19th March 2021


As Australia starts to open up once again, we look forward to playing more and more, and coming together with our wider samba community.

Though we may not be able to organise large interstate get togethers, like we normally would with our friends in Unidos da Cacatua, there is an opportunity to get together with other ritmistas within state borders.

We are organising an Australian workshop tour, visiting key cities for intensive sessions in developing how we play the samba from Rio’s Samba Schools.

Not only is this an opportunity for you to level up your playing, but also to deepen your understanding of how this music works. You’ll be improving what you know, learning new things and having some fun in the process.

The main event in each city will be an intensive full day workshop held on a Saturday for the full bateria. The intensive will be 5 hours of playing time and 1 hour break. We will also run 2 shorter workshops (1.5hrs each) on the Friday evening that will deep dive into the specific techniques and rhythms used for both the caixa and the tamborim.

If you would also like any private classes either personally or for your group, then get in touch early and we can organise it.


We will split the focus throughout the day between delving into the fundamentals of Rio samba, and learning brand new bossas (breaks) fresh from Rio.

The goal is to cement your understanding of how everything works, and what it is that makes up the international language of samba. What are the conventions that are played in every school & every bloco across the globe, and how do they work? Which of these have variations? How should they feel, how do they swing?

As well as polishing up our understanding and playing of the underlying building blocks of samba, we’ll also delve in to some fresh bossas from Rio that have never been played in Australia before. Whilst playing at Carnaval 2020, Rob picked up stacks of fresh material, and will be sharing this with you.



The tamborim workshop will look at developing your ability to play the carreteiro (turning technique) and will focus on techniques and exercises to help improve and strengthen your playing.

If you’re unfamiliar with the carreteiro technique then this is an opportunity to pick up the basics. If you play some already, then we will help you develop that technique further.


The caixa workshop will focus on the partido alto pattern, and how to play above/under the arm. This rhythm is played by the majority of schools in Rio, and is essential knowledge for any caixa player. The following day during the All Day Intensive, this is the part the caixas will be expected to play, so this is good preparation.

If you haven’t played this pattern or technique before then this is a good opportunity to learn the basics. If you have played partido alto before then this is a chance to look at your technique, feel and variations. Participants are expected to have played some caixa before.


Rob Arcari has spent the last 20 years playing and teaching across the globe, but extensively throughout Australia, Europe, Brazil and Cuba. He’s kept busy in Melbourne where he is Mestre de Bateria and founder of Bloco 3K. On top of this, he is also Mestre of Unidos da Cacatua and musical director of Maracatu Estrela do Mar.

Rob is also regularly in Rio to play, where he’s a drummer with the Escolas de Samba; Acadêmicos da Rocinha, Estácio de Sá & Imperatriz Leopoldinense as well as Maracatu Tambores de Olokun.


The day long Intensive will be aimed at an intermediate/advanced level. A rudimentary understanding of samba is required and an intermediate proficiency on your chosen instrument. The workshops will push everyone, no matter what level you are at.

For the Caixa and Tamborim workshops, details about level of experience required are above.

If you have any questions about this then please get in touch for a chat.


Participants must bring their own instruments, with sticks and straps as needed. If you do not have access to the instrument you wish to play then get in touch, and we may be able to organise one for you.

Instruments should be those traditionally found in a Rio bateria – i.e. Surdo, Repique, Repique Mor, Caixa (Rio style, with wires on top, not snares underneath), Tamborim, Chocalho, Agogô etc



Friday April 16th 2021 : Caixa 18:00 – 19:30 | Tamborim 19:30 – 21:00

Saturday April 17th 2021 : Samba Intensive 12:00 – 18:00


Friday May 7th 2021 : Caixa 18:00 – 19:30 | Tamborim 19:30 – 21:00

Saturday May 8th 2021 : Samba Intensive 12:00 – 18:00


Friday May 21st 2021 : Caixa 18:00 – 19:30 | Tamborim 19:30 – 21:00

Saturday May 22nd 2021 : Samba Intensive 12:00 – 18:00



Friday December 3rd 2021 : Caixa 18:00 – 19:30 | Tamborim 19:30 – 21:00

Saturday December 4th 2021 : Samba Intensive 12:00 – 18:00


A combo ticket is available for all the sessions for just $190

Otherwise the day long intensive is $140 and the specific instrument workshops are $40 each


Click the links to be taken through to our ticket portal.






We will be adhering to local guidelines, and we’re obviously aware that things change from day to day.

We realise things change in terms of government restrictions in the time between you purchasing a ticket and the event going ahead. If these changes mean you can no longer attend due to lockdowns, border restrictions etc etc, we understand. In these instances there will be a full refund.

Likewise, if changing restrictions disrupt Rob’s ability to travel, then firstly we will try to reschedule to a suitable time/date. If this date no longer works for you, then again refunds will be available.

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