Bosco De Oliveira Founding Member of London School of Samba

João Bosco de Oliveira was born in 1952 in Belo Horizonte, the capital city of southeastern Brazil’s Minas Gerais state. Surrounded by mountains, the city’s known for the vast Mineirão Stadium. Built-in 1965, the stadium also houses the Brazilian Football Museum.

One of the founding members of the Samba School

The idea of a samba school in London came from a South African exile, Alan Hayman. He approached João Bosco de Oliveira and asked him if he would be the first Musical Director of the school in late 1983.

Bosco De Oliveira + London School of Samba Colours

London School of Samba, Bosco De Oliveira & Mocidade Escola at Guanabara Samba Club in London 28th August 2009 Picture credit - Lauren Baker

It was João Bosco de Oliveira who came up with the idea of adopting the colours of Mocidade Samba School from Rio for the newly formed London School of Samba. The green and white colours were chosen by Bosco de Oliveira in honour of G.R.E.S. Mocidade Independente de Padre Miguel, who became the official Madrinha of the Lindon School of Samba in 1984. The first theme of the LSS in the Notting Hill Carnival was also in tribute to them: Homage to Mocidade. In 1989, Mocidade performed with the LSS at the 3rd European Encontro on the Southbank. In 2009, they made another visit to take part in the 25th anniversary.

Bosco wrote the first enredo for Notting Hill Carnival parade

In 1984 the London School of Samba were the first-ever Samba School to parade at the world-famous Notting Hill Carnival.   Bosco de Oliveira wrote the Samba Enredo (theme song) that the London School of Samba performed at this historic event.  The song (or enredo) was “Homage to Mocidade and Padre Miguel” by João Bosco de Oliveira.

Mestre de Bateria – Unidos de Londres

The title Mestre de Bateria (or in English bandleader/conductor/musical director) is an incredible honour in Brazil.  The Mestre commands a lot of respect and earns this title by being a master of all the instruments.  You cannot name yourself Mestre in Brazil.  The title is given to you by another established Mestre as a sign of respect once you reach the master level of playing and understanding the music.  João Bosco de Oliveira was the official first Mestre de Bateria for the London School of Samba.

Bosco de Oliveira first became Mestre de Bateria from 1984 to 1986.  The assistant Mestre was Pato Funetes and in 1987 Pate became the new Mestre de Bateria.

Bosco has toured with many artists

Bosco has toured and recorded with many artists including Milton Nascimento, McCoy Tyner, Victor Bailey, Loose Tubes, Sade, Terry Callier, Madness, Kate Bush, June Tabor, Charlie Palmiera, Paulo Moura, Toninho Horta, Airto Moreira and Duran Duran, with contributions to The Wedding Album in 1993.

He has performed many times at major international jazz festivals (Nice, Vienna, Montreux, North Sea, Montreux-Detroit), as well as at Glastonbury, Reading, Womad and festivals and major venues across the world – from the U.S. to Japan, Australia and South America.

A highly respected teacher and lecturer

A highly regarded teacher and lecturer Bosco also holds a Masters degree in Music from London University.

Bosco De Oliveira links and articles

Here are some nice articles and links about Bosco De Oliveira.  If you have a story or have found another article we can use, then please contact the London School of Samba.


Contact the London School of Samba

For more information about our samba dance classes in London, contact us today!  Our super fun (and beginners welcomed) samba drumming classes in London are great way to learn how to play Brazilian music!  We are based in Waterloo at the WAC centre and it would be great to meet you at one of our weekly classes. We love new members (especially beginners) to join the London School of Samba!  All you need to do is to contact us below and our friendly team will be in touch.