My Sunday feeling is one of my favorite Jethro Tull songs. The live version at the Isle Of Wight Festival, in 1970 has such an energy and expresses such a potency of what art has the power to do, that no matter how many times I watch it, it always impresses me tremendously. Same goes for ther virtuosity of Ian Anderson.

At first, it seemed curious to me that such a vibrant music would evoke a “Sunday feeling”, since that day is associated with the idea of rest. However, for several categories, including those working in entertainment, Sunday is one of the busiest days.

I believe that the lyrics of the song connect with this, say, “other side” of Sunday, with the idea of a perfect day to get out of the routine and do something really special. My last Sunday, for example, was quite lively. The chat about Jazz and Literature that I led in a traditional bookstore in the city was a success!

It is indeed a great to realize that there is a representative amount of people interested in leaving home on a Sunday afternoon to exchange ideas and talk about music and books. Who are those people?

Well, the audience was as varied as possible. It included, fo instance, a three-year-old girl who behaved exceptionally well and a white-haired gentleman who did not know how to turn off his cell phone, which, of course, kept on ringing, not only disturbing the audience, but also providing a very welcome comic relief.

What a lovely feeling to be there, joining in with the numerous events in 195 (hurray!) countries in order to celebrate International Jazz Day. And what a beautiful congregation!

Jazz is freedom, jazz is inclusion and a lot of other great things worth living for, like a lovely Sunday afternoon with friends.

Be seeing you!

G. F.

Some of my guests

Since 2017 (with the exception of the years 2020 and 2021) I have been a partner of the International Jazz Day, which means that I create local events around the jazz theme on April 30th and they are included on the official page of IJD. Local events are not necessarily music events. Last year, for example, the event was a masterclass on the links between jazz and comics, interspersed with live performed songs.

This year the concept is similar. I will talk about Jazz & Literature. The lecture format (well, I might sing some parts of mentioned tunes a cappella, to better illustrate a passage, but nothing more than that) made me think that, compared to the hybrid version of words and music, the event this year would be less attractive to the general public. And I was totally wrong.

In fact, the event this year has gained much more attention and momentum, so to speak, and I not only talking about “likes” and “shares” in socials. This time, for the first time, the official social media profiles is co-hosting my event on Facebook! Okay, I know that a year ago people were a lot less open to face-to-face events than they are now. Even so, something tells me that the fundamental difference is in the exchange of the word “comics” for “literature”.

I have been researching graphic art (including comics, editorial cartoons and graphic novels) since 2012 and, from my point of view, this field of knowledge had already overcome the prejudice of being considered a “minor art”, “children’s thing” (in the bad sense of the expression) and other absurdities. When, however, I mentioned my suspicions to a researcher friend, he was adamant: “Comics are still considered a sub-form of literature, while jazz is supposed to be a appreciated by the elite”.

Funny, because prejudice and snobism are actually on the opposite side of what jazz represents. If you listen to jazz because you think it makes you look sophisticated and intellectual, then you have probably not aquired the most basic information about the genre. Jazz has nothing to do with being part of “a select few”, whatever that publicity line may be able to sell. Jazz is not about pretending. It is about being and feeling.

And you know what is even funnier? Record covers are among the first representations of jazz and guess who were the pioneering creators of covers for jazz records? Illustrators, posters, graphic artists. Which means that jazz is, in a way, as far as chronology is concerned, more connected to the despised comics than its rich cousin, literature.

Perhaps this information will surprise the audience and help them form a more enlightened opinion of the greatness of jazz. If that is the case, I will consider my mission accomplished and my event a resounding success.

Anyway, I just wanted to invite you who might be in Rio by the 30th, or who migh know people around to my event. You can check out the poster here, as well as my past events. Celebrate the date!

Be seeing you!

G. F.

“Why do you celebrate International Jazz Day?”

The question is the first one on the International Jazz Day Partner Interview form. It is the first time I answer the questionnaire and, honestly, I believe it is the first time I have been asked this question in such a direct way. Though one!

It is always difficult to explain the things that really matter, the deep truths we carry within us, but, ok, I shall face the challenge. Why do I celebrate International Jazz Day? Because I feel part of the jazz community (so far, so good).

And why do I feel part of this community? Now comes the hard-to-explain part… Ok, Geisa, do not overthink, just write what comes in your mind when you think about jazz.

Jazz gave me a formal freedom that was immensely important for my artistic development. Sometimes I feel that jazz is a code, a key, that opens many doors. Thelonious. Monk put it well when he said that “Jazz is freedom”.

