There has been massive excitement in the Masamba camp over the last few weeks, as our 25thBirthday Celebrations draw closer.
Masamba was formed following the highly innovative and successful ‘Big Bang Festival’ at the City Arts Centre in 1994. Samba percussion was the runaway star of the show, and it was immediately decided that a series of samba drumming workshops would be run at the Centre, led by Colin Blakey. This group eventually morphed into Masamba Samba School.
No-one involved in those early days could have foreseen that Masamba would still be going 25 years later, employing 3 people full-time, and working with literally thousands of people each year. But, that’s where we ended up, and it seems a celebration is in order!
As you all know, Masamba never does anything by half measures, especially when it comes to having a party. Masamba also has a long experience of working alongside Dublin City Council on a multiplicity of projects, and in recognition of that fact, The Lord Mayor of Dublin Paul McAuliffe, has invited us to the Mansion House for a special birthday celebration. This is a rare honour, and we are very proud to have been invited to such an auspicious and historic space.
In addition, we are hosting a special one-off workshop with our long-time mentor Dudu Tucci. Dudu was the first Brazilian musician we worked with, having met him first in Manchester in 1996. Over the years, we have brought Dudu to Dublin several times, and Masamba members have also travelled to work with him in the UK and Berlin, most notably for the Afoxé Loni project. This workshop is an opportunity for both current and past members of Masamba to learn and perform together – given that so many members have gone on to play in, and even create, other bands, this will be a kind of a Samba Supergroup!
The birthday celebrations have also given us the impetus to get a few other little jobs done. We came up with a new logo design, which will be used on T-shirts, for drum wraps and eventually, for some new drum skins. We took delivery of the T-shirts yesterday, and they look and feel great. Our friends at Horizon Digital Print turned around some really nice drum wraps for us, at very short notice. We fitted them yesterday, and they make the drums look brand new!
We all know that ‘birthday cakes are so much fun to eat’, and what would a birthday party be, without a stonking big cake? Decorated with a combination of old and new logos, the cake type is ‘rocky road’, which perhaps represents the often-difficult road, Masamba has had to travel – things haven’t always been easy over the last 25 years, but they’ve usually been a lot of fun!