History of MaSamba


Masamba was created as a response to the hugely successful Big Bang Festival in 1994 and has become Ireland’s premier samba music group. Masamba has always had a very strong community ethos, demonstrated by the following traits:

  • We believe in lifelong learning, which is exhibited through our attempts to constantly improve our own skills, and understanding of the music we play. We believe that people should be encouraged to take up music making at any time in life, and we work with everyone from pre-school children to senior citizens.
  • Masamba operates an open-door policy for our community rehearsals – anyone can join our group to experience music making. We also run at least one beginners course each year, as another gateway into the group.
  • Masamba has a strong commitment to equality and democratic processes. We have regular, minutes band meetings and band members are encouraged to chair and minute those meetings, and take responsibility for the running of various aspects of the band. We also have two band representatives on Masamba’s Board.
  • Masamba promotes multiculturalism and interculturalism, and working from the perspective of Brazilian culture can sometimes be a good way to discuss issues about our own society.

Masamba is a Company Limited by Guarantee, a registered charity, and receives core funding from the Department of Social Protection under the Community Services Programme.


Our main activities are as follows:



Music workshops are the primary delivery mechanism of our community service, and we have developed a reputation for our expertise in this area.

Most of our workshop are delivered with children and young people living in situations of disadvantage. We also work with people with disabilities, recovering drug users, Travellers, ethnic minorities and people with mental health issues.

Masamba delivered 477 workshops in 2016.


Training for Trainers

We see this as important work, as we believe it will have a multiplier effect and create new bands.  We have just completed a short series of classes for trainee primary school teachers in St. Patrick’s College, Drumcondra.

Masamba’s Manager, Simeon Smith has also been added to the faculty of the Irish World Academy in Limerick, and is teaching the Masters in Community Music students for one day in each term.



Performances are not the very core of our work, but they are important to us for several reasons:

  • Our community band is an excellent promotional tool, and the more they play in public, the more it connects us to potential clients
  • Performances are a great income-generating tool, which contributes to the overall sustainability of the company
  • Some of our performances are directly in support of other community organisations working with people living in disadvantage. We perform fundraisers and awareness events for the Peter McVerry Trust, anti-racism groups, LGBT initiatives, and Africa Day. In addition, we make ourselves available to support local projects, when requested. These include the Local Christmas Tree Celebrations in Cornmarket and James’s St, The Liberties Fun Run, etc.


Legal Status, Governance and Management

Masamba is a Company Limited by Guarantee (364908) and a Registered Charity (CRA 20056087). We are currently up to date with all Companies Office filing requirements and with the Charities Regulatory Authority annual reporting requirements. We are signed up to, and fully compliant with the Governance Code.

Masamba is managed by a voluntary Board of Directors which meets six time each year. The membership of the Board is as follows:


Name of Board Member Position on Board Area of Expertise Representative of which group/organisation/ sector
Brian Treacy Chairperson Event/Venue Management Liberty Hall Theatre
Derek Bolger Treasurer Professional Percussion Teacher Defence Forces School of Music
Ray Corcoran Board Member Youth Work Poppintree Youth Service
Julie Collins Board Member Performing Arts Community Representative
Aisling Twamley Board Member Musician Community Representative
Mel MacGiobúin Board Member Community Work North Inner City Drugs Task Force

For more details on our Board Members, see here http://www.masamba.com/about-us/the-board/

Band Management

We have regular minuted band meetings, where band members take turn to chair and take minutes. All major decisions are discussed at band level. Issues that arise at band level can be communicated with the Board of Directors though the band members who are also Board members.

We also have an extensive band contract, which outlines members’ rights and responsibilities, as well as an anti-bullying and harassment policy and a social media policy. These are in place to protect band members and the institutions of the band.