About us

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)

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Marielle Franco

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.

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Upcoming events

Drums for the Amazon

09 November 2019