Aline’s husband looks at her!”

Here’s a bit more about her beautiful journey:

Her first independent album ‘Da Pá Virada’ was released in 2008 with lead single “Básica” generating huge national buzz and visibility.

In 2011 Aline releases “Onde Tudo Faz Sentido”, her sophomore solo effort. It solidified her position among the new generation of MPB (Música Popular Brasileira) artists.

2014 marks the release of ‘Outra’, Aline’s third album, this time supported by Sony Music Brasil. Several singles from the album receive strong radio airplay. The videos for songs “Dançando Com a Vida” and “Eu, Voce e Mais Ninguém” were an immediate hit on YouTube reaching well over 660.000 visualizations!” 

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See her Official YouTube Page! Her remarkable voice, her kind gestures and her flawless work will hypnotize you!

“Aline defines her work as ‘BPM’ as in ‘Brazilian Pop Music’, a term large enough to encompass her sophisticated compositional style and musical direction. She draws influences from Bossa Nova, classic MPB, Samba, international pop music, electronic and chill out sounds, Jazz and more. This musical eclecticism is what gives Aline the ability to create a truly fresh global pop sound.

Currently gearing up to launch her international career Aline is setting up base in New York City and working with respected A&R/Producer Béco Dranoff, to release a digital compilation.

The project is set to be released in the early part of 2017. It will include music selected from her three previous releases plus several new and unreleased recordings.

As noted Brazilian music critic and producer Nelson Motta states: “The singer Aline Muniz shows style and talent”.”

…And we agree!


** Aline Muniz was one of the 3 fantastic bands we invited to be part of our first Sofar Sounds curated by Behind the Scenes NYC. Stay tuned for upcoming event we’ll be doing with her! **

This is the video of that night:

If you want to listen to some of her songs, below are a few you’ll surely L-O-V-E:

Text and Photo Credits: Courtesy of the Aline Muniz

Jenna Rice: 10 Great NYC Tips From A NYC Blogger

Curiosities Insider Interviews Jenna Rice

The NYC Blogger, Jenna Rice, from the Blond Well Traveled, shared with us a mix’n’match of 10 great NYC tips! From restaurants, hotels and bagel spots, to upstate trips, art galleries and beauty salons.

Curiosities Insider Interviews Jenna Rice

Jenna Rice was born and raised in Florida, and currently lives in New York City.

She told us: “I followed my heart around the globe and landed in New York City.” Definitely a great place to land, right?!

She launched her passion project: a travel and lifestyle blog called Blonde Well Traveled, in 2015. Plus, she’s visited over 15 countries and doesn’t stop counting.

Since she moved to the “City that Never Sleeps”, she’s been sharing a glimpse into her experiences both within the city and beyond. All this, in addition to working full time in Public Relations.

Such a busy bee!

You can catch her on Instagram or check out her website.

Take a look at her 10 favorite NYC spots and in nearby towns:

Brooklyn Flea

Curiosities Insider Interviews Jenna Rice Brooklyn Flea

Brooklyn Flea is basically the cooler younger sister to Chelsea Market. There’s something for everyone, from vintage rings and designer bags to viney plants and eclectic home decor. Not to mention, they have some of the most popular food vendors from Smorgasburg minus the lines.”

We looove Brooklyn! We’re Brooklyn-based and even though the Brooklyn Flea can get a bit touristy, we still loooove it!

In addition, you’ll find 75 vendors with everything from clothes and accessories, to furniture and jewelry, plus 25 food vendors with the most delicious dishes.

During the winter they have only one location and it happens during the weekends: Saturday + Sunday from 10am – 6pm – called Winter Flea + Smorgasburg.

Location: 1 Hanson Place, Fort Greene


Mile High Run Club

Curiosities Insider Interviews Jenna Rice Mil High Run Club

Mile High Run Club is probably my favorite place to break a sweat in the City. It’s essentially a treadmill class with dimmed lighting, bumpin’ music and strobe lights…with a coach cheering you on through a series of intervals and hills. I recommend Dash 28 because it finishes with strength training utilizing kettle bells and core exercises.”

Do you like “the burn”? I mean, REALLY like it?

Well, if your immediate answer was “YES!”, then this is the place for you!

Mile High Run Club’s running program is uniquely designed to challenge your body and get the best results you’d ever imagine. Go to one of their 2 locations to try it out.

Plus, they offer indoor and outdoor classes, with amazing coaches! We’re sure it’ll become your newest addiction!

