One of the largest of the street bands (known as “blocos”) that plays in Rio city centre during carnival season is called Cordão de Boitatá. This band comprises around 50 of the city’s best wind instrument players and percussionists and attracts huge crowds at their parade on the Sunday before Carnival. The band traditionally holds open rehearsals on Mondays in the run up to carnival, which end up being more like warm-up shows because all of the musicians know the songs backwards anyway.
This year, instead of holding their rehearsals in the centre of Rio, the band decided to hold them in a favela, the Morro dos Prazeres in Santa Teresa. Since the Morro dos Prazeres is close to where the children who me and Mangueirinha teach as part of Projeto Tô Ligado live, I thought it might be a nice idea to see if they could come down to the rehearsals and get the experience of playing alongside professional musicians. The directors of Cordão do Boitatá liked the idea and yesterday the kids got to sit in at the start of the rehearsal.
The kids played well and enjoyed the experience. Big thanks to the organisers of Cordão do Boitatá for letting them have a go!