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Mestre Esteves

webpage updated: Mon 24 Jun 2024

Growing up in Estácio, Rio de Janeiro, the birthplace of samba and the very first samba school - Deixa Falar, which later became the great Estácio de Sá, it was inevitable that Paulo Esteves Rodrigues da Silva would be exposed to the very best samba from an early age.

From the age of nine Esteves would beg, steal or borrow empty oil containers and other used materials to make home-made instruments. He has subsequently spent his life making instruments, repairing them and selecting them for his samba school resulting in an expertise second to none.

Playing with several baterias as soon as he could hold an instrument, his obvious talent was spotted and nurtured in adolescence and he soon earned a reputation as an excellent 'ritmista'.

In 1994 Esteves took over the position of Diretor de Bateria - Director of the Bateria - and led the oldest school in Rio to triumph in the carnival parade, taking the coveted first place in the top group - Grupo Especial. The bateria of Estácio de Sá, under his leadership, consistently earned 10/10 from the parade judges.

Although Esteves plays with several samba schools at the annual Rio carnival, including Mangueira, União da Ilha do Governador, Porto da Pedra and São Clemente, he always saves the best for Estácio de Sá, leading a bateria of 320 drummers in rehearsals and parades.

In October 1996 Esteves led the Estácio de Sá bateria and dancers in a tour of Europe supporting Alcione. The following year he benefited from the London Arts Carnival Development Fund and came to London. He worked extensively with the London School of Samba and other groups, culminating in the LSS taking 2nd place at London's annual Notting Hill Carnival in 2001. His ambition to create a truly authentic samba school in London led Esteves to found the Paraiso School of Samba in collaboration with his brother, carnivalist, Henrique da Silva and other leading figures of samba in the UK.

Esteves was awarded the official 2005 Trophy for the Best Bateria of Rio de Janeiro.

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Paraiso School of Samba is a Registered Charity number 1113593 and a Company Limited by Guarantee and registered in England and Wales number 5676918.
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