28 East 4th Street, NoHo
24 West 25th Street, NoMad



Curiosities Insider Interviews Jenna Rice Heyday

HeyDay is easily one of my best NYC finds. My skin went nuts when I moved to the City in the heart of winter from Florida, and this place introduced me to several natural products that I now swear by.”

The weather in NYC can be pretty crazy and will test your skin to the limit!

And, summer can be burning hot, hot, hot, while the winter can be pretty damn harsh where we feel our skin will rip with the cold.

Yeah, we know, it sounds terrible, right?

Well, we are IN NEW YORK CITYYYY, of obviously that helps make it easier to accept, LOL.

HeyDay is a great place to go if you’re looking for the perfect facial, with a good price, at the time that’ll suit you best. Carly Heitlinger also loves it!

1130 Broadway, NoMad
92 Reade Street, Tribeca


Harriman State Park

Curiosities Insider Interviews Jenna Rice Harriman State Park Kanawauke by Mwanner

“For those who need a breather from the City, Harriman State Park is your sanctuary. It’s just a quick train ride from the city and much less crowded than some of the other hiking spots like Breakneck and Bear Mountain.”

Harriman State Park is located in Rockland and Orange Counties, Upstate NY – a little over 1h drive from Manhattan. The drive is actually a very quick and surely a gorgeous car ride up there.

They have almost 52,000 acres of mostly forested landscape and over 23miles of hiking trails.

So, what are you waiting for? Go grab (or rent here) a car, and have fun!

And, more about them:

At 47,527 acres (192.33 km2), Harriman State Park is the second largest state park in New York. Located in Rockland and Orange counties 30 miles (48 km) north of New York City, it is a haven for hikers with over 200 miles (320 km) of hiking trails. The park is also known for its 31 lakes, multiple streams, public camping area, and great vistas.”

“The Jane is easily my favorite spot to go out in the City. It basically feels like you’re at a mansion party where your favorite songs are always playing and dancing on the furniture is encouraged. Every time I have a friend visiting, I take them there and they’re never disappointed.”

Yup! It’s one of our favorite spots too!

The Jane Hotel, is located in the West Village and is certainly a destination for the cool NYC crowd.

In addition, the hotel was launched in 1908 and has rooms that replicate luxury ship and train cabins.

On the other hand, rooms are pretty small, but come on, “Who” comes to NYC to stay in the room, right!?

Location: 113 Jane Street, West Village


Rockwood Music Hall

Curiosities Insider Interviews Jenna Rice Rockwood Music Hall

“For an intimate live music experience, hit up Rockwood Music Hall. A friend introduced me to this venue and it was everything I could’ve hoped for. While there are shows that require cover, there is a smaller room to the left of the main entrance that is free of charge.”

Rockwood Music Hall is known for having hosted performances of great artists like Lady Gaga, Gary Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day and Mumford & Sons.

It’s one our favorite spots to have a cool night out and listen to some of the best emerging NYC bands and musicians.

Plus, musicians from other nationalities are a big hit too, like Aline Muniz and André Vasconcellos.

They have 3 stages, full bars for all tastes, drinks aren’t so pricey, like expected in Manhattan.

We love it, and we are there quite a lot!

Location: 196 Allen Street, Lower East Side


Black Seed Bagels

Curiosities Insider Interviews Jenna Rice Bagels Daniel Krieger
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Daniel Krieger

“After a night out, nothing compares to Black Seed Bagels. Option #11 always satisfies! Another favorite is Tompkins Square Bagels if you’re in the mood for trying out a new cream cheese flavor like birthday cake or one of their French toast bagels.”

Bagels! We just love Bagels!

And, New York’s bagels are said to be one of the best on this planet, since our water is so fantastically clean and tasty!

Black Seed Bagels is certainly one of the most famous in town.

In addition, Tompkins Square Bagels’ are hand rolled, kettle boiled and baked over wood planks….yum!!!


Black Seed Bagels:
170 Elizabeth Street, Nolita
200 Vesey Street, Battery Park City
176 First Street, East Village


Tompkins Square Bagels:
164 Avenue A.


