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!

Carnaval Transatlantico in Rio 2014

In February 2014 I lucky enough to travel to Rio de Janeiro to take part in Carnaval Transatlantico, a collaborative project with three English Samba groups: Ziriguidum (Bristol), Nova Guarda (Birmingham) and Toque Tambor (Hitchin). The project was directed by JP Courtney who was assisted by Paul Baxter of

The project saw 45 English Samba players travel to Rio to perform as an official Bloco (street carnival group). The Bloco played four gigs during their stay in Rio in famous venues such as Circo Voador, Fundição Progresso, Carioca da Gema and Os Arcos da Lapa. The main event was a parade in Lapa, a district with lots of bars and clubs in Central Rio, with Fabio Allman from Carnival group Monobloco.


My favourite gig we did before the parade was the gig in Carioca da Gema, having been there in 2008 to watch bands it was a real pleasure to return as a performing musician. The lineup was Fabio Allman (vox), Pepe Barcellos (Guitar), Shilon (Cavaquinho), JP Courtney (Vox and percussion), Sam Tompkins (percussion), Paul Baxter (Percussion) and myself playing percussion as well. We played a mixture of traditional Sambas with more modern music including covers of Bob Marley, Daft Punk and Ben Harper.

Carioca Da Gema

Carioca Da Gema

As well as performing, myself and a few other individuals went to The British School, Rio de Janeiro, to teach a Samba workshop. Never in my life did I imagine I would end up in a Brazilian school teaching Samba to Brazilian children! It went down a storm! We ran a session with them in their classroom before the rest of Carnaval Transatlantico arrived to deliver a performance where the young people joined in with us.

British School, Rio de Janeiro

British School, Rio de Janeiro

The 22nd of February was the day of the big parade (desfile) in front of the historic Arches of Lapa. After years of practising in the UK, it was finally our chance to perform our music in front of a huge audience of Brazilians! Once again we performed with Fabio Allman of Monobloco supported by Pepe and Shilon on Guitar and Cavaquinho. The performance was a great success – with many Brazilians coming up and commenting on how pleased they were to see English people playing their music so well. The smiles in this photo are testament to just how well our performance went! Big thanks to JP Courtney and Cristina Couri for all their work in organising this event!

Smiling faces after our big performance!

Smiling faces after our big performance!

Throughout our time in Rio, we made several appearances in the local newspapers and even the national news – check out this link (in portuguese!)

Carnaval Transatlantico hits the front page!

Carnaval Transatlantico hits the front page!

Along with all of this playing and rehearsing, we still managed to fit in multiple shopping trips buying drums, visits to several Samba schools across the city, days at the beach, exploring the city and the essential cable car trip up to Sugar Loaf (Pão de Açúcar). It was my third time in Rio, but my first trip up there. The view is fantastic!!! I still have not yet gone up Cristo Redemptor, that will have to wait til next time (I’m such a rubbish tourist!). I will always have a soft spot for Rio as it was the first City I ever visited in Brazil. If you have never been to Brazil I cannot recommend it highly enough!!!

I’ll leave you with this photo of the Cidade Maravilhosa at sunset from atop Sugar Loaf!

Jackson Lapes

Rio de Janeiro, Cidade Maravilhosa

Rio de Janeiro, Cidade Maravilhosa

Bris Arts is in Rio!

We´re on a two week trip to Rio as part of the Carnival Transatlantico project organised by JP Courtney. Tree groups from the UK; Ziriguidum (Bristol), Nova Guarda (Birmingham) and Toque Tambor (Hitchin) have come together to perform as Carnival Transatlantico.

Theres 45 English percussionists in total which makes it the largest group of foreigners ever to have an official bloco performance in Rio! Heres our itinerary so far

Thursday 13th February – playing in Circo Voador supporting Hamilton de Holanda

Friday 14th February – Playing with Monobloco in Fundição progresso

Saturday 15th February – Encontro Dos Blocos in Gloria, Rio de Janeiro

Saturday 15th February – CDB Soundsystem DJ set with Dubatak Sound System in Praça XV

Tuesday 18th February – Samba in Carioca da Gema nightclub, Lapa, Rio de Janeiro

Friday 21st February – playing with Monobloco in Fundição progresso

Saturday 22nd February – Parade as Carnival Transatlantico, Arcos da Lapa, Rio de Janeiro

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Rio Samba School