‘It’s like a calling’: Edmonton woman bringing sound of music to Rio slum

CTVNews.ca Staff
Published Monday, August 8, 2016 11:10PM EDT

Brazil may be known for its pulsating samba, but a Canadian woman is bringing a different type of music to one of Rio’s largest slums.

Tucked away in a school classroom in Rocinha — considered Rio’s largest favela with about 200,000 people living within roughly two square kilometres — Vanessa Rodrigues is teaching children how to play string instruments.

Rodrigues was on a trip to Rio four years ago when she stumbled upon a box of donated instruments, which she took as a sign.

VanessaCTV

“I thought you know what, it’s like a calling,'” she told CTV News. “Here’s all these instruments.”

An accomplished jazz organist who grew up in Edmonton, Rodrigues decided to devote her spare time at the Escola de Musica da Rocinha offering a safe refuge for children who needed support and an outlet away from gangs and violence.

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With a report from CTV News’ Omar Sachedina

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