Free leadership training opportunity for Young Musicians in Bristol.

We are pleased to announce we are offering a leadership training opportunity for up to five young people in Bristol and the surrounding area!

We have recently been given funding from Arts Council England, following a successful Kickstarter crowd-funding campaign we started last year, to start a Carnival group of 30 Drummers and 20 Dancers for the young people of Bristol which will perform in the St Pauls Afrikan Caribbean Carnival 2015.

As part of this project, we also have funding for several 16 – 18 year olds to join the group as “Young Leaders”, to both perform with the group and attend training sessions specifically in leading music workshops and ensembles.  In the run up to St Paul’s Carnival, these Young Leaders will also have the opportunity to put these skills into practice, running percussion workshops with the general public.

We would like to hear from you if you are a musician aged between 16-18 and would be willing to commit to the weekly rehearsals and the three weekend training sessions (dates TBC). The band will be playing contemporary rhythms such as Grime, Hip-Hop, Drum and Bass, Dancehall and Samba Reggae on traditional Brazilian carnival instruments.

The ideal candidate will be: enthusiastic, keen to learn and a confident communicator. They will also have experience of playing instruments and be willing to learn new styles of music.

The Young Leader Programme will be absolutely free of charge and will give you the opportunity to develop skills in leading music workshops, may offer career building opportunities and give participants a chance to experience something new.

For further info and to request an application form please contact our project manager – Becky Stothart at

Applications are ongoing.

Please share amongst anyone else who may be interested.

-Bris Arts Team.

Arts Council EnglandTrinity Community Arts

Arts Council funding success!

Bris Arts is pleased to announce we have been successful in our funding application to Arts Council England, to start Bristol’s first Youth Samba Group!

Following a year’s planning and an extremely successful Kickstarter campaign in 2014, we are very excited to get this new project off the ground! We will shortly begin outreach work with several secondary schools in Bristol to recruit 30 percussionists and 20 dancers, aged 11 – 16. This will be the first and only group in Bristol providing free tuition and access for young people to take part in a Samba group, leading up to an inspiring and energetic performance at St Pauls Carnival in July.

The project will also involve the recruitment of several “Young Leaders” to provide the opportunity for young people aged 16 – 18 to gain experience of leadership skills in music education. After attending specific training sessions, and learning percussion with the group, these Young Leaders will also be running open drumming workshops in the run up to Carnival in June.

We look forward to keeping you up to date with the group as it progresses, and can’t wait to get Bristol’s young people drumming and dancing! Not only does this project provide a way for young people from across the city to get involved in Brazilian music and dance, it will also be an incredible addition to Bristol’s already thriving Carnival Arts scene.

In addition to the invaluable support from Arts Council England and Trinity Community Arts, we would like to say a special thank you to every single person who supported our Kickstarter campaign, this project would not be possible with you!

If you have any queries about this project, please contact Becky Stothart, Project Coordinator, at

Arts Council England                        Trinity Community Arts

Onwards and upwards in 2015…

Hello all! Hope you all had a well deserved break over the Christmas holidays. We’d like to say a big Happy New year from the whole Bris Arts team. Here’s a short post to let you know about some of … Continue reading

Christmas Arts Workshops

With the festive season approaching, Christmas parties are on their way! If you fancy doing something a bit different at your Christmas party this year, what about including an activity such as drumming, dance, or even puppetry?

Whether it’s with work colleagues, or at your school, our enthusiastic Bris Arts tutors are sure to get everyone involved in an activity that’s a bit different to the usual meal out! Our workshops are fun and engaging, and can be tailored to suit your requirements. Please check out our corporate and education pages for more info.

Taking part in creative workshops will not only build participants self-confidence, it will also get your festive activities off to a fun start! Get everyone involved in some Samba drumming or dance before heading off for more Christmas merriment!

Please contact us today to get a quote and book an arts workshop, and make this year’s Christmas party one to remember!

Corporate team building workshop

Recent Corporate team building workshop

Thank you!!!

Bris Arts would like to say a huge THANK YOU to everyone who helped us with our Kickstarter campaign over the last few weeks. If you donated money to the project, shared the page or sent us a message about it, we want you to know that we really appreciate it!

We raised an outstanding £783 in total which has far exceeded our initial target of £500 – Amazing! This means we are able to put on more workshops, and engage more young people in learning about Samba and Carnival Arts. We really hope the Arts Council are able to help us by funding the full project outlined in the video. However, in the event they are unable to do so, all the money raised via Kickstarter will be used to provide free-to-attend workshops for young people in Bristol.

