As Director of Juba do Leão and Jubacana, and an Artistic Director of Global Grooves, Holly Prest is a driving force behind the Afro-Brazilian Carnival scene in the UK. Her passion for Pernambucan culture was sparked as a teenager in 1996, and ever since she has dedicated her studies and travels to developing links and projects within Maracatu, one of Brazil’s oldest traditional Carnival forms.
She is a leading percussion artist and instrument teacher based in Northwest England, and has developed a great number of training and performance opportunities for young people and adults alike. Holly’s workshops offer something for every level of experience, and she is particularly passionate about helping young people and adults discover their potential and explore their creativity. She has developed and facilitated Global Grooves' 'Future Leaders' youth arts development programme since it began in 2014, reaching an international cohort of 90 young emerging artists aged 13-25.
Holly is a percussionist with over 20 years experience in world percussion. Her passion falls with Brazilian music and culture, especially the powerful rootsy rhythms of the Northeast. In 2005, she founded Juba do Leão, Manchester’s blistering Maracatu percussion and dance collective. She has studied intensively in Brazil with established groups and percussionists including Nana Vasconcelos and countless batuqueiros from Recife's Maracatu scene, and has performed in the Recife Carnival with Mestre Tete and 'Maracatu Nação Almirante do Forte' in 2005 and 2007. She regularly holds workshops throughout the UK sharing her vast knowledge of traditional and modern Brazilian musical styles. She has also studied Carnival music and dance forms in Cuba and Trinidad in recent years due to her interest in championing cross-arts working. We really really enjoyed talking with Holly. She has so much wisdom and good tips to share that we could probably do a second podcast. We just scratched the surface with this one.
You can hear/buy the full Juba do Leao album "Postcards From Pernambuco" here: https://jubadoleao.bandcamp.com/album/postcards-from-pernambuco