Buddha Bodai

Curiosities Insider Interviews Jenna Rice Buddha Bodai Kosher
Curiosities Insider Interviews Jenna Rice Buddha Bodai Kosher Veggie Dumplings
Curiosities Insider Interviews Jenna Rice Buddha Bodai Kosher Sweet
Curiosities Insider Interviews Jenna Rice Buddha Bodai Kosher Rolls
Curiosities Insider Interviews Jenna Rice Buddha Bodai Kosher Pad See Ew
Curiosities Insider Interviews Jenna Rice Buddha Bodai Kosher Limes
Curiosities Insider Interviews Jenna Rice Buddha Bodai Kosher Dumplings
Curiosities Insider Interviews Jenna Rice Buddha Bodai Kosher Buns
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Buddha Bodai is an incredible vegetarian spot in Chinatown. The food is delicious (you can’t even tell there’s no meat) and the atmosphere is so authentic. I highly recommend the sesame “chicken”.”


When our Founder, , went with a very good friend to Buddha Bodai, she became c-o-m-p-l-e-t-e-l-y addicted to it!

She’s vegetarian, but loves Vegan food too, and she couldn’t believe how amazingly tasty everything was!

The dumplings are to-die-for, but everything is remarkably good!

But, it’s actually hard to know what exactly to order, so you might just have to go there multiple times to try it all.

Location: 77 Mulberry Street, Chinatown


Dia: Beacon

Curiosities Insider Interviews Jenna Rice Dia Beacon

Dia:Beacon is the perfect day trip for anyone craving a little artistic adventure, especially if you love installations! Be sure to purchase a round trip ticket with museum entrance included at Grand Central Station. Check out my full blog post on my experience.”

Dia:Beacon is surely a highlight if you’re into Art.

Located only 1.5h from Manhattan, it’s a beautiful place to visit and the trip there, is pretty easy too.

And, if you’re not sure how to get there, and would like help, contact our experts.

In addition, if you need assistance for any corporate activity with your team or clients, let our experts cater to all your needs and make the experience memorable.

Location: 3 Beekman Street, Beacon


“One of my favorite things to do on the weekend is pop into galleries in the LES and Chelsea. It’s a great alternative to hitting up a crowded museum, plus they’re completely free to enjoy! David Zwirner, Paul Kasmin, and Richard Taittinger are a few of my go-tos.”

David Zwirner is one of the top contemporary art galleries, with another location overseas, in Mayfair, London. They currently have 2 great exhibitions: “Yun Hyong-keun” up through February 18th and “Drawn Together”, up through February 18th.

David Zwirner is pleased to present an exhibition of large-scale paintings by Yun Hyong-keun (1928-2007) from the mid-1970s through the 1980s. The exhibition includes an unprecedented selection of paintings in the artist’s unique style of monochromatic abstraction, several of which are shown here for the first time. The exhibition marks the largest solo presentation of Yun’s work in North America to date.” ~ Read more here.

David Zwirner is pleased to present the gallery’s first exhibition of the collaborative work of Aline Kominsky-Crumb and R. Crumb. Both pioneers of underground and alternative comics, Kominsky-Crumb and Crumb have created a groundbreaking portrait of their shared lives and creative collaborations over the past four decades. In their ongoing “Aline & Bob” comics, the two artists have rendered their innermost thoughts, fears, and fantasies alongside the day-to-day realities of family life in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, each in their own distinctive style.” ~ Read more here.

Paul Kasmin Gallery works and supports influential Modern and Contemporary artists. They are showcasing two exhibitions: NATURALIA” up through March 4th and “WILLIAM N. COPLEY: WOMEN”, up through March 25th.

Paul Kasmin Gallery and Sotheby’s Old Masters Department will present their first collaborative exhibition, Naturalia, curated by Danny Moynihan. The show will be comprised of works spanning six centuries which share a fundamental focus on the examination of natural science and its myriad presentations in art.” ~ Read more here.

COPLEY: WOMEN unites a selection of paintings that highlight the late artist’s preoccupation with the opposite sex, which he employed as an endless source for inventive figurative and narrative paintings that explored eroticism, sexual politics and the pursuit of pleasure. Originally defying painterly trends of the 1950s by making personal and narrative works, the self-taught artist developed a radical fusion of European Surrealist vernacular and a rogue, humorous American sensibility. Sex, eroticism and cultural critique were mainstays in Copley’s oeuvre of paintings that embraced idiosyncratic figuration, candy-colored palettes and Matisse-like decorative patterning.” ~ Read more here.

Richard Taittinger Gallery works in Presenting works by contemporary artists with significant global recognition. Stop by their gallery, in the Lower East Side, to see their current exhibition: “The Wsanderers: Contemporary Painting From CLUJ”. It will be on through February 19th.

