2020-02-25T14:02:54Z 2020-02-25T14:02:54Z

Carnaval Brasileiro at Emo's Austin in Austin, Texas

Carnaval Brasileiro | Texas Review | Ralph Arvesen
Carnaval Brasileiro at Emo's Austin in Austin, Texas on February 22, 2020, with Gisele Duque and Brazilian Express and Austin Samba.

Carnaval Brasileiro began in the early 1970s to offer UT's Brazilian students a dose of their homeland's legendary festivities, and is now a local institution attracting party-goers from all over the United States. After blowing the roof off one downtown club, the party immediately outgrew the infamous Armadillo World Headquarters, as well as the long-gone City Coliseum before nestling into its present venue.

Flamboyant, almost too-scanty costumes, throbbing Brazilian samba, and the uninhibited, spirited atmosphere have earned Carnaval its reputation as the premier such festivity in the USA. The party has inspired fansites on the internet, as well as helping cultivate a love of things Brazilian in Central Texas, ranging from music and food to Brazilian martial arts.
"In addition to the awesome music you can also spot some incredibly over-the-top. jaw-dropping crazy costumes."

"Go for the people-watching, go for the debauchery, go for the conga lines, whatever the reason, JUST GO!!!"

"Needless to say, I will be returning to Carnaval next year...and honestly, if you can't be in Rio, this is the next best thing!"

"The City's most vibrant collection of sights, sounds, and hot-blooded booty-shaking in a single night! You and your friends DO NOT want to miss Carnaval Brasiliero!

"This was one of the most fun event I have ever attended, with so many friendly people, really interesting costumes, some very elaborate, lots of dancing and overall I felt a very accepting, nonjudgmental atmosphere. Great samba band as well. I'll be there again next year. I don't want to miss the fun."

"AMAAAZZZING! Bright flashing lights, loud samba music, elaborate costumes, feathers, beautiful women, boisterous laughter, and Conga lines going left & right! I don't know how to describe everything with some much going on all at once; it just has to be Experienced! So my advice to anyone and everyone is Come and Check It Out for Yourselves! The experience is gonna be Mind Blowing!"
Carnaval Brasileiro has been Austin's best party for 43 years. It is their version of Mardi Gras, Rio-style. It is now the largest indoor Brazilian Carnaval on the planet. 6,000-plus partiers every year can't be wrong. Attracting revelers from all across the country, Carnaval offers hypnotic, sensuous Brazilian Carnaval music, lots of drums, and eye-popping costumes. Better than a rave because there is live music.

You don't have to be Brazilian to be caught up in the revelry, and you don't have to wear a costume. And be ready for a walk on the wild side. Two high energy bands pumped out fiery Brazilian carnaval music; Gisele Duque and Brazilian Express and Austin's own traditional Rio-style Samba School. The Samba School is a locally-based group of drummers and dancers, all in elaborate themed costumes, and this will be their eleventh Carnaval presentation, offering an authentic taste of the real deal from Rio.

Mike Quinn has produced Carnaval Brasileiro in Austin since 1978. For ten years he was host of Horizontes on KUT-FM and has written about music since 1969 when he published the first-ever interview with ZZ Top. His love of Brazilian music and culture led him to his role as producer of one of Austin's favorite annual events and he has nurtured the party to become the largest such indoor Brazilian Carnaval party anywhere, including Rio de Janeiro.

Carnaval Brasileiro
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Gisele Duque
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Austin Samba
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Photos by Ralph Arvesen
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