Batalá New York is an all-female percussion ensemble playing Afro-Brazilian music, primarily Samba Reggae, a genre originating in the state of Bahia in northeast Brazil. As its name suggests, Samba Reggae is world music that incorporates Brazilian samba and Caribbean reggae. Like Samba Afro and Axe, Samba Reggae incorporates African rhythms preserved and honored through Afro-Brazilian religions such as Candomblé. All 3 genres have influenced Batala’s repertoire. Some notable Afro-Brazilian bands include Ilê Aiyê, Timbalada, and Olodum, who became widely known outside Brazil following collaborations with Michael Jackson and Paul Simon. During Carnaval every year, samba reggae is performed in the streets of Salvador, the capital of Bahia, by musical blocos with percussion sections numbering in the hundreds of drummers moving together. In homage to that tradition, Batalá New York’s performances are percussive, energetic and highly dynamic, with colorful costumes and lively choreography.
Learn more about Batalá here:
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