Travelers who like to combine great music with sightseeing in Brazil should take note. The 11th edition of MIMO, a free music and film festival in Brazil, kicks off on August 29 and will take place in four of Brazil's most beautiful and historic cities: Ouro Preto, Olinda, Paraty and Tiradentes. Producer Lu Araújo launched MIMO in 2004 in Olinda, with the acronym standing for "Mostra Internacional da Música em Olinda." The event grew in importance and added three more cities along the way. According to MIMO, more than 630,000 people have attended the festival to date. This year, the scenery will be spectacular and so will the concert lineups, featuring many notable international and Brazilian artists.
In terms of music, some of the 2014 highlights are Chick Corea and the Vigil, Lau and the James Duncan Mackenzie Band (both from Scotland), Indian percussionist Trilok Gurtu, Mali's Bassekou Kouyate (who plays the ngoni, a West African lute) and his band Ngoni Ba, Spanish early-music maestro Jordi Savall, Jamaican singer Winston MacAnuff and French accordionist Fixi and the European orchestra Chaarts.
Pianist-guitarist Egberto Gismonti, guitarist Toninho Horta, percussionist Naná Vasconcelos and violincello player Lui Comibra, guitarist Marco Pereira and accordionist Toninho Ferragutti, singer-violinist Renata Rosa, pianist Hercules Gomes, the group Bongar from Olinda, saxophonist Zé Nogueira and vibraphonist Arthur Dutra, pianist João Donato, and samba singer-composer Diogo Nogueira and mandolin virtuoso Hamilton Holanda (performing their "Bossa Negra" album) are among the Brazilian performers.
In addition, the 2014 program includes 21 movies, documentaries and short films. There are also free music-education classes and a MIMO Instrumental Award. All events are free to the public and presented in churches, squares and courtyards of these four cities known for their stunning colonial and baroque architecture. The festival will run Aug. 29-31 in Ouro Preto, Sept. 4-7 in Olinda, Oct. 10-12 in Paraty, and Oct. 17-19 in Tiradentes.
For those looking for lodging in those cities, Hidden Pousadas, run by Alison McGowan (no relation), has some listings and ratings of boutique hotels. For more information about the festival: MIMO.