Freedom that opposes any form of segregation, censorship or prejudice. Freedom that unites and builds dialogues. That is it! I got my answer!

I celebrate International Jazz Day because I celebrate freedom. As Ella sings in the George Gershin song: who could ask for anything more?

Be seeing you!


p.s. next week I´ll tell you HOW I will celebrate it this year

Rainer Werner Fassbinder explores, with his usual mastery, the theme of fear in such movies as Angst essen Seele auf (Fear devours the Soul, 1974) or Angst vor der Angst (Fear of Fear, 1975). In both cases, the protagonists need to deal with an urgency for change that collides with the fear of losing control of the situation.

What is your fear? Do not say you have no fear, because I will not believe you. So, starting from the premise that being afraid is part of the human (and not only) condition, let us talk about this feeling.

Fear has a bad reputation and yet it is very necessary in our life. In fact, like everything else, you just need to know how to use it in your favor. My technique for dealing with fear is as follows: I embrace the fear and break it down into several smaller fears that are easier to deal with.

A good way to start this process is to remember that fear releases several hormones, including adrelanine, which sends us a clear and direct answer (beat it!) and that can even be used as a driving force to move forward.

Our brain is always trying to protect itself/us from changes, because changes mean adjustments. And that includes the classic self-sabotaging thought: “Should I really do this?” which is your brain’s equivalent of saying, “Are we going to be as safe in this new condition, as we are now? It has nothing to do with cowardice, but with self-preservation.In other words: fear makes evolution possible.

That is why I deeply respect my fears, but also, precisely because I want to evolve, I try to calm my ever attentive brain. Right now, for instance, I am trying to convince it that confirming a lecture, two shows, a translation and an article for the end of the month will not lead to my extinction. Perhaps to extreme fatigue, but not to extinction.

The brain is very smart and it might take a while til it can be convinced, but with persistence and confidence I usually manage to make my fears so small, that they look like, I don know, like a battery. Yes, a battey I can use to provide me some extra “zing”, and feed me for my next conquest.

Be seeing you!


p.s. This is the 100th post by The Red Flower Press. Hurray! Thannk you for following us!

Do you think more people were more collaborative in 2020 just out of fear? My dear friend A., who is an amazing singer and songwriter brought this aspect of the pandemic to my attention on a recent chat, and her remark kept echoing in my head for a long time.

Her comment took me to a trip down memory lane. During 2020 we had contact with the best and worst in human beings. There were people sharing help and people fighting over a bottle of hand sanitizer. There were people searching day and night for a vaccine and people (a lot of people) spreading fake news to get likes on social media.

And there was this zone of common experiences, mostly very painful ones. The whole world was suddenly dealing with great charges of loss, fear and isolation. 2020 seems so far away from our current point of view, and yet, the sadness in our hearts is right there, so close that we can reach it with a simple comment on a chat.

We could not choose 2020, but we can decide if we will repeat it forever or if we will finally try (this time for real) to find a possible balance. Without great illusions or expectations, I sincerely ask myself whether it is still possible for some event that could fix us collectively.

We are full, crowded and crammed with individual “fixes”, but where did these small individual/individualist solutions take us? Are we doomed to repeat 2020 in cyclical intervals? I do not know about you, but I failed to find anything new about the new normal. Maybe it was just a great desire to break this vicious cycle that made me warn possible “competitors” about a new call for artists.

Here is the story: me and a bunch of other artists, we were in a room waiting to be called to sign our contracts with the city hall, in order to hand over the rights to exhibit our works (in my case, a videopoem). While people kept looking to their mobiles, looking totally self-absrobed I simply cannot contain myself: as if it had a mind of its own, my big mouth opens and spreads the news: “Hey guys, there’s another call going on, but hurry up, because the deadline is coming up.”

This is the kind of spontaneous action that generates an immediate sense of guilt. Why did I do this? Why did I increase the number of competitors in a competition in which I am also fighting for a chance? Sincerely? I do not know.

My guess is that deep inside my heart I do not believe that my victory can only happen through the loss of other people. Okay, more competitors, but are they really my competitors? Do they work with the same subjects that I do? In the very same way? Certainly not. Call me old fashioned, but I believe in my work and see no reason to be afraid to share the news of a grant or artist residency.

The way I see it, meanness is one of the l old-normal-old-fashioned concepts we should leave behind. Only then we would live a new normal.

Happy Easter.

Be seeing you!