Hitchin music group to perform at Rio carnival

Toque Tambor performing at Hitchin's Rhythms of the World

Toque Tambor performing at Hitchin's Rhythms of the World - Credit: Archant

A group of 45 musicians from the UK will take to the streets of Rio de Janeiro to put on a parade as part of the city’s infamous carnival celebrations.

Under the name Carnaval Transatlântico, three Brazilian carnival groups based in the UK – including Toque Tambor from Hitchin – will travel to Brazil later this month to perform in the run up to the world’s biggest street party.

Toque Tambor is led by John Paul Courtney – or JP as he is better known – who is the musical director of the project and is based in Hitchin.

“It’s long been a dream of mine to take my students to Rio to take part in the carnival,” he said.

“I have had many great experiences in Rio over the years and now is a great time to go. With the World Cup in the summer and the Olympics in 2016 the world’s eyes are on Brazil. As well as gaining knowledge from the local musicians that will be collaborating with us, we want to show the people of Rio that carnival music from Brazil is thriving here in the UK.

“This will be the first time that a non-Brazilian based group has put on its own parade in the world famous capital of carnival so there is a lot of excitement in Rio about it.”

Participants have been busy for the last 13 months rehearsing and making preparations for the big event. The parade takes place on February 22 in the Lapa neighbourhood of Rio de Janeiro.

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To find out more visit the group’s Facebook page via www.facebook.com/carnavaltransatlantico

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