Orixá Bloco in 2020!

05 Jan 20


Dear members and supporters, 

As it is a new year beginning, I wanted to take a little time to thank you for your contribution in the past year. Establishing a new project and keeping the momentum is a challenge! When Mo and I began this group, we had many creative possibilities in mind- musical, artistic, dance- but what I didn't anticipate to such a degree was the community and friendships that would thrive as a result of this simple (and some might say not-so-simple at times! ;) activity of drumming together each week plus coming together with a wider circle of people to create beautiful workshops and performances. I personally have gotten to know so many inspiring people through playing percussion and being involved in this frankly amazing UK community. I feel humble to have been able to set this up in my local area, and to have watched its cultivation and growth. Bringing people together to drum and dance and be artistic is just so necessary for human happiness. It is testament to peoples unending creativity and inspiration. 

Even if you haven't been closely involved recently, just knowing that your support is there because of involvement in the past, or maybe a kind word you said once is worth so much. You can also continue to promote us by talking about your experiences to friends and colleagues, sending/giving us performance or project opportunities, and of course coming down to the Mill for a play on Mondays. 
We've got some lovely gigs booked already for 2020 and are always looking for exciting new ideas, and of course new members. So please do get in touch with any thunder bolt ideas!! 

Regular drumming sessions begin tomorrow, Monday 6th, 7-9pm as usual at Beehive Mill in Hebden Bridge. See you drummers there! 

Have a peruse of our website! 


And you might be interested in my piano and vocal work I also do (including piano tuition and singing workshops)


So... wishing you a positive and inspiring 2020. 

Lots of love from

Helen and Mo x

Orixá Bloco's weekender at Listers Lanterns and Bury Pride, fundraiser.

04 Nov 19

It was a fabulous weekend, performing on Friday for our second consecutive year at Lister's Lanterns, with Cecil Green Arts in Bradford. We had some great moves during the static being spontanieously cracked out by kids who were extremely enthusiastic! Then on Saturday we performed for Bury Pride Fundraiser at Prestwich. The energy for both gigs was brilliant, everyone played with everything they had and performed so incredibly well! It must have been good because we've already been invited back to play at Listers Lanterns and Bury Pride in April next year. Go Orixá Bloco! 

Orixá Bloco at Glasgow Encontro Street Bands Festival!

21 Oct 19

 What an achievement for Orixá Bloco to be invited to this amazingly vibrant festival in our second year of performing. The Glasgow Encontro Street Bands Festival is a beautifully put together weekend, showcasing the best street bands from around the UK, Europe and the world. We performed with the massed band with over 300 other drummers, brass players and singers. We performed three fabulous sets as a band on the streets, creating people to break out into spontaneous dance moves! The band had an amazing weekend, we met so many like minded people, played hard and partied hard- what a weekend to start the Summer! 


Orixá Bloco at Handmade Parade 2019!

02 Jul 19

Orixá Bloco were absolutely rocking it at the wonderful Yorkshire carnival that is  Handmade Parade, based in Hebden Bridge. This is a special parade for the band as it is our home stomping ground. We were joined by Bridget Withycolme-Wharton who led the Carnival Dance Academy, based in Manchester. We made a costume for Iemanja and invited her to grace us with her gentle energy. We danced her dance and drummed her rhythm. 

On reflection of the day I can honestly say I feel proud and priviliged to have these people and this energy in the life. Every week we meet and we play together, we laugh and we form our friendships- its such a human thing to do. Then we go out and we share our joy with people, and so it bounces around from person to person, and before you know it, thousands of people are smiling and feeling joyful. It's so simple. 

Todmorden Carnival and Pizza Party!

27 May 19

It was good to go to the streets again and create a drumming buzz with Orixá Bloco, in our local area of the Calder valley. Our flag bearers were fantastic and they did some brilliant improvised choreography during the static! The band later swapped their drumming costumes for 'pizza chef's' and celebrated with the new pizza oven built by Mo and Leon on Red Acre organic allotments. We got given dough balls from Marco's pizzeria and the pizza's we made were awesome.... the drumming was pretty awesome too... and all round great day.   

New class learning the roots of Afro-Brazilian carnival music

27 Apr 19

Learn the roots of Brazilian carnival music. 

Dear members and friends of Orixá Bloco,

I am pleased to announce that a new class will be starting this Tuesday 30th April, 7.30 - 9pm at Beehive Mills, Hebble End, Hebden Bridge. The class has started as a request from some people, who say 'drumming once a week isn't enough'! and also people who want to go deeper into learning about the Afro-Brazilian roots of carnival music, (which we play on a Monday night). It provides an opportunity to develop musically in aspects of knowledge and skill, which in turn feeds into all areas of playing.

The music is based around conga patterns, clave and side drum parts (from the tradition of candomblé) We will also learn some traditional songs that accompany the music. Focus will include technique for congas and sticks.

The class is suitable for people who have little or no experience of hand drumming or stick playing, as we will be looking at beginner level technique and incorporating this into rhythms.
For any experienced players, more complex parts and supporting roles may be given.

There are limited numbers for this class as the number of our drums allow - therefore advance-booking is essential via phone or email. If you do have your own conga then please bring it along.


Tuesdays, 7.30 - 9pm, Beehive Mills, Hebden Bridge
£5 - Orixá Bloco members, £7 - non-members.
Phone - Helen, 07903 074674
Email - helen.bigearsmusic@gmail.com
Website - https://orixabloco.bigearsmusic.co.uk

Many thanks for all your good vibes, interest and support in whatever way you have been involved, past, present and future  - as we enter into our second year! (its our second birthday on the 15th May! :) 

love Helen xxx