Sandhouse Stompers at Doncaster Brewery

Last night Doncaster jazz musicians Mark Ellis, Stuart Garside, Paul Grady, Mark Kerrigan, Gareth Smith, Rowena Smith and myself played a dixieland jazz gig at Doncaster Brewery Tap to raise money for Favela Brass. One of the beers on sale at the brewery is called “Sandhouse” and the band has become collectively known as theContinue reading “Sandhouse Stompers at Doncaster Brewery”

The Finnish Connection: Thank you Maria Gasolina!

Rio de Janeiro attracts musicians from all over the world, one of whom is Finnish drummer and percussionist Sami Kontola. Sami and I became friends whilst playing together in the house band at the Maze jazz club in the Tavares Bastos favela. Sami’s friends in Finnish band Maria Gasolina recently toured Brazil and while theyContinue reading “The Finnish Connection: Thank you Maria Gasolina!”

Thank you Brendan Doshi and Lucas Allen!

Last week two of our volunteer teachers, Brendan Doshi and Lucas Allen left us to return to the USA. Brendan (first from left above), a professional Piano player from Chicago, was in Rio studying Brazilian music on a Fulbright Scholarship. Lucas Allen (below) was studying at Rio’s PUC (Pontifical Catholic University) as part of hisContinue reading “Thank you Brendan Doshi and Lucas Allen!”

New Instruments!

Today Keith Alderson finished off repairing and servicing another batch of instruments to be taken out to Brazil and used in the project. As usual he charged only a token free, and also sold us a baritone horn for £30, much less than its real value. Most of the instruments are ones that were donatedContinue reading “New Instruments!”

Sallie Ashe Favela Brass Christmas Cards

It has to be said that these Christmas cards are much nicer in real life than in the images below. They were designed by Sallie Ashe (my Mum) and are available for £5 per pack of 10 (all proceeds to the Favela Brass Project). We’ll be selling these in person in Doncaster over the ChristmasContinue reading “Sallie Ashe Favela Brass Christmas Cards”

Curry Clube 5th Anniversary Party

On Sunday the 16th of November our (now monthly) culinary fundraiser, the Curry Clube, celebrated 5 years of existence with a special event which combined Indian food with a live samba band, comprising star students Victor Hugo, Vinícius and Gabriella alongside percussion teacher Mangueirinha, samba singer and cavaquinho player Thiago Torres and French singer/guitarist PaulContinue reading “Curry Clube 5th Anniversary Party”

Thank You Rowena Smith!

Not content with donating umpteen brass instruments to the project earlier this year, Rowena (or “Hoeweena…” as every Brazilian insisted on pronouncing it) came out to help us with the project for six weeks during October and November. Despite not speaking Portuguese (sorry Rowena, should have given you more of a heads up about thatContinue reading “Thank You Rowena Smith!”

Favela Brass at Centro Cultural Carioca

On Saturday the children played at the Carioca Culture Centre in Rio city centre alongside the drumming group Balança mas Não Cai. It was the first time they had played outside the favela. The trombone player is 18 year-old British musician Rowena Smith, who is living in the favela and teaching the children on aContinue reading “Favela Brass at Centro Cultural Carioca”