Why we do stuff? I am sure your answer involves some kind of rewarding definition. From losing weight to making money; from prestige to the smile of a beloved one. We do stuff because we want something in return, do not trust me, trust Sociology on that.

One of my favourite reasons to do things is just… to feel good. Sounds silly to you? Maybe, but think about the number of times we have to do things that don’t make any sense to us and you will understand what I mean. This is why I am always very grateful for the moments when I can do things that make me happy and singing is what makes me the happiest in this life.

I have participated in four different editions of International Jazz Day producing local events (and counting!), but every time I receive the certificate of participation, the six-year-old girl in me jumps for joy and delight. And I do not even care if every participant gets the same letter. In my heart, I feel as if Mr. Herbie Hancock had written those lines only for me. Check it out.

The feeling of reward is sky high, especially because the performance on Jazz & Comics represents a fusion between my academic background and the experience of being a singer and songwriter. This edition was actualy a double treat, as it was also my first in person peformance since the world turned upside down in 2020.

Starting over is always difficult and I remember that on that day (April 30th, when International Jazz Day is celebrated) not even the weather helped, but in the end it was all worth it. Although I do not need a certificate to know that, it has an enormous value to me, because even the things we know for sure can be forgotten im moments of trouble.

On these occasions, the letter signed by Mr. Hancock will be my reminder that, once again, despite the difficulties, I managed to do what was important, what really made sense to me.

I cannot think of a better reward.

Be seeing you!


Do you consider yourself an organized person? I would love to tell you that I have my whole year planned in advance or, at least, the entire month, but instead I have to admit (with a little bit of shame) that despite my efforts to classify my priorities in short, middle and long ones, in terms of sticking to a pre-schedule list of activities, I barely reach a week.

How come? Well, if life happens while we are busy with our little things, sometimes it throws a big flaming ball on our direction. “Catch it!”, life says. You know you are going to hurt yourself anyway, but what can you do? You simply try not to drop the flaming ball, than you handle it (and your burns) the best you can, and when it cools dows a bit, you keep playing the game.

Some call the flaming balls “problems”, but I´d rather prefer to describe them as big things. All right, I know we learn to remember and cherish the good big events in life, but let us be honest: we all know that there will also be lots of rainy days, some storms now and then and, eventullay, even biblical floods.

“It is allright, if it is going wrong“, sings Ed Motta in the refrain of his 1997 song Vendaval (Windstorm). Gilberto Gil reinforces the message in Retiros Espirituais (Spiritual Retreats):

In my spiritual retreats
I discover certain banal things
How to have problems,
Be the same as not
Resolving to have them, is to have them,
Resolving to ignore them, is to have them

Last week I got one of those flaming balls thrown right in my face. Lots of burns, probably some scars. Needless to say, my weekly schedule was (again) totally ruined, but gee, did I manage to handle it well! Now, dear life, it is my turn. Catch it!

Be seeing you!


Valsa do Pequeno Amor (Little Love Waltz) is a composition of the great Joyce Moreno. Part of the album Slow Music (2009), it is about the little loves in life that prepare the soil and the soul for the event of a big love. Dealing with the little things in life help us to handle the big ones. It is a complex, continuous movement wonderfully described in the song. But what happns after that? What comes after the big love?

Joyce has the answer for that question, too and it comes in the form of another equally beautiful track from the same album called Sobras da Partilha (Leftovers from sharing). This time, her crystal voice sings about all those things that one accumulates in a lifetime as a couple and that need to be separated after a breakup.

Maybe because I am not the collection type, I have always found that material memories are the easiest to deal with in those situations. The symbolic partitions are the treicky part. To separate yourself from a happy laugh, from the touch of hands, irreplaceable little things that once gone, are gone for good, this is the real hard task.

My guess is that if we thought of life as a succession of small things that together form a majestic design, like a mosaic, some events that we take as a waste of time would gain a new outline and some meaning. I know we always wait for great events, those three lines of great deeds that will appear in our biography, but how much life, I mean real life, is there?

Think about the time it takes a musician to create a song and all the steps to recording and publishing it. The work is immense, extremely time consuming and most of it is not even heard, never gets an applauded, not even comes to light. The same is true for all arts and professions. Big results come from accumulating small triumphs in a long process that mainly involces hard work.

There is a fat chance that you will completely disagree with me on that and, frankly, you have the entire dense mesh formed by social media and digital influencers on your side. In the current business model, in which the main goal is the so-called engagement in socials, it seems that everything must be gig: big deeds, big numbers of likes and sharings, big deals.

This aspect, in itself, is bad enough, because it is based on a model that is very far from the reality of someone who works with music, but is not a millionaire (needless to say that this is the majority of cases). However, in addition to the false expectations, there is still another aspect, worse and more perverse, as it acts discreetly and gradually: the change of focus from music to…, well to everything that is good for business, basically: licensing songs for publicity, personal life scandals, personality cult and a lot of showing off.

Still sounds too vague? Here is a quick exercise: think about two or three digital influencers linked to music. Now think about how much of the news about them you’ve seen in the last twenty-four hours has really had to do with music, strictly music. Not much, I’m sure.

Anyway, these are just reflections I wanted to share with you, as I finish a cup of tea. There is still a lot to do before I can call it a day. A bunch of wonderful, magical little things. As John Lennon said in Beautiful Boy, “life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans

Be seeing you!0


Renunciation is liberation. Not wanting is power.
Fernando Pessoa

Today I decided not to take part in a music competition that promises a huge amount of money as the main prize. You see, I did not say that I gave up participating, but that I made a conscious decision, after informing myself and reflecting on the matter. In fact, I spent a lot of time on this process, enough to remind me of a college story.

M. was one of the colleagues with whom I shared student housing. She had built a solid reputation as a heartbreaker and one day, for reasons I no longer remember, she tried to convince me (or, more likely, tried to convince herself) that her last disastrous relationship had, after all, been worth it, for as the Portuguese poet Fernando Pessoa would say:

“Everything is worth it
If the soul is not small”

Pessoa is a very intriguing author and I am also a fan of these famous verses that praise the courageous character of human experiences. Perhaps inspired precisely by the taste for labyrinths so typical of the author, I replied: if all experiences are acts of courage, so is to refuse to have an experience.

Saving yourself from a bad time or company would also be a worth living experience. In other words: it is also ok to say “no” sometimes.

I still remember the expression on her face. M. was shocked by the new angle I was presenting. Months later she would tell me that those words had indeed had a big impact on her, which I took as a huge compliment.

One of the most famous poems in the vast oeuvre of Fernando Pessoa, Navergar é Preciso (“Sailing is Necessary”) refers to an ancient Latin expression credited to the Roman general Pompeu (1st century BC), who used it to encourage his sailors: “Navigare necesse, vivere non est necesse” (“Sailing is necessary, living is not necessary”):

“Ancient navigators had a glorious phrase:
‘Sailing is necessary; living is not necessary’
I want for myself the spirit of this sentence
transformed the shape, to match who I am:
Living is not necessary; what is needed is to create”

The beautiful sentence that inspired Pessoa is also found in the song Os Argonautas, by Caetano Veloso, released in 1969. I wonder how many times the topic will come to light, whether in the arts or in daily conversations that will one day become memories.

Living, sailing, creating: if the soul is not small, what to fear after all?

Be seeing you!