Last weekend, the May Bank Holiday, we were very lucky, and very honoured to welcome Mestre Jonas d’Oliveira to our rehearsal space in the Liberties.
We first met Jonas when he visited Glasgow to work with SambaYaBamba in 2007, and immediately warmed to his intense, but friendly way of working. A subsequent chance meeting in Rio the following year sealed the deal: we wanted to get him to Dublin, whenever the chance presented itself.
Some months back, we learned that Jonas was coming to Europe to do some work in Germany, and made a bid to get him over to Dublin for a couple of days – we weren’t disappointed!
In all we had 22 players from a total of four bands: MaSamba; Happy City Samba, Morro 16, and SambaNova. Jonas put us through our paces with a range of styles of Rio samba from some of the legendary Samba School, and also lots of breaks, intros, and improvisations on surdo, repinique and caixa.
By the end of the weekend, we were all shattered, but happy, and we are looking forward to welcoming Jonas back to Ireland some time soon.