For this exhibition, the curator has endeavored to make visible that, beyond the ascribed label of the Cluj School by way of international media, there is much more to be explored when considering this group of artists. Therefore, this multigenerational exhibition tracks a shared dialogue between masters and students in order to define certain Romanian traditions. Traditions, that has within the last decade, projected the painters of Cluj-Napoca, into the limelight, astounding the international art world.” ~ Read more here.

If you are an art lover, you’ll most certainly be fascinated by our art tours, so contact us. In addition, see how our corporate experiences related to art works.

David Zwirner: 525 West 19th Street, Chelsea

Paul Kasmin Gallery: 293 10th Avenue, Chelsea

Richard Taittinger Gallery: 154 Ludlow Street, Lower East Side

Lastly, to wrap up this great interview and a beautiful selection of hot spots in New York, we asked Jenna:

What does NYC mean to you?

“I could honestly answer this question so many ways, but I think NYC means being able to wake up each morning with every possibility in the world at your feet.

There is always something to do, someone to meet, something to see. To me, personally, it means perseverance. The people who live here are tough. For the most part, we all struggled in some way to get here, and continue to struggle now that we’re here. But somehow, it’s all worth it.

There’s no place in the world that can offer up this kind of experience to a person.”

Thank you Jenna for being part of our Insider Interviews and sharing these 10 great NYC tips.

Plus, don’t forget to check out her blog named the Blond Well Traveled.


Credits (Text and Photos): Courtesy of Wikipedia (Harriman State Park), Mwanner, Daniel Krieger, Jenna Rice and all the venues

A Music Haven in Williamsburg called Rough Trade NYC

Shop Specialties Rough Trade Vintage NYC Vinyl Music

One of the best places best places to go in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, if you’re into great music, a fantastic selection of books and magazines, delicious coffee and drinks, plus…if you’re a vinyl lover, or collector, is Rough Trade NYC.

Shop Specialties Rough Trade Vintage NYC Vinyl Music
Shop Specialties Rough Trade Vintage NYC Vinyl Music Cassettes
Shop Specialties Rough Trade Vintage NYC Vinyl Music Brompton Coffee
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To start with, more and more tourists are learning about the neighborhood of Williamsburg, in Brooklyn. Not only that, but locals are also starting to cross more frequently the bridge to explore other Boroughs, besides Manhattan.

Now, exploring a neighborhood means: walking through it, getting lost, entering streets you wouldn’t necessarily go in and be open hearted with whatever comes! Do you see a small, opened door? Walk in! You might be surprised…

That is, to say, that the Rough Trade NYC store, based in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, is the biggest one they have and it’s definitely a special place. We love everything about them from the containers they installed in the space, the effortless décor to the works of art all over the place!

It’s huge and pretty easy to get lost amidst the many amazing works spread within the huge 15,000sqft warehouse. Plus, you’ll find everything from old all-time favorites, to new, upcoming artists and great hits.

In addition, you can also find a vast variety of musical instruments and accessories around the store. We love the new vintage-like vinyl players! Perfect for the modern vinyl lover!

As they explain:

“Rough Trade first opened in 1976, West London, on the doorstep of punk. Forty years on, we continue to celebrate and focus on simply the most exciting music.

As our stores have grown in size and popularity, so has their scope and ability to embrace a wider celebration of independent thinking, creativity and fearless self-expression, from literature to DIY technology.

Fundamentally, our stores provide creative, independent minds a shared place of discovery and congregation.”

Not to mention, they have a big separate space at the back, where they host super cool music gigs with local artists and offer a full bar service. They’ve had on stage some pretty cool bands like one we love, called Vick + The Velvicks!

Tickets usually sell out quickly, so do keep your eyes opened in advance!

Monday – Saturday: 11am – 11pm
Sunday: 11am – 9pm

Location: 64 North 9th Street


Katie Perry Tells Where The Cool StartUp Entrepreneurs Hang

Curiosities Insider Interviews Katie Perry

Katie Perry, Director of Marketing at Crowdtap and 10x marathoner shares with us the places where the cool startup entrepreneurs hang out! Surely, some of the best NYC hot spots!

Curiosities Insider Interviews Katie Perry

Our Contributor, Arielle Crane, interviewed Katie Perry, Director of Marketing at Crowdtap – an Inc. 5000 tech company that was recently named “The Best Social Media Tool” by the Shorty Awards.

