1) What is a samba band?
ANSWER: A Samba band is a musical group that plays samba music. Samba styled music originates from Brazil and is heavily featured in their carnivals.
2) What is a bateria?
ANSWER: A bateria is the rhythm section of a samba band and in the UK most people when they refer to a ‘samba band’ are really just referring to ‘samba drummers’.
3) What instruments are used in a bateria?
ANSWER: A samba bateria normally consists of Tamborims , Snare drums (Caixa), Agogo bells, Surdos, Ganzás/Chocalho (shakers), Cuíca, Timbal, Pandeiro, and the Repinique which along with a whistle (Apito) is often played by the leader for signalling breaks and calls.
4) Are all samba bands from Brazil?
ANSWER: Not in the UK, they’re not! We have several bands and some are authentically Brazilian- or led by Brazilians most often- whilst many more are community bands with people of all ages, genders and ethnicities.
5) Do all your samba bands just play samba beats?
ANSWER: No. We have other bands like World Beat Samba who play rhythms that are inspired more broadly- from the Caribbean, Africa and other parts of Latin America.
6) How do I decide which one is most suitable to hire?
ANSWER: Aside from budget, your venue’s proximity to where a band is based and what you want our performers to do should best inform your decision.
7) Are they suitable for Carnival or Festival parades?
ANSWER: Very much so as they walk and play at the same time. For this we would advise that you use a younger group that is energetic and gets a crowd dancing!
8) Are they suitable for corporate events?
ANSWER: Yes, they are very effective as an impact performance as they are very loud acoustically with no need for amplification. They immediately grab an audience’s attention, so are often used to signal a change in an event- like a call to dinner!
9) Do samba drummers wear costumes?
ANSWER: In Brazil some samba bands have eccentric costumes whilst others have costumes themed around their religions or animals.Here in the UK our samba bands wear uniforms, but are unlikely to be highly costumed as visually they often play second fiddle to Carnival Dancers.
10) What other live forms of entertainment do samba drummers best complement?