Bloco Mente are a community based Samba Reggae percussion band based in Tameside.
The group learn percussive music from around the world and share it with local people through public performances. They also support community events such as carnivals, festivals, sporting events and parades.
Bloco Mente’s members range from young to old and from all walks of life, the youngest is 8 and eldest is in his 70’s. Members have a variety of health and social needs ranging from low level mental health issues to heart disease and limiting illnesses. They also have children who are on the Autism spectrum and have ADHD as well as a number of members who were previously socially isolated either through circumstance or because of anxiety problems. These members have now found a “safe” group of friendly and welcoming people whom they can socialise and tackle their problems in a fun and engaging way.
The musical group practice once a week for 2 hours, learning a number of rhythms, hearing about different cultural influences of the music, and having demonstrations of musical instruments from around the world.
Bloco Mente do public performances as often as possible. You can usually spot the group a mile away in their bright t-shirts. If you hear drumming around Tameside follow your ears and you’re bound to find us. Were the only group of our kind in the borough.
Bloco Mente also performed at Blackthorn Music Festival, a festival in Marple which raised over £1,000 for us last summer.
Recent funding from Forever Manchester allowed Bloco Mente to:
• Perform around Tameside, delivering taster events for the local community to go along to and try the ‘Bloco Mente experience’
• Purchase additional percussion instruments so their audience can join them in making music
• Purchase Bloco Mente PVC banners to display at key street sites around Tameside to advertise their weekly practice and encourage new members.
To see the band in action watch the video below: