Drum party celebrates Carnaval

PhillyBloco held a “big, loud, fun dance party.”


On Saturday, hundreds of people danced at World Cafe Live on 30th near Walnut Street at PhillyBloco’s Brazilian Carnaval show. PhillyBloco, a collective of 23 musicians and performers, modeled the event after Carnaval in Brazil,  an annual carnival where the community comes together and parades in the streets while drumming and playing music.

Founder and director Michael Stevens, 42, a drum instructor from Amherst, Massachusetts, began PhillyBloco more than 10 years ago, after teaching samba drum classes and traveling to Brazil.

Stevens describes PhillyBloco concerts as a “big, loud, fun dance party with lots of drums.” The group performs a mashup of samba, funk and reggae music and featured Brazilian dancers.

Bart Miltenberger, 44, a social worker at the University of Pennsylvania, is a trumpeter for PhillyBloco.

“This is a super fun band,” Miltenberger said. “Tonight we found out that this gig is totally sold out. So there’s gonna be 650, whatever people, all having a good time. This particular one, Carnaval, is our best.”

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