Some of MaSamba’s Achievements

Over our 20-year history, we have had the good fortune to have many enthusiastic, hardworking and committed members, who are always looking for new challenges and ways to improve what we do. Below is a list of some of our achievements and highpoints:

 

Mexico – In 2002, MaSamba were invited by the local government in Guaymas, Northern Mexico to participate in their local carnival. Over the four nights of carnival, we performed for over 300,000 people and also visited a number of workshops, schools, and orphanages where we delivered samba workshops and mini-performances.

It's 2002, and MaSamba are rocking the carnaval in Guayamas - as you do!

It’s 2002, and MaSamba are rocking the carnaval in Guayamas – as you do!

 

Brasil – in 2003 and 2005, we organised study visits to Brasil for members of the group. In total, 27 members of MaSamba and our youth group have travelled to Brasil to study with Brasilian musicians, attend performances and rehearsals of some of the top samba schools, and generally learn about Brasilian culture and the communities that are the strongholds of the samba movement. In 2003, we performed as part of the official carnival of Olinda, at the invitation of the local government there. This show was extremely well received and we were subsequently invited back to perform there again, but had to decline, due to insufficient funding.

Parading through the streets of Olinda in the blistering Brazilian sunshine - hard work, but a once in a lifetime opportunity!

Parading through the streets of Olinda in the blistering Brazilian sunshine – hard work, but a once in a lifetime opportunity!

 

Reggae Revolution – Reggae Revolution was a major three-day training programme on the theme of samba-reggae music from the N. East of Brasil. Lead by Giba Gonçalves, a native of Salvador da Bahia (the home of samba reggae), the workshop covered several pieces of music and inputs in specific playing techniques.

Giba Gonzalves, leads a mixed group of Irish samba drummers in the Reggae Revolution - sadly, we could never afford to bring him back!

Giba Gonzalves, leads a mixed group of Irish samba drummers in the Reggae Revolution – sadly, we could never afford to bring him back!

 

Samhain Samba – Using a similar model as the Reggae Revolution, we invited John-Cristophe Jacquin and Jerome Boumendil from the acclaimed Parisian samba group Sambatuc to lead a four-day intensive workshop in the samba batucada rhythms from Rio de Janeiro. Again, this workshop mixed work on repertoire with a strong emphasis on playing techniques and was a huge success. This workshop culminated in a public performance by the workshop group in Temple Bar, to mark the Hallowe’en weekend.

Back in the wonderful theatre in Liberty Hall, this time with Jean-Cristophe Jacquin and Jerome Boumendil for Samhain Samba!

Back in the wonderful theatre in Liberty Hall, this time with Jean-Cristophe Jacquin and Jerome Boumendil for Samhain Samba!

 

Special Olympics World Games – In 2003, MaSamba got heavily involved in the Special Olympics World Games. We were invited by many of the host town committees to perform at the welcoming ceremonies for the delegations of athletes and also delivered workshops with athletes from the Brasilian delegation and in the Special Olympics Village at the RDS. The high point of this project was our participation in the official Opening Ceremonies at Croke Park, along with many world famous artists and politicians.

The Masamba Posse backstage at the opening ceremony for the Special Olympics World Games in 2003.

The Masamba Posse backstage at the opening ceremony for the Special Olympics World Games in 2003.

St. Patrick’s Festival – In 2004, we decided to celebrate MaSamba’s 10th birthday by designing and delivering a pageant for the St. Patrick’s Festival parade in Dublin. This project, entitled ‘Amazonas, Glory of the Rainforest’ involved over 100 dancers, actors, musicians and technical staff and won the ‘Spirit of the Parade’ award, as judged by the Festival Committee. We also received a special commendation from the Brasilian Ambassador to Ireland for our representation of Brasilian culture.

A gallery of photos from this event can be found here.

 

In 2006, we again developed a pageant for the St. Patrick’s Festival in Dublin, Based around a world cup theme, ‘We’re Off to the Final’ developed the notion that Ireland will one day play against Brasil in a world cup final. This pageant was awarded the Chairman’s Award by the St. Patrick’s Festival organisers.

A gallery of photos from this event can be found here.

 

Drogheda Samba Festival – MaSamba have been involved in the Drogheda Samba festival for many years, but in 2004 and 2005, we took this participation a step further, becoming a partner with the Festival Committee in designing and performing in some of the key events. We organised the central stage performance and produced a show featuring ethnic music from Brasil, Contemporary Brasilian Music and Brasilian Dance, and were also heavily involved in the make up of the festival parade.

 

Belfast Lantern ParadeMaSamba have been involved in this parade since its inception in 2002, but in 2006, we took more responsibility for the programming of the event, inviting esteemed samba tutor Dudu Tucci to visit Belfast to provide training for the drummers and to lead a showcase performance at the end of the parade.

 

Samba Fever – In April 2009, MaSamba Samba School hosted a ‘Samba Fever’ training programme with world-renowned percussionist Dudu Tucci. The course was attended by 60 percussionists from throughout Ireland and the UK and was a massive success!

Dudu Tucci addressing the huge crowd at the Samba Fever workshop.

Dudu Tucci addressing the huge crowd at the Samba Fever workshop.

