In this presentation, Mark will discuss the deep cultural immersion and life-changing experience of being an American living and working among the people of Brazil: the initial shock of living in a foreign country and adapting to a new culture, teaching every day in his second language of Portuguese, traveling throughout Brazil to perform and lecture, coming into contact with some of the musicians and places from his research component, and the equally profound reverse culture shock of returning to the U.S. after almost half a year in Brazil. In addition, Mark will discuss what it was like to return months later with his students on their historic trip to Brazil.
Dr. Mark Tonelli is associate professor of music at Millikin University, where he coordinates the guitar studies program and teaches courses in commercial music and arts entrepreneurship. With a passion for all things Brazilian, Mark was selected as a U.S. Fulbright Scholar to Brazil. Like this presentation, his Fulbright project was titled, “An American in Brazil.” As a Fulbright Scholar, Mark brought his knowledge of jazz and arts entrepreneurship to the Institute of the Arts at the Federal University of Uberlândia (UFU) in the city of Uberlândia, state of Minas Gerais, Brazil, where he was a visiting professor from April-August 2022. At UFU, Mark directed two music ensembles, taught jazz improvisation, gave jazz guitar lessons, and made presentations on arts entrepreneurship. A portion of Mark's Fulbright grant involved research into the regional music of Minas Gerais, specifically the collective of musicians known as Clube da Esquina. Mark also performed and lectured throughout Brazil, including São Paulo, Belo Horizonte, Brasilia, Goiânia, and Campinas. Mark’s family accompanied him on this journey, and he documented the entire experience on his blog, An American In Brazil. Mark has since returned to Brazil twice. His most recent trip involved taking a music ensemble of Millikin University students to perform both Brazilian and American music in Uberlândia, the first time a group from Millikin has traveled to Brazil.