Sugary little trills, snatches of percussion. As I stood on a bluff above the dark, placid Bahia de Todos os Santos, the music floated up to my ears from out of the still night.
All riffs, tunes and jams in Salvador, the unquestioned music capital of one of the world’s most musical countries, are worth pursuing, so sure, I wanted to find the source of this beguiling sound. But I could see nothing between me and the water.
Then I discovered a path snaking downhill to my left, and drove my aching, braking calves – this is the steepest of cities – down into the evening toward the sound. Near what looked like a derelict warehouse, I spied a lady inside a little cabin selling tickets for eight reals (three dollars), forged farther downward (the music was picking up), turned a corner and plunged into five hundred people clutching beers and caipirinhas, swaying to a big jazz band crooning and tooting on a stage 10 metres from the sea.