When she’s not at her startup’s NoHo HQ, she can be found (quite literally) running around the city.

Katie is a 10x marathoner – or causing trouble with her friends in Williamsburg.

Arthur’s Tavern

Curiosities Insider Interviews Katie Perry Arthurs Tavern Façade
Curiosities Insider Interviews Katie Perry Arthurs Tavern
Curiosities Insider Interviews Katie Perry Arthurs Tavern Band
Curiosities Insider Interviews Katie Perry Arthurs Tavern Musician
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“‘Dive’ is an understatement at Arthur’s Tavern: Everything smells like mildew, the toilets never work, and the décor hasn’t been updated since the Reagan presidency. The music, though! A tale talented house band sets the stage with classic R&B hits while you await the big show: Sweet Georgia Brown, a 80-year-old soul singer with pipes like Aretha.”

Founded in 1937, Arthur’s Tavern has some of the best live jazz and blues music. Every night of the week they host ‘live jazz, blues, rhythm & blues, and Dixieland jazz music’ and they don’t ask for a cover charge!

Live jazz: 7pm-10pm, Tuesday through Saturday
Dixieland Jazz: Sunday & Monday 8pm-11pm, Sunday and Monday
Best of blues and R&B:Tuesday – Saturday from 9pm – 3am and Sunday & Monday from 11pm – 3am

Location: 57 Grove Street, West Village


El Cortez

Curiosities Insider Interviews Katie Perry El Cortez by Claudio Papapietro for The WSJ
Curiosities Insider Interviews Katie Perry El Cortez  Food
Curiosities Insider Interviews Katie Perry El Cortez by Melissa Hom
Curiosities Insider Interviews Katie Perry El Cortez by Melissa Hom Cocktail
Curiosities Insider Interviews Katie Perry El Cortez by Free Williamsburg
Curiosities Insider Interviews Katie Perry El Cortez Façade
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“One of the geniuses behind The Commodore and Pies & Thighs debuted this Mex-American haunt, El Cortez, last summer, conveniently located two blocks from the Morgan Avenue’s L stop. The restaurant’s giant totem pole looks absolutely ridiculous against Bushwick’s post-industrial skyline, and that’s okay. Get the nachos – they’re 100 emoji status and SUPER hot – and pick your poison off a lengthy drink menu. Karaoke kicks off at 10 p.m. on Tuesdays.”

Founded by Stephen Tanner, El Cortez is located in one of the artsy streets in Bushwick. Besides the restaurant, you can find a dance floor and a bar upstairs, if you decide to extend your night.

No cover charged and you do have to be over 21 to get in.

Daily from 4pm through 4am

Location: 17 Ingraham Street, Bushwick


Mulberry Street Bar

Curiosities Insider Interviews Katie Perry Mulberry Street Bar
Curiosities Insider Interviews Katie Perry Mulberry Street Bar Pizza Chef
Curiosities Insider Interviews Katie Perry Mulberry Street Bar Pizza
Curiosities Insider Interviews Katie Perry Mulberry Street Bar Burger
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“At a first glance Mulberry Street Bar looks like your standard Little Italy bar-slash-pizza kitchen, but something magical happens here on Friday nights. A regular crowd of straight outta Sicily karaoke enthusiasts fills the gingham-covered tables and belt out crooner hits from Dean-o and Old Blue Eyes. Watch out for Sonny – the most incredible karaoke performer you ever did see. The brick oven pizza isn’t too shabby, either.”

Founded in 1908, Mulberry Street Bar is one of the oldest bars in New York City.

It has hosted a few of Hollywood’s favorite movies like: Donnie Brasco, The Sopranos, Law & Order and Contract on Cherry Street with Frank Sinatra.

Décor is practically the same as when it opened, with a few modern twists.

Location: 176 Mulberry Street, Little Italy


The Globe NYC

Curiosities Insider Interviews Katie Perry The Globe NYC by Ephemeral New York
Curiosities Insider Interviews Katie Perry The Globe NYC Appetizers
Curiosities Insider Interviews Katie Perry The Globe NYC Burger
Curiosities Insider Interviews Katie Perry The Globe NYC Cocktail
Curiosities Insider Interviews Katie Perry The Globe NYC Whiskey
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“If being “basic” is a thing, why not embrace it in the most ironic way possible? The Globe NYC, a typical bro bar most nights, is a gem late night on Saturdays. Check your bougie attitude at the door and bring a high-energy squad to dance the night away to terrible Top 40 – because even hipsters can appreciate the occasional Pitbull banger.”

