Ray Brown
Producer. Traveler. Storyteller.
Play Video
Play Video

Musical Beginnings

Sitting on my father's lap while learning to properly hold drum sticks, Dad started me off on drums at 8 months old. By the time I was 13-years of age, I was quite capable of playing 7 different instruments including drums, bass and piano. I picked up learning these instruments due to the fact that Dad's band rehearsals happened in the basement in our house, where all the instruments were at my disposal.

Play Video
A.K.A. Rae Valentine
A.K.A. Rae Valentine

One Year In Brazil's Amazon Rainforest

As an international performer/musician (in the 90's) and media producer (from 2000's till current), I've been privileged to travel to some amazing countries in the world. When I thought I'd seen and done it all, I've found himself on yet another adventure that rivaled previous experiences. It's had been well over a decade since I last visited South America, parading as a partying tourist during the Carnival Festival held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

In 2011, I became director of a project as important as anything I ever been part of. Growing on 850 Hectares of devastated land, reforestation of the Amazon Rainforest in Juina - MT, Brazil was the duty I took on as a partner of project Treeviver. During the process I was in charge of documenting the activities, locations and all living things creators I cross paths with along the way.

One Year in Brazil's Amazon Rainforest

As an international performer/musician (in the 90's) and media producer (from 2000's till current), I've been privileged to travel to some amazing countries in the world. When I thought I'd seen and done it all, I've found himself on yet another adventure that rivaled previous experiences. It's had been well over a decade since I last visited South America, parading as a partying tourist during the Carnival Festival held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

In 2011, I became director of a project as important as anything I ever been part of. Growing on 850 Hectares of devastated land, reforestation of the Amazon Rainforest in Juina - MT, Brazil was the duty I took on as a partner of project Treeviver. During the process I was in charge of documenting the activities, locations and all living things creators I cross paths with along the way.

Project TreeViver

The Infamous Tribe of Brazil's Amazon

I had no plans of spending an entire year in Brazil without directly meeting at least one of the indigenous Indian tribes of the Amazon Rainforest. It took over 3 hours by vehicle to get to their location - on terrain so rocky that it might have been faster walking through much of it. Halfway through the trip, a stop was made to pick up the local owner of the only supply store in the region. I didn’t realize till later; he was the key to my safe passage through Indian territory.

Before the thought of taking any photographs, I spent much of the day meeting different factions of the tribe. Initially, they were not comfortable with my presence. My driver was bright enough to bring candy for the kids, which the adults also showed some interest. As the day was coming to a close and time was nearing for departure, one of the elder women of the tribe walks over to me and give me a hand-woven basket. She then placed a handmade headband around my head and thanked me for kindly visiting (in Portuguese). It was their way of accepting me as an honorary friend of the tribe.

Days later while going through the photographs I had taken, I became very curious in wanting to know more about the kind people living so deep in the Amazon Rainforest. The hairs stood on the back of my neck as I read a New York Times piece on the history of the tribe I visited.

Here is a link to the article: Diamonds’ Glitter Fades for a Brazilian Tribe

When asked if I would have gone if I knew about their infamous history? I paused and responded, "yes!" I don't believe words in a newspaper or book tells the whole story of a group of people. Black history in America has some pretty good examples of that.

The Infamous Tribe of Brazil's Amazon

I had no plans of spending an entire year in Brazil without directly meeting at least one of the indigenous Indian tribes of the Amazon Rainforest. It took over 3 hours by vehicle to get to their location - on terrain so rocky that it might have been faster walking through much of it. Halfway through the trip, a stop was made to pick up the local owner of the only supply store in the region. I didn’t realize till later; he was the key to my safe passage through Indian territory.

Before the thought of taking any photographs, I spent much of the day meeting different factions of the tribe. Initially, they were not comfortable with my presence. My driver was bright enough to bring candy for the kids, which the adults also showed some interest. As the day was coming to a close and time was nearing for departure, one of the elder women of the tribe walks over to me and give me a hand-woven basket. She then placed a handmade headband around my head and thanked me for kindly visiting (in Portuguese). It was their way of accepting me as an honorary friend of the tribe.

Days later while going through the photographs I had taken, I became very curious in wanting to know more about the kind people living so deep in the Amazon Rainforest. The hairs stood on the back of my neck as I read a New York Times piece on the history of the tribe I visited.

Here is a link to the article: Diamonds’ Glitter Fades for a Brazilian Tribe

When asked if I would have gone if I knew about their infamous history? I paused and responded, "yes!" I don't believe words in a newspaper or book tells the whole story of a group of people. Black history in America has some pretty good examples of that.

MAKE CONTACT

Ray Brown