Please stay tuned here, and on twitter and facebook, for updates relating to this project!!!

Thanks once again!

-Bris Arts team

Thank you image

Kickstarter campaign for Young Person’s Samba Group is live!!

The Bris Arts team have been working on a project to form a samba group in Bristol specifically for young people aged 11 – 16. There is currently no provision in Bristol for young people to play in a samba group – we want to change that, but we need your help!

We have launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise money to get this project off the ground. Please check out our page and video here –

Our project aims to recruit participants from across Bristol to form a 30-piece percussion group and a 20-strong dance troupe, specifically targeting those from disadvantaged backgrounds. It will also involve the recruitment of several “Young Leaders” to provide the opportunity for young people to gain experience in leadership skills and musical education. Following weekly rehearsals and weekend intensive sessions the young people will create a full on carnival performance to be performed in the 2015 St Paul’s Carnival procession.

We are confident that the bulk of this project will be funded by Arts Council England, however to be eligible for funding we need to raise 10% of the funds ourselves. We are aiming to raise funds as a contribution towards the cost of a rehearsal venue for our young drummers and dancers. In combination with the in-kind support we have already found, we hope this will secure our funding.

Please show your support to get this project off the ground, all donations are greatly appreciated! Please share the link as well if you can, so we can raise as much as possible! Let’s get young people in Bristol learning some samba!!

Youth samba workshop

Youth samba workshop

Brazilian summer in Bristol!

Been inspired by the World Cup and want to experience and learn more about Brazilian Culture?? This is your lucky summer! Here’s some dates for your diary!

Friday 4th of July –  Plantation Caribbean Restaurant, Gloucester Road

Come and get in the Carnival mood early at Plantation this Friday where you can catch BrisArts Maracatu project Afon Sistema making their debut performance alongside the one and only Bloco Ilu Axe. Expect carnival rhythms direct from North-Eastern Brazil: Samba Reggae, Afoxe, Maracatu and Ciranda. The energy and good vibes at this night are sure to get the Carnival party started early!! The event will be kicking off at 9pm but try and get down early to have some of Bev’s delicious home cooked Afro-Caribbean food and maybe a Caipirinha or five 😉


Saturday 5th of July – St Pauls Afro-Caribbean Carnival, St Pauls

The legendary Bristol Carnival is back for another year! In true Carnival fashion the day starts early! Head down to Brunswick Sq in St Pauls at 11am to witness the Encontro of Blocos. All Bristol drumming groups will be in attendance: Bristol Samba, Ilu Axe, Bristol Batala and Afon Sistema for a pre-parade soundclash!!! At 12 midday the parade will start where you can witness the amazing floats and costumes everyone has spent the entire year building. After the procession stick around and check out some of Bristols famous Reggae Soundsystems, our personal recommendations are Negus Melody and Maasai Warrior Sound Systems. In the evening head over to The Canteen on Stokes Croft where you can see Bristol Reggae veterans Talisman supported by Bristols own CDB Soundsystem.


16-17th July – Roseangela Silvestre Dance Workshops

Saw some amazing moves in the Carnival that inspired you to get up and dance? Go along to Roseangelas classes to experience a world leader in Afro-Brazilian dance. Rosangela Silvestre is a teacher, choreographer, dancer and creator of Silvestre Dance Technique. She is originally from Salvador, Bahia, Brazil. She travels the world teaching and investigating movement, dance and music. Her intensives in Salvador draw dancers and people from all over the globe for the last 14 years. Her studies have led to her degrees in dance and choreography as well as Limon, Horton and Graham techniques. She was a choreographer for the Bale Folklorico da Bahia and Odunde. 

For more info and to book a place go here –


Monday 21st July –  Drumming and Dance with Mariana Pinho and Simon Sou, City of Bristol Academy

This workshop will see two of Europes leading Brazilian Arts teachers combine together with a collaborative project linking music and dance from Brazil to the folkloric tales of India. Places on this class will cost £10/15. We don’t have any more info about this workshop just yet but please keep an eye out here for more info – you should not miss this class!!


Saturday 30th August – Songs of Life with Jon Hardeman, DMAC, Hamilton House

Another collaboration between Afon Sistema and Ilu Axe brings you another chance to learn and sing some of the beautiful, powerful ancient call and response songs and chants found in Afro-Brazilian roots culture. This is an open to all workshop. Jon Hardeman is one of the only people to be born outside of Brazil to be an expert in this music, not to be missed!!

