Favela Brass

Favela Brass is a free music school in the Pereirão favela in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It was set up by Englishman Tom Ashe in 2013 and drew international attention when the children performed at the 2016 Summer Olympics.


Favela Brass was established in the Pereirão favela by Englishman Tom Ashe after he moved to Rio de Janeiro in 2008 to follow his career as a musician. After seeing the lack of opportunities for children growing up in the favela, he decided to set up a free school in 2013. Beginning with one student, as of 2016 the school had over 40 students.[1] The students practice three times a week. They played at the 2016 Summer Olympics which took place in Rio.[2][3]

Ashe is originally from Doncaster and was inspired by his childhood participation in the Doncaster Youth Jazz Association. He appealed for second-hand instruments to be sent from England to Rio, and a Doncaster brass band fund-raised for the school.[1] He set up a curry club with all proceeds going to the school and the teachers work as volunteers.[4] Funds were also generated by artists in Rio selling their work in an Instagram auction hosted by actress Juliana Boller.[5]

By 2019, the school had found a permanent home and Ashe was arranging performances outside the state of Rio de Janeiro.[6] The COVID-19 pandemic in Brazil forced the temporary closure of the school.[7]


  1. ^ a b "Doncaster man sets up music school in Rio shanty town". ITV News. 28 July 2016. Archived from the original on 4 October 2016. Retrieved 29 January 2021.
  2. ^ Walton, Barbara (2016). "'Favela Brass' Music School Prepares for 2016 Rio Games". NBC News. EPA. Archived from the original on 21 August 2017. Retrieved 29 January 2021.
  3. ^ Walton, Barbara (5 August 2016). "A favela brass band prepares for Rio 2016 – in pictures". The Guardian. EPA. Archived from the original on 8 November 2020. Retrieved 29 January 2021.
  4. ^ Sanchez, Nicholas (7 May 2014). "FAVELA BRASS – Une école de musique pour les jeunes du morro do Pereirão, à Laranjeiras". Le Petit Journal (in French). Archived from the original on 29 January 2021. Retrieved 29 January 2021.
  5. ^ Neto, Adalberto (11 June 2017). "Leilão de obras de arte tem verba destinada ao projeto Favela Brass". O Globo (in Portuguese). Archived from the original on 21 September 2018. Retrieved 29 January 2021.
  6. ^ Williams, Lachlan (29 January 2019). "Rio's Favela Brass Sets Up New Home and Big Plans for 2019". The Rio Times. Archived from the original on 9 December 2019. Retrieved 29 January 2021.
  7. ^ Lussato, Céline; Diffalah, Sarah; Bui, Doan; Halifa-Legrand, Sarah (26 March 2020). ""En Palestine, nous vivons l'isolement dans l'isolement : le coronavirus et l'occupation"". L'Obs (in French). Archived from the original on 31 October 2020. Retrieved 29 January 2021.

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