Welcome to the Music for Canoa Website! Music for Canoa is an international grassroots program that provides music education to the under-privileged children and youth of Canoa Quebrada, Ceara, Brazil. Canoa Quebrada is located in the northeast of Brazil, a region considered to be the cradle of Brazilian culture and music. In recent times, the region has become a popular international tourist destination and seen a rapid phase of economic development, and with it, exploitation and loss of tradition. Canoa has been no exception to this trend and has suffered the consequences of globalization in the form of prostitution and a destructive youth drug culture. In a place with limited opportunities and wealth primarily in the hands of foreigners, the youth are rapidly becoming disconnected from their rich culture and traditions. With the disappearance of the only youth music program in Canoa in 2003, the emergence of new musicians to follow in the footsteps of fellow northeasterners, Gilberto Gil, Joao Gilberto or Caetono Veloso, seems, more and more, a distant hope.
In 2005, Nina McKleroy, a native of Canoa Quebrada who relocated to the San Francisco-Bay Area decided to instigate a musical renaissance in Canoa. Nina and her community of friends put together a benefit event and a plan to revitilize and expand the old music program. Over the summer of 2005 the program began, offering a chorus, a musical ensemble/orchestra, and percussion and rhythm classes. The program continues to attract new participants and has catalyzed both communities in California and Brazil.