Tambores Livres (Free Drums) is a carnival project based in London celebrating the spirit of Brazilian culture, whilst raising awareness of the social and environmental issues facing Brazil today. We celebrate resistance at a time when protecting indigenous rights, environmental rights and the rights of the vulnerable is becoming more and more important.
The project was started by seven different
Afro-Brazilian musical and cultural groups,
who felt the need to organise a positive and
diverse response to the situation in Brazil.
They joined forces to parade at Notting Hill Carnival, on the 26th of August 2019. With 160 musicians, nearly 300 on the parade, it was a colourful and emotional day with heartfelt, explosive, cohesive and artistic performances. On the road it was as far as the eye could see, alive with music, dance, chants, flags, costumes, banners, placards, movement, and lots of drums.
In Brazil, and all around the world, popular
culture itself has often been an act of
resistance, a forum where traditions are kept
alive, where communities stick together and
express their art and culture,
overcoming many obstacles and difficulties.
Together we have the power to stand up to injustice and protect our planet. Through resistance and education, we can initiate change and make a difference.
We have lots more planned, from fundraising events to education workshops. Please check back soon to find out more or click here to sign up to receive a newsletter about the participating groups, how to get involved, how to make a difference and how to organise your own fundraising events.
This project is supported by the Arts Council National Lottery Project Grant (ACNLPG)Read more
The second section of the carnival procession will celebrate the politician and activist Marielle Franco, who was assassinated in 2018, fighting for justice for the minorities in Rio. She denounced illegal police force (militia) activities and was a supporter of human and LGBTQ rights in Brazil.
For this section of the parade, three maracatu bands are collaboration to perform as one group. Baque Luar, Baque de Axé and Baque de Ogum to make a ‘Baque for Marielle’.
At the front of the Baque – the maracatu drum ensemble, leading the song and celebration will be Baque Luar, which has emerged as women’s-only maracatu band specialising in professional stage performances focused on their own compositions. In the run up to carnival and on the day of the carnival parade, Baque Luar will be working Thalita Domingues, from Nação do Maracatu Porto Rico and who also leads Maracatu Asé d’Ori, in Aracaju, Brazil, with Bigato Pereira.
"Enquanto houver desigualdade, seremos resistência!
Quando o afoxé tocar na sua vida, quero vê seus olhos cheios de alegria!
Quem vai quebrar a máquina do mal ?!
A felicidade do afoxé é dançar a ouvir o agogô ao som do ijexá.
Vamos dançar com fé é tempo de afoxé !
Voa a mensagem bonita pro mundo saber, devolva em luz aos amigos de Katendê.
Seu espírito de luta vai civilizando.”
Mestre Moa Do Katende
At the front of the parade Capoeira Marazul will lead a berimbau Orchestra to
celebrate the life of Mestre Moa do Katende, who was stabbed and killed in the run up
to last’s year’s General Election in Brazil, when he expressed his support for a socially progressive candidate.
The Berimbau Orchestra is led by Mestre Joãozinho da Figueira from Marazul, who had a strong relationship with Mestre Moa and is being supported by Mestre Nelio of Grove Capoeira.
The final section of the Tambores Livres carnival procession will depict
Caboclo 2 de Julho (Caboclo 2nd of July) who is a historical figure believed
to have been the leader of a battalion of indigenous and mixed-race fighters in
Bahia during the war for independence against the Portuguese.
He is celebrated as a symbol of the independence of Bahia, but more than this,
he is commemorated as a symbol to remember the forgotten soldiers,
battalions of indigenous fighters using tribal weapons, the African slaves and free men,
the poor and isolated communities that organised themselves to form the majority
of the troops fighting for liberation.
This section of the parade will be led by Marcos Santana with Tribo Band.