The Globe NYC is an old-school Irish pub, since 1886, with a fireplace featuring Guinness and other drafts, plus pub grub.

They have Burger & Brew for $12 from Mondays – Fridays, until 4pm.

Plus, every Tuesday night from 8pm – 11pm, they have a Live Irish Folk Jam Music!

Oh! Wanna host your party there? They have a new craft bar and event space called The Green Room. Go check it out.

Location: 158 East 23rd Street, NoMad


Teran Valdez: Awaken Creativity, Engage the Mind, Soothe the Spirit

Culture & Music Teran Valdez Work in Progress

Teran Valdez Studio‘s sole focus is towards developing a creative dialogue through exhibitions and other organized events that will facilitate revitalization of fine arts in Newburgh and the Hudson Valley.

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Culture & Music Teran Valdez Working
Culture & Music Teran Valdez Pictures Hanging
Culture & Music Teran Valdez Work in Progress
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The state of New York is very rich with amazing artists and creative spreading their love and their work. We are huge fans of finding who is making a difference and impacting our community in a positive, constructive and encouraging way.

On of the duos we’ve heard about named their studio, Teran Valdez.

The studio is located in the historic district of Newburgh, in upstate New York. It was founded by the local artist Will Teran and business his partner Cynthia Valdez.

It hosted inside an amazing, and pretty big, 2,700 sqft space, where you will surround yourself with fantastic art works. So, we are sure it’ll all blow your mind. Perfect to indulge and awaken creativity, right?

The studio influences the exchange of creative endeavors between emerging and established artists. These, based within the Hudson Valley.

Today, Cynthia has on her apparel brand named CVC Apparel, so be sure to check it out! Will continues with his painting and drawing art works.

In addition, they are quite close to Dia: Beacon, so be sure to explore this opened air contemporary arts museum. It’s only 15-20 min car ride from Newburgh.

Lastly, if you enjoy upstate trips, take a look at our guide to Narrowsburg, put together by the gorgeous Juliette Hermant, Founder of Fish & Bicycle. Surely a place to visit if you want to escape the city’s chaos.

If you are an art lover and would like to know about hour our private art tours work, contact our experts to help you out. We have some pre-organized tours, but we are surely able to cater to your needs and customize a fantastic art experience for you.

We also work with big companies and corporate groups, so don’t hesitate to contact us for any corporate request.

Location: 119 Broadway, Newburgh




Excerpts: Courtesy of Teran Valdez
Photo Credit: Missoddball

If you like Rock’n’Roll check out The Brazilian Johnsons

The Brazilian Johnsons Michel Nasrallah

If you like Rock’n’Roll, here is a band you must see! This past November 23rd the Rockwood Music Hall , in Williamsburg, hosted a special show by the band The Brazilian Johnsons.

The Brazilian Johnsons Band

Making an amazing story short, the band is formed by 5 fantastic musicians that studied together at Berklee College of Music,in Boston. After graduating, they moved to New York City to show what they are about.

To introduce, Michel Nasrallah is the leading vocal and guitar, Andre Vasconcelos on the guitar, Apoena Frota plays the bass, Bruno Esrubilsky rock on the drums and João Nogueira on the keyboard.

Furthermore, as many of you must know, Berklee is considered the Harvard University for music and several famous musicians have graduated there. A few names are Diana Krall, Quincy Jones, John Mayer, Esperanza Spalding, Joey Kramer and many others!

The Brazilian Johnsons is an “Energetic, Blues-infused, New Old-School Rock” band. In addition, they are creating their signature sound in town in style! Definitely Rock’n’Roll.

Plus, they recently launched their debut EP, entitled “Howdy Duty”. Their 2nd EP is on the works and everyone is quite excited to listen to it!

Curious??? Check it out at the iTunes Store and next time, if you’re in town, do attend their show! It’s definitely something to experience in NYC!

Also, take a look at the official video clip of their music “Need a Miracle”! The lyrics will definitely make sense for those living in New York!

Keep up the amazing work, guys!

So, if you enjoy discovering upcoming artists and band, you will love an article we wrote about what some of the cool kids in town are up to!

And still, keep posted on some of the upcoming events that will happen, mostly in Manhattan and Brooklyn. You will surely be able to experience some of the most unique spots, where the local crowd hangs out!


Photo Credit: Studio 42 Brooklyn

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