Come and experience the power of singing in a group over a traditional live Afro-Brazilian four-piece ritual drum ensemble. You don’t have to be a singer and you don’t have to have singing experience, this special workshop in Afro-Brazilian ritual songs is for anyone with an interest in African Brazilian music and anyone who just wants to go for it.

The workshop will run from 3:45-6pm and will cost £15/20 or less if needed (please contact).

For more info please email or call Jon on  07905329373

Afro-Brazilian singing class – Bristol 26/04/2014

This Saturday the Bris Arts Maracatu side project, Afon Sistema, is collaborating with friends Ilu Axe on this one off Afro-Brazilian singing workshop.

The workshop will focus on the traditional call and response songs from the religious tradition of Candomble, the system of deities known as Orixas taken to Brazil by the enslaved African people. If you’ve ever had an interest in any kind of singing, or Brazilian culture, this workshop is an ideal starting place to learn about this. The workshop will be led by Jon Hardeman, who is the UK’s leading authority on this music, and one of the only non-Brazilians to be initiated into this religious tradition. Jons relaxed delivery style ensures everyone feels relaxed and comfortable in the class, the workshop requires absolutely no previous experience of any kind of singing, all we need is your enthusiasm!

Please see the poster below for all information on the workshop, for more information see the Facebook event page and Jon Hardemans website via the links here.

Candomble Singing Workshop Bristol with Jon Hardeman

Songs of Life Singing Workshop

Samba at the Teachers march

Last week several of the Bris Arts tutors played some Samba to accompany the teachers strike march through Bristol. Hundreds of teachers from the South West joined picket lines for the NUT teachers strike last Wednesday. A march took place through Bristol town centre to raise awareness of the strike, with our group of drummers leading the way. The Samba drumming lifted everyone’s spirits throughout the march, attracting people’s attention to get the teacher’s message heard!

At Bris Arts we believe children’s education should be a national priority, and we offer our support to teachers throughout the UK.

teachers march

Samba band for Teachers March

FIFA World Cup 2014 in Brazil

All eyes are on Brazil with the FIFA world cup 2014 just around the corner, and the 2016 Olympics due to be held in Rio de Janeiro, the UK has got Brazil fever! Get on board and book one of our experienced and professional workshop leaders to deliver a Brazilian Samba drumming, dance workshop, costume making or a performance at your school or business.

Samba will bring uplifting, positive energy to your pupils and colleagues, people always leave our classes singing songs and drumming out rhythms on tables with pens and pencils! It’s not surprising given our drumming and dance tutors have studied and performed in Brazil several times, at both Rio and Salvador Carnivals. Their enthusiasm and energy is infectious, our drumming and dance workshops are energising, team building activities as well as improving self confidence and learning new skills. They also enrich the national curriculum by providing an opportunity for cross curricular learning.

British School, Rio de Janeiro

British School, Rio de Janeiro

In our dance workshops, participants will be able to learn the basic steps of Rio Samba, getting a fun and educational workout! Workshops can be tailored to suit your needs ,have no minimum or maximum number and require no previous dance experience. Our dancer teacher Jenny is fantastic at making everyone feel relaxed in her classes meaning people let go of their inhibitions and get into the Samba groove!

Our Samba drumming workshops are ideal for all ages and abilities as they require absolutely no prior experience of drumming. By the end of the workshops all participants will have knowledge of the different Brazilian and Samba instruments, an introduction to the different rhythms and styles of modern day Brazilian Carnival music and the chance to have a go at directing the drumming group! Read more about our corporate drum workshops here. For education workshops please click here.

Smiling faces after our big performance!

Carnival Transatlantico in Rio

Our drumming and dance teachers are creative, flexible and professional and have 10+ years of playing and delivering Samba workshops. Last month one of our percussion tutors went to Rio to participate in the Carnival Transatlantico project, bringing 45 English drummers to Rio to perform in the carnival, as well as teaching a drumming workshop at the British School in Rio de Janeiro, you can read our blog post about that here. We provide the real deal Brazilian experience to all of our clients.

For even more excitement in the lead up to Rio 2014, bring the Latin flavour to your event with our bespoke groups of professional performing drummers and dancers. Our samba drummers and dancers will bring the dynamic, infectious Brazilian Samba rhythms to get you in the Carnival spirit!

Please contact us to find out more about our samba workshop packages and prices, or let us know what you have in mind to celebrate the road to Rio!