About Us

As an independent musician and student of Afro-Brazilian percussion, Juba do Leão’s Director Holly Prest was awarded a Winston Churchill Memorial Trust travelling fellowship in 2004 to further explore her knowledge of Brazilian culture. During this first adventure to Brazil, she sought out a set of instruments and study opportunities with the vision of returning to the UK to offer workshop classes in lesser-known musical styles to the percussion community.

Manchester (UK) based Juba do Leão was founded in 2005, and has gone from strength to strength, offering both beginners and expert musicians and dancers the chance to broaden their knowledge as well as take part in large-scale national performance events, education work, and youth engagement projects.The group prides itself on maintaining its original community spirit whilst striving for ambitious performance opportunities around the UK to share its jaw-dropping energy with willing ears!

Inspired by the floor-shaking rhythms and vibrant dances of North-Eastern Brazil, Juba do Leão take the audience on an enlightening tour of the intoxicating grooves of Brazil and beyond. Every performance features beats and breaks that offer a dynamic journey of Brazilian coastal grooves for an unsuspecting audience. With booming bass drums and slicing snare lines, this formidable power house are guaranteed to get you dancing your socks off!

…Juba do Leão take to the stage, twenty-five drummers strong. They start subtly, high frequency instruments only: the snares, the shakers, the hand-drums and bells. Developing rhythms build tension to die for. They torture the audience to breaking point. “Are you ready for some bass?” shouts Holly to a riotous response. “I said are you ready for some bass!?” Cheers go up, the band’s volume dips down: the calm before the storm. And then, on cue, the line of ten bass drums punch in single stabs at full volume. They sound like bombs going off. Finally, to collective rapture, the whole band kick in and blow out the roof. I’d forgotten how powerful this music is. I’d forgotten how much I missed it.

What I am about to say, I use not lightly: that was one of the best gigs I have ever been to.

Juba do Leão: ‘The Lion’s Mane.’ You need to see this band. Find them and watch what music is all about. 

Alexander Walsh
PULP Magazine