1) What is a samba band and what are samba drummers?
ANSWER: A Samba band is a musical group that plays samba music. However, the samba drummers you can hire specifically play just the percussion parts of the music. Samba styled music originates from Brazil and features heavily 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) the leader usually plays 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 what group of samba drummers 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 clients often use them 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 you can also hire samba drummers that wear uniforms. Nonetheless, they are unlikely to be as highly costumed. This is because, visually at least, they often play second fiddle to Carnival Dancers.
10) What other live forms of entertainment do samba drummers best complement?
ANSWER: Carnival dancers, capoeira dancers and acrobats also add to the spectacle of a samba band parade.