viva rio, NGO working with empowering projects in favelas as well as lobbying to reform drugs laws, did not need to ask us twice to play at their party. our new instant friend (bloco leader and viva rio project manager) joao marcelo had heard us @ baile do castelo the week before and popped the question. with staggered arrival dates from london, this was the first time during the trip we felt like a full band, and it was a chance to test the set and repertoire we would unleash on the bigger gigs later in the month. artists from dona marta favela performed before and after us, and joined in in various ways, impromptu choreography to michael jackson songs, being one… apparently it seems ‘black music’ as they call it (african-american popular music) has a special resonance with a sector of the population that we witnessed again on the last gig of the trip at uniao da ilha. viva rio’s building is in gloria, and appears from the street as colonial-period castle with big roof terrace where the party was, upon which we are pictured below.