Saturday, 25 April 2015

St. George's Day Show

St. George is the patron saint of Rio de Janeiro and is also closely associated with samba music. He seems to be a very popular saint here - so much so that the 23rd of April is a public holiday in Rio. On Thursday local restaurant ABCD held a traditional feijoãda and samba party to mark St. George's day this year and invited us down to play. We played a 25-minute set of brass and percussion to a very animated packed house composed mainly of the families of the children:

As British readers will be aware, St. George is also the patron saint of England. For that reason it was a nice touch that the event was also attended by representatives of the British Consulate-General in Rio de Janeiro Naira de Almeida Prado and Caroline Luymar.

Many thanks to Claudio from Restaurante ABCD for the invite and for feeding us all, and congratulations to the children and staff on a great show!

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Favela Brass Flag

A recent donation from the rentals website Airbnb allowed us to hire professional designer (and saxophonist) Pedro Pamplona to create a new visual image for the project. Yesterday he delivered yet another inspired piece of work for us: the Favela Brass flag!

Bravo, Pedro!

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Rehearsing for St. George's day show

Video from yesterday's rehearsal ahead of our upcoming show on St. George's day this Thursday:

Monday, 20 April 2015

April's Curry Clube

An all time classic Curry Clube last night raised R$1018 for the project. Many thanks to all who came along and helped at the event.

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Welcome Yann!

Last week a new volunteer music teacher arrived at the project, having found us through our advert on Airbnb.

Yann Vathelet is a French percussionist who started learning percussion in 1998 with François Dembele, Malian master Djembe drummer (ex first soloist of the national ballet of Mali), subsequently travelling to Cuba to study with master conga player Joaquim Pozo. To complete his apprenticeship, Yann studied for a further year at the Latin Harbour Conservatory in New York. Yann has just spent 5 years in Dakar, Senegal creating an afro-jazz trio and playing with the great saxophonist Issa Cissokho, member of Orchestra Baobab and Youssou N'dour's band.

Yann arrived on Wednesday night with two huge bags full of authentic African percussion instruments, and on Friday evening did his first workshop with our more advanced students Vinícius, Victor Hugo and Gabriela.

The children enjoyed the lesson, and, as can be seen from the following video, really took to playing the Djembe drum (the video also features Victor Hugo taking his first improvised drum solo). At the end of the lesson the kids expressed a keen interest in showing Yann how to play samba rhythms so I think we're all set for a very interesting cultural exchange. Welcome to the project Yann!