 

UK Centre for Carnival Arts Official Opening Ceremony – In May 2009, almost twenty members of the group travelled to Luton to perform at the official opening ceremony of the UK Centre for Carnival Arts.

Masamba and friends at the Luton Encontro 2009.

Masamba and friends at the Luton Encontro 2009.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Halloween 2009, MaSamba design and deliver a pageant entitled the ‘Chocolate Caravan’ for Temple Bar Cultural Trust as part of their Chocolate Festival.

A gallery of photos from this event can be found here.

May 2010, MaSamba travel to Berlin to perform at the Karneval der Kulturen (Carnival of Cultures). The group plays a set on the Latinauta stage to huge acclaim, and joins in with the ‘Afoxé Loni’ project for the festival parade, performing to over 800,000 people. A video clip of our stage performance in Berlin can be found here.

September 2010, the band unveils it’s newest pageant, ‘Bloco Afro Brasil’ as the opening act of Culture Night 2010 in temple Bar, Dublin.

A gallery of photos from this event can be found here.

Happy Vibes on the streets of Dublin - Masamba parading the Bloco Afro Brasil show!

Happy Vibes on the streets of Dublin – Masamba parading the Bloco Afro Brasil show!

 

August 2011, MaSamba produces new pageant based on the life and work of Phil Lynott and Thin Lizzy – ‘The Boys Are Back in Town

There is a super video clip made by our friend Jake McCarthy about the project right here.

I'm not saying that our dancers are posers, but...

I’m not saying that our dancers are posers, but…

 

October 2011, MaSamba travels to Chicago to perform at the Chicago Brasilian Music Festival, and to deliver workshops in Evanston Il, and Kenosha, Wi.

Nov. 2013, the band collaborates with legendary musician, composer and producer Kevin Godley (10CC, Godley and Crème) on his iPhone App ‘WholeWorldBand.

Kevin Godley, photographed in the MaSamba Rehearsal Space, 2013.

Kevin Godley, photographed in the MaSamba Rehearsal Space, 2013.

 

 

April 2014, MaSamba sends a delegation to perform at the Carnaval de Toulouse, in partnership with our colleagues in Samba Résille.

Allegedly, some of the people in this picture are members of MaSamba - have fun trying to guess which ones!

Allegedly, some of the people in this picture are members of MaSamba – have fun trying to guess which ones!

 

 

September 2014, MaSamba teams up with Ulysses Opera Theatre and composer Tom Lane for a performance piece, ‘Harp – A River Cantata’ which launches the Dublin Fringe Festival.

March 2015, Masamba are honoured to have our new premises on Bow Lane West officially opened by our patron, President of Ireland, Michael D Higgins. The day was a celebration of our history to date, and what might be achieved in the future, and featured Masamba’s drummers and dancers, our Youth Project, and a selection of Brazilian-inspired food and drinks. Also in attendance on the day was the Brazilian Ambassador to Ireland, HE Alfonso Sena Cardoso and his wife Solange Escosteguy Cardoso, as well as many friends, colleagues and well wishers.

President Higgins made an impassioned speech about the value of Masamba’s work and the community arts scene in general, which left a tear in the eye! Days don’t get much better than this.

Presidential full crew 2 (70x50)

More detail on the President’s visit can be found here: http://www.masamba.com/media/presidential-visit-masamba-march-11th-2015/

August 2015 – Members of Masamba are joined by John Hicks (Aquarela, Paris) and Fabio Allman (Monobloco, RJ, Brazil) to record the first ever samba enerdo in English. The song is a collaboration between John Hicks and Masamba’s Musical Director Simeon Smith, and celebrates the literary history of Dublin city.

February 2017 – 10 members of Masamba return to Rio de Janeiro for two weeks of intense immersion into the samba scene. While there, they attend many samba school rehearsals and take workshops with some of Rio’s top percussionists.

A gallery of photos from the Rio 2017 trip can be seen here: https://www.facebook.com/pg/masambasambaschool/photos/?tab=album&album_id=10155176099532801

April 2017 – MaSamba hosts 30 members of the Brazil Irish Dance Team, as they prepare for the World Irish Dancing Championships. The two groups rehearse together and start to work on some ideas for a future collaboration. In addition, the group wins 2nd place overall in their competition!

Achievements

April 2017

Masamba’s Youth Project collaborate with renowned visual artist Will St. Leger, to create a  mural for the front of our HQ on Bow Lane West. The theme of the mural is Gulliver’s Travels, and as well as helping to come up with some design ideas, some of the youth group actually painted elements of the mural.

There is a gallery of photos from the project here.

The completed mural on the front of the Masamba HQ, April 2017.

July 2017 – CVLTO do FVTVRV

In July 2017, we were asked to collaborate with visual artist Stephan Doitschinoff from Sao Paulo, Brasil, on a major exhibition at the Irish Museum of Modern Art. The group exhibition, entitled ‘As Above, So Below” investigated the relationship between spirituality and art, and Stephan’s section of it especially interested us, because of the inclusion of symbolism from candomblé and umbanda, as well as having a social justice agenda.

As a bonus, it turned out that the Musical Director for the project was the legendary Iggor Cavalera from Sepultura/Cavalera Conspiracy/MixHell. The music definitely wasn’t samba, and took us a while to get our heads around it, but in the end, it was a very successful project. 

There is a small gallery of images from the project here.

 

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