Beginners’ drum workshops start Sunday 16 August 2015

Learn samba drumming with Wellington Batucada!

UPDATE 01/08/15: We’ve had a huge response from people wanting to attend this latest series of beginner’s classes, and we are now FULL. We will not be accepting any more registrations or expression of interest for the upcoming sessions.

However, if you’d like to put in an early registration for the next series (which will be sometime after March next year), please feel free to do so. Instructions and registration form on our Join page.

Wellington Batucada in the RWC 2011 All Blacks victory parade

Wellington Batucada in the RWC 2011 All Blacks victory parade
Photo by NZ Sevens (click to enlarge)

If you have already contacted us and your interest in the workshops has been confirmed by us, the new series of beginners’ drumming workshops will start at 12.45pm on Sunday 16 August 2015, and will run till 3pm. There will be 6 workshops in total, and costs are $60 for the series if paid in full, or $12.50 per workshop.

Cost for current members: $20 for the whole 6 week course. Everyone welcome – brush up on your current instrument, or try a new one! Continue reading

Wellington Batucada plays WOMAD

An unforgettable, once-in-a-lifetime experience

Wellington Batucada group photo after our WOMAD gig - photo by Graham DwyerYou may recall a few months ago we hassled you incessantly to vote for us in the WOMAD Performer Competition. The prize was to perform at WOMAD 2015.

You may also recall that we won the competition (thank you SO MUCH for your votes!), and last Saturday we claimed our prize, and played for an hour on the Gables Stage at the WOMAD festival in New Plymouth.

Wow. What an amazing experience. When I got up that morning, all excited and full of anticipation, I told myself that this was very likely to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and a highlight of our drumming career – and that I should enjoy every single moment of it.

Continue reading

We made it!!!!! WOOOHOOO!

We’re doing the CubaDupa!

Thank you so very very much to all our friends, family, supporters and – perhaps most of all – to the Bat-members themselves, who dug deep, put their hands in their own pockets, and invited anyone they could think of to help us in our next grand endeavour.

Our final total was 104% of our target, at $10,430, with 59 donors – and we reached 100% with two days to spare.

Thank you to:

Alison Green, Alan Shuker, H Carmody, Miett Fear, Anonymous, Darryn Sigley, Graham Dwyer, Charlene Hillyard, Cedric Papion, Barin Das, Anonymous, Anonymous, Gordon Cessford, Simon Bowden, Geoff Simmons, Anonymous, Nick Simcock, Keith Ferguson, Jane Watson-Baker, Jenny Lea, Kate McAlpine, Anonymous, Deborah Harris, Nina Grattan, Alexandra Lutyens, Annette Paul, Michael James, Anonymous, Paula Warren, Lisa Leask, Trish Sullivan, Anonymous, Lizzie Young, Jeanette Spicer, Lise Hutcheon, Ros Nelson Breast Limited Pochin, Dana Mitchell, Zelda Gilbert, Anonymous, J Dwane, Anonymous, Anonymous, Carin Sundstedt, Megan Hand, Alex Gough, Martin Horspool, Hamish Garland, Anonymous, Anonymous, Carol Green, Tabitha Arthur, Anonymous, Anonymous, Anonymous, Andreas Leitz, Maire Harding, Tanya Nock, Anonymous, Sunita Singh, plus a whole host of other Wellington Batucada members who threw money in the hat for us at our Christmas party (I wish I’d written all your names down!).

…and a GREAT BIG THANK YOU to our fantastic Match Donor, Mr Chris Parkin from the Museum Art Hotel who has matched our $5k dollar for dollar to give us $10k in total.


Here’s our page on Boosted so you can bask in the glory of those numbers – and here’s a picture for you of a whole host of very happy Samba people – from all over New Zealand – who will be playing together for your entertainment and listening/dancing pleasure at CubaDupa next March:

Sambanui 2014 group photo

Now go check out the CubaDupa website and see what wonders await you!

A thousand reasons to support our CubaDupa Boosted campaign!

They say a picture is worth a thousand words…

…so here’s ours – a thousand reasons to make a donation towards the CubaDupa Carnival Zone via our Boosted campaign. So far we have raised $4,710 towards the total of $10,000 – and we have only 6 more days in which to raise the remaining 53%. Would you like to become part of the team and join us in our journey?


Wellington Batucada at Cuba Street Carnival

THANK YOU xxxxxx
Continue reading

We’re performing at WOMAD next year!

