Sunday, 24 April 2016

Favela Brass in a New Orleans Groove

The healthy evolution of live music depends, and has always depended, on the mixture of existing traditions. Both jazz and samba emerged from the musical melting pot, combining styles which had extremely widely dispersed geographical roots. A central objective of the Favela Brass project is to teach our children the musical traditions of Rio de Janeiro and of New Orleans, hopefully laying the ground for the creation of new musical combinations further down the line

To that end, we recently hired a new teacher, French professional jazz drummer Emile Saubole, with a very specific mission - to research and analyse the traditional and more modern New Orleans brass band rhythms and pass this knowledge on to the children. The result of this focused teaching was evident yesterday during our show at the Junta Local food fair, where the children absolutely nailed the authentic New Orleans swing, playing the rhythms of a musical tradition that until now was pretty much unknown in Brazil as if it was the most natural thing in the world.

Friday, 15 April 2016

Appeal For Funds

Favela Brass is expanding, and we have a new second premises which will allow us to teach even more children in difficult circumstances to learn to play instruments.

In order to make the most of this opportunity we need to increase our number of weekly teaching hours, and cover maintenance and overhead costs.

Please help us to give even more children the gift of music
with a monthly or one-off donation to Favela Brass
.

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Painting the New Site on Good Deeds Day

On Saturday morning, 16 volunteers arrived at the project to paint our new second home at the College of the Assunção-Cenam centre. This kind and generous act was organised as part of International Goods Deeds Day, the volunteers putting themselves forward to help via the site of a Brazilian NGO called Atados.



The painting was a great success and the house, which previously was looking distinctly abandoned, is now looking smart. The sisters of the Assunção-Cenam centre laid on a lovely lunch for everyone involved and the whole job was prepared and organised to perfection by local professional painter Eliezer from the Pereira da Silva favela. We also had help from Roberto and Regivaldo who work at the Assunção-Cenam Centre.



As can be seen from the photos the school is very big and it was a great team effort to prepare and paint all of the green parts of the building in just one day. It was a very enjoyable day and many of the group have resolved to come back next Saturday to paint the white parts of the building.



We would like to say a big thank you to all of the people who were involved in this very special day and we would also like to thank UK charity Volunteer in Brazil Lancashire, Atados and Thamyrys Paz for the financial help in buying the painting materials.



Without a shadow of a doubt, the improved appearance of the school will help us to attract a new group of students from neighbouring favelas Fallet, Fogueteiro and Morro dos Prazeres. In other words, this means even more youngsters learning to play trumpet, clarinet, percussion, jazz and samba in Santa Teresa!

Monday, 4 April 2016

Favela Brass + Junta Local

On Saturday our brass band, comprising 9 of our most advanced students, played at craft food market Junta Local, held this time in an abandoned old chocolate factory in the city centre. Our performances went down really well with the public (those following the project closely may notice from the video that the kids have taken quite a leap forward over the last couple of months), we sold lots of T-shirts, the kids enjoyed themselves, and although we didn't manage to sell them on the organic falafel or shitake mushroom and gruyere wraps, they weren't above a good old fashioned bratwurst or two!



The show came out of a conversation with Tom Le Mesurier, author of food blog Eat Rio (highly recommended to anyone visiting Rio or living here). I only so much as mentioned that craft food markets might be a good little niche for us, and within a few days I received an e-mail from Thiago Gomide Nasser, who organizes Junta Local, inviting us to play at their next edition. So big thanks due to Tom and Thiago for giving our kids a chance to show off their talents in what turned out to be a pretty much ideal environment.

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Merci Beaucoup à Lycée Molière

We have just received a large donation from local French school Lycée Molière!

In November the children at the school did a fun-run at the American school in Rio's Gávea neighbourhood, to raise money for Favela Brass and the NGO Onda Solidaria. In the end they raised R$3,308.50 for each project, and we were invited to receive the cheques at the school on Thursday.

We are very grateful to the children, parents and teachers of the Lycée for this kind and generous act. The Lycée is situated right at the entrance to our favela, and it was great to discover that this desire to help and integrate with our children exists.

We too really want to get to know and integrate more with our neighbours, and on Thursday we had a very interesting conversation around the possibilities of future partnerships between the Lycée and Favela Brass - watch this space!




Thursday, 10 March 2016

Hopeful Olympic News!!

We entered a selection process by Rio city hall to choose acts to play on the cultural stages around the city during the Olympics, and today they released the results of the first round of classification. Not only is Favela Brass through to the next round, but our point score on the first round put us in 46-50th place for that round (140 projects will be chosen in the end).



Fingers crossed!!!

Saturday, 5 March 2016

Goodbye, Sigrún!

It has been a week of goodbyes. On Monday we said goodbye to UK trumpet player Chris Caulfield and yesterday we said goodbye to Icelandic trombonist and violinist Sigrún K. Jónstdóttir.



Sigrún is now a familiar face at the project, having already spent 3 months here in 2015. This time she was here for just over a month. On her last day of lessons she made food for the children and we had a little leaving party.



What's great is that the students that Sigrún inspired back in 2015 are pretty much all still at the project so they really appreciated it when she came back to the project this time.



Even while Sigrún wasn't in Brazil, she was still busy helping us by picking up important musical accessories, a set of melodicas and even a tablet computer for the project, as she toured the world with Icelandic pop band Of Monsters and Men.



I think it's fair to say that it was pretty tough for everyone saying goodbye yesterday. We will all miss you Sigrún and are extremely grateful for all of the help that you continue to give us!

Até a próxima!