The Travel Facter: Brazil’s Sergio Mielniczenko

Sergio Mielniczenko (right) greeting a party guest at the 35th anniversary of The Brazilian Hour radio show.

Sergio Mielniczenko (right) greeting a party guest at the
35th anniversary of The Brazilian Hour radio show.

Los Angeles was treated to a little bit of Brazil at a party for Sergio Mielniczenko in celebration of the 35th anniversary of The Brazilian Hour, an international radio show he founded. Called “A Tale of Two Nations,” it was culture and travel at its best. Brazil happens to be the fifth largest nation in the world.

Held on a warm summer evening at Downtown’s cultural California Plaza, 3,000 folks were entertained with the soft sounds of Bossa Nova and other Brazilian music. It was produced by Grand Performances and truly a Carnival-like atmosphere with colorful costumes. With pulsing drum beats and both African and indigenous traditions, I felt like I was a visiting gal from Ipanema!

Before the main event, we hobnobbed with international types at a press party for Sergio Mielniczenko, the man of the hour. Consul General of Brazil, Ambassador Bruno de Risos Bath, George DiCaprio, Christy Oldham, Brazil percussionist Paulinho da Costa, Andrea Rosenbach, and Councilman Tom LaBonge were checking out the carpahenjas and dining on Brazilian treats. And even before this feast and celebration, there was a concert at LACMA.

Sergio, charming and handsome, who looked like a television personality rather than an off camera type, was proud of the show on weekend mornings on KXLU. It’s recorded at the Brazilian Embassy in Beverly Hills and distributed to 40 stations in the U.S. The San Paulo native acts as host and producer and has since 1978.

Executive Director of Grand Performances, Michael Alexander introduced the notables. The mike had issues (microphone not Alexander), but what we heard we liked! “Thanks to the support of the National Endowment of the Arts, we are presenting a variety of creative artists who bring us traditional and contemporary works.” The main concert is free to the public.

LaBonge quoted a clever theme promoting Downtown L.A. with the location of the street names. He told me he plans to make his virgin visit to Brazil next year and looks forward to the planning of the upcoming Brazilian Olympics.

Joining cultures and people? “Brazilian music is incredible,” says Sergio. “It’s endless like a waterfall. It’s so beautiful. It flows, and recreates. I want people to get a taste of that.”

Sue Facter owns a news agency that specializes in the luxury brand. Her work appears in USA Today, Los Angeles Times, and Women’s Day Australia, as well as on broadcasts and the web.