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Favela Brass’ Music School Prepares for 2016 Rio Games

Young favela musicians in Rio de Janeiro practice for a two-week long marathon of performances during the Olympic games.

Rafael da Silva, 10, plays his trumpet during a 'Favela Brass' band rehearsal in Pereira da Silva favela, in Rio de Janeiro, August 1.

BARBARA WALTON / EPA

Tom Ashe, a 36-year-old professional trumpet player from Britain, plays trumpet with favela children during band rehearsal. Tom's love of Brazilian live music bought him to Rio where he founded 'Favela Brass'. The band will play every day in neighborhoods during the 2016 Olympic Games.

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Tom Ashe leaves his home as he heads for band practice. He lives in the same favela as the children and started the music class with one student in 2014. Now Ashe teaches 36 students, aged between five and fifteen.

BARBARA WALTON / EPA

Brazilian kids assemble their clarinets before rehearsal.

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Neighborhood kids stretch during the band's outdoor rehearsal.

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Band members walk through the narrow hillside streets of their favela, beating a drum along the way.

BARBARA WALTON / EPA

Clarinet teacher Mariana dos Santos rehearses with the students. The project provides free music and English language lessons, according to the 'Favela Brass' website. "Children in Rio's low-income neighborhoods rarely have the opportunity to learn to play brass instruments, which is a huge shame considering that music plays such a central role in the cultural and social life of the city," the site says.

BARBARA WALTON / EPA

The young Brazilian students meet three times a week and practice at home. The group will have a number of performances, playing shows on Rio’s beaches, official Olympic music venues and city centers during the games, according to ITV.

 

BARBARA WALTON / EPA
Vitor Hugo Ferreira, 14, rehearses the tenor tuba. BARBARA WALTON / EPA

A Brazilian boy taps his drumsticks on the rails looking over Rio from the hillside during the 'Favela Brass' band rehearsal.

BARBARA WALTON / EPA

Residents of Pereira da Silva favela watch the children involved in the musical band.

BARBARA WALTON / EPA

Members of 'Favela Brass' play together as a troupe. Tom Ashe's efforts are supported by donations and a wide range of public and private partnerships with institutions like The British Consulate-General, Rio de Janeiro and AirBnB. The program aims to "create a tradition of brass and percussion... rooted in Rio's rich musical heritage."

BARBARA WALTON / EPA