Batala Portsmouth Samba Reggae Band

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Mundo Batala

Batala is a form of Samba Drum music which originates in Salvador de Bahia in North Eastern Brazil. Batala was formed as the European wing of Cortejo Afro (a style of Brazilian Samba) by Giba Gonçalves in Paris in 1997. Giba is the maestro of the Batala sound, which he composed after the style of his home town Salvador, in Brazil. The music has its roots in African traditional music which found its way to Brazil and has been incorporated in to Brazilian culture since.

Using this influence, Giba formed a 60-piece drumming band, called it Batala, and encouraged anyone with an interest in his music to form their own Batala group under his name. There are now eight such groups across Europe playing the same funky rhythms. Samba-reggae compositions with noted African influences beaten out on four different types of drum. The result is a raw, hypnotic combination of emotion, beats and rhythm. Batala's success is illustrated in its impressive CV: The Notting Hill Carnival; World Cup 1998 Grande Stade de France; Rotterdam Carnival, to name but a few and also played with the Sugababes at the Royal Variety Performance in 2006.

Notting Hill Carnival
Samba Reggae

Batala play Samba-Reggae music. This music is an offspring of the Tropicalismo movement of the 60's & 70's which combined samba with rock, funk, jazz and later reggae. It was reggae's message of black pride and hope in the face of lifes adversities as much as its offbeat groove that struck a chord with the mainly black population. The man who was reponsible for its creation was Neguinho de Samba when musical director of Il Aiy, the seminal afro-bloco, who in 1974 became the first black group to play in the Salvador Carnaval. Neguino took the militant Nago sounds of Il Aiy that he had created and mixed them with the offbeat rhythms of the reggae records that were starting to be heard in Salvador in the late 70's.

In the mid eighties he founded Olodum where he brought the whole concept to fruition and to worldwide attention and created the mould that would be the template for samba-reggae and Salvador Carnaval. After leaving Olodum he set up an all female afro-bloco called "Banda Dida Femina" which he ran successfully helping to empower women. Later he set up an associated musical school for local children which he supported with the money from his royalties.

Notting Hill Carnival