Monobloco from the trendy Rio
de Janeiro neighborhood Leblon got its name from the founders idea to record the
entire bloco (carnival street group) with one single microphone. The Oficina
do Monobloco emerged in 2000 from the workshops of percussion group Pedro
Luís e a Parede (PLAP) and practices weekly at the Sala Baden Powel in
Copacabana. Unlike most traditional blocos who limit themselves to pure samba,
Monobloco plays a mix of various brazilian rhythms spiked with samba rock and
Monobloco's pre-carnaval parties at the Fundição Progresso
in the lively neighborhood Lapa attract thousands of cariocas. During the carnival
parade of Leblon and the beach of adjacent neighborhood Ipanema the rhythm section,
led by mestre Celso Alvims, includes over a hundred batuqueiros and the bloco
carnavalesco draws a crowd of tens of thousands. Monobloco's third performance
in Copacabana during the 2008 carnival featured 150 percussionists for an audience
of over 150.000 spectators, more than twice the capacity of Rio's Sambadrome.
The rest of the year Monobloco performs as a more conventional samba rock band,
the Monobloco Show, with a dozen or two musicians. Ao vivo, Monobloco's 2006 album (live, of course) is a must-have.