Wellington Batucada wins the 2015 WOMAD Performer Competition

Busking for WOMAD votes on Courtenay Place

Busking for WOMAD votes on Courtenay Place
Photo by Alan Shuker

Check out the WOMAD website!!!

Dear Batucada friends and family, Bat-members past, present, and future…

It’s been one heck of a ride.

Over the past 8 weeks we have worked together on an awesome common goal – to win the opportunity to perform at WOMAD next year – a festival that we love and admire.

We’ve asked pretty much everyone we know to vote for us, and then we’ve asked a whole bunch of people we don’t know to vote for us too – through our regular gigs and special vote-collecting busking sessions all over Wellington and beyond.

It’s been a heck of a busy and full-on 2 months for all of us, and I think what has impressed me the most is the huge amount of original effort, creativity and sheer guts and determination that so many people have shown. Continue reading

Donate to the CubaDupa Boosted campaign!

Get involved as Wellington Batucada becomes part of Carnival at the top of Cuba Street

2009 Cuba Street Carnival

Creating a spectacle at the 2009 Cuba Street Carnival


We are honoured to have been chosen as one of seven groups to spearhead the Wellington CubaDupa Boosted campaign. Each group will be featured as part of next year’s inaugural CubaDupa festival, being held in and around Cuba Street, 28th & 29th March 2015. The Boosted campaign aims to raise an additional $250,000 to match the Wellington City Council’s generous $250,000 funding, which will make CubaDupa the awesome event that we know it can be.

The Carnival Zone target on Boosted is to raise $10,000, which we hope will be equalled by a generous match donor. Wellington Batucada will also be putting in $10,000 of our own money.

Featuring Wellington Batucada and samba groups from across New Zealand; the Carnival Zone will fill the streets with music, dance and festivity throughout the weekend. Continue reading

Wellington Batucada – we’d love to play for you (retrospective video)

Check out our new video

I thought it might be a good idea for us to have a showreel for the band – so I made a video…. hope you like it!

I’ve used all kinds of Batucada footage, old and new – and selected some of our best photos as well. My aim was to put together a good representation of who we are, what we do – and how much fun it is to be a member of Wellington Batucada – using the random collection of video, audio and photographs currently in our archives. It’s been a fun project!

Hastings Blossom Festival 2014

Fabulous 1950s costumes in the rain

For the first time this year we decide to dress up in costume for Hastings, instead of wearing our normal Batucada uniform. The theme was Spring: Back to the Future – referring back to the heyday of the Hastings Blossom Festival in the 1950s when thousands of people would descend on the town for the annual festival.

It was a perfect opportunity for us to delve into the dress-up box and pull out our favourite floral swing dress, petticoats and cardis; or rock it out with a variation on 1950s James Dean T-shirt and jeans attire. We looked awesome, if we do say so ourselves.

The band in costume at the Hastings Blossom Festival - photo by Simon Shuker Continue reading

Brazil National Day 2014

The 192nd anniversary of the independence of Brazil

Brazil National Day 2014We were honoured to once again be invited to perform at the Brazil National Day celebrations – a black tie event held this year at the beautiful (and very grand) Massey Museum Building.

A smaller-than-normal hand-picked group played two sets as the guests arrived and walked the red carpet into the event. Technically I suppose we were playing in the inner foyer of the building – but oh my goodness what a room! A vast open space two or three storeys high within this classical structure made of solid old stone, and the acoustics were – amazing.

Each time we came to the end of a piece and heard the echoes dying away for three or four seconds (which is an unusually long time, as you can imagine), we let out an involuntary “ooooooh!” at the volume of the echo and the sheer wonder of the noise, and the space, and the atmosphere. Just brilliant. Continue reading

Coburg Samba Festival, Germany 2014 (1)

Part 1 – London

by Lisa, Christian, Nige, Debs, Dr Phil and AliG

London School of Samba's Orquidea Lima, onstage at the Coburg Samba Festival - photo by Nigel SloleyEvery summer the small Bavarian town of Coburg holds a rather large samba festival.

It began in 1992 with 20 samba groups performing, and two years later it had grown to 40 groups and 1,000 performers.

Now, 22 years later, 100 samba groups take part, with over 3,000 performers.

It’s now the biggest samba festival outside Brazil, and for three days in July Coburg’s rather modest population of 42,000 swells to an impressive 200,000.

Our adventure began with a random “wouldn’t it be nice” discussion after band practice one Sunday in February – and ended with 5 of us performing on stage with the London School of Samba (LSS) at this year’s Coburg Samba Festival.

This is how it went down… Continue reading