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

In summary:

Wellington City Council is bringing back the Cuba Street Carnival – now known as CubaDupa. Hooray! It will be held over the weekend of 28th – 29th March 2015.

They’ve promised $250,000 per year for the next 4 years, which is brilliant, as it gives the event a solid foundation – but once you’ve covered wages and paid for the road closures and security for the weekend – the money’s all but gone.

They need to raise at least another $250,000 for the event, and have set up seven Boosted campaigns (Boosted being the NZ Arts Foundation version of Kickstarter).

Wellington Batucada is one of the seven, with the Carnival Zone, which will take over Upper Cuba Street and bring the Rio Carnival to Welli for the duration of the festival. We are building a crazy PushMe-PullYou double-headed elephant stage, dressing ourselves in strange and wonderful “Dr Seuss meets Samba” inspired costumes, festooning the whole of Upper Cuba Street with bunting, creating giant puppets to accompany the crazy drumming, running costume-making and dance workshops for the public before the festival so that everyone has a chance to get fully involved, and inviting all the other samba bands from around the country to join us. We might even do a bit of drumming if there’s any time left!

Batucada is spending $7,000 of our own money to pay for our costumes, and CubaDupa will be asking the local businesses to donate $10,000 to the Carnival Zone. Our Boosted campaign aims to raise another $10,000 – and we have 6 more days in which to do it. We’re currently on $4,710, which is 47% of the total.

The very wonderful and generous Chris Parkin who owns the Museum Art Hotel has agreed to be our Match Donor – and he will match every dollar you give with a dollar of his own. So if you donate $20, our campaign actually gets $40, if you donate $50, our campaign gets $100, and so on.

Because Boosted is a charity, it’s tax-deductible. In most cases, donors can claim a 33% tax credit from Inland Revenue. Give $100, get $33 back. How cool is that?

Boosted runs like this: if we don’t manage to raise the full $10K – we don’t get anything. All the $$ goes back to the donors, and all of Chris’s money goes back into his pocket too, and we don’t see a penny of it. It makes sense – donors supporting a $10,000 party aren’t going to want a $5,000 one instead – but it does make the fundraising effort super-scary and (because we’ve been rather busy up until now on our “votes for WOMAD” campaign) now super-urgent.

You can support the campaign with a donation of as little as $5 – and of course, if you’re feeling flush, you can donate more than that if you wish. Every little (or big!) helps. Think of it as your advance ticket to CubaDupa, your opportunity to be a philanthropist for a day, and your (hugely valued) expression of support for The Arts in Wellington. If you’d like to share this request with anyone else you think would be interested, please do!

Thank you in advance – if you feel you can – for your very kind and generous donation. YOU ROCK!!!

…here’s that link again – MAKE A DONATION TODAY!

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.

Whether it’s Facebooking or personally emailing every one of your friends, creating special WOMAD headgear, writing to everyone you can possibly think of who might be interested in supporting or endorsing us, talking to your famous friends and seeing if they’d like to support us too, chatting up strangers in the coffee bar or at the bus stop, busking your ass off at every opportunity, or coming up with a million other ideas of how we can gather those elusive, precious, hard-won votes – we’ve all worked as a team and we’ve all produced an amazing result in terms of the number of votes we’ve gained.

I never thought we’d get quite so many! I was hoping for 2,000, so we’ve well and truly smashed that figure.

WELL DONE EVERYONE. Our final score is 2,643 votes.

I also want to congratulate all of the other bands who took part in this competition. We know how hard you all worked and how much effort you put into gathering your own votes. It was an honour to compete alongside you.

….and thanks a million to every one of those 2,643 people who voted for us. YOU ROCK!

I love you, you crazy, mad, creative, funky, rhythmically-talented group of awesome awesome people.

Wellington Batucada is bloody amazing.

Media coverage

Announcement from WOMAD this morning:

Taking out the WOMAD Performer Competition with a steady lead from the get-go, 20 members of Wellington Batucada will bring the flamboyant world of samba from Brazil to Taranaki.

Originally formed in 2001, Wellington Batucada endeavors to replicate the authentic samba sound playing a variety of Brazilian rhythms including samba batucada, partido alto, samba reggae, samba funk, and baion.

WOMAD website, 04 December 2014

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.

We want to create a themed zone with music, dance and carnival arts in Upper Cuba Street. Costumes, street dressings, puppets and a stage set will bring Cuba Street alive with colour celebrating the street and the people who make up the creative pulse of our capital.

The Carnival Zone will set the scene for themed performances by Wellington Batucada and samba groups from all over New Zealand – in the same way as we electrified the night parades of the Cuba Street Carnival – as well as other roving bands and entertainers.

Our inspiration comes from Brazilian Carnival, Notting Hill Carnival, South American and European festivals and events that celebrate the cities and people who live there. What makes our vision unique is that we want to make our own Kiwi version of Carnival that involves the public and helps to make our city a fun and vibrant place to live.

Wellington Batucada in our 2009 Cuba Street Carnival costumes

Performing in our fishhead costumes at the World Cup

Public workshops

We will run a series of workshops leading up to CubaDupa that invite the general public to make costumes, masks and dressings to wear at CubaDupa. We will hold dance workshops so that everyone has the opportunity to get involved and make this CubaDupa an event that is sustainable, original and unique.

What will my donation go towards?

Your valuable contribution to this campaign will go towards the purchasing of materials for costumes and street dressings, equipment hire and travel expenses for out of town performers.

About Wellington Batucada

Wellington Batucada is a community-based percussion group which brings the flamboyant world of samba from Brazil to Wellington. Batucada is a Brazilian word used to describe the syncopated, African-influenced samba music played by a large percussion group (bateria) as part of a street parade or carnival.

Originally formed by Darryn Sigley and Steve Templer in November 2001 to perform in the Cuba Street Carnival, Wellington Batucada endeavors to replicate the authentic samba sound playing a variety of Brazilian rhythms including samba batucada, partido alto, samba reggae, samba funk, and baion. We have been blessed by visits from several superb Brazilian and non-Brazilian samba teachers who have laid the foundations for our music.

Giving it our all at the 2013 International Dance Day

Giving it our all at the 2013 International Dance Day

We are an all-inclusive group – anyone can join regardless of experience or ability, and we provide authentic Brazilian instruments for those who do not have their own.

Currently Wellington Batucada has around 100 members, with 40-50 members regularly coming to our weekly rehearsals. We are in demand to play at many parades, festivals and events, including the Cuba Street Carnival, Wellington Rugby Sevens, Newtown Fair, Wellington and Johnsonville Christmas parades, and in 2011 the Rugby World Cup Festival of Carnivale.

Please become a supporter of our Boosted campaign today, and help to make the Carnival Zone into an amazing space for CubaDupa!

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!

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

Samba, moonhoppers, zombies – and the Rugby Sevens!

Sevens Wellington campaign shoot – Where Rugby Meets Awesome

The Batucada crew - Where Rugby Meets Awesome - photo by Nigel Sloley

The Batucada crew - Where Rugby Meets Awesome
Photo by Nigel Sloley

One sunny (and icy cold) day in August, Wellington Batucada was invited (in a hush hush secret squirrel kind of a way) to take part in the filming for Where Rugby meets Awesome – the theme behind this year’s Sevens Wellington ticketing campaign and event. Continue reading

2014 Soccer World Cup – opening game

Brazil v Croatia

Soccer World Cup - Batucada and friends - photo by Karina ShawOur lovely friends at the Brazilian Embassy invited us to make some noise before and during the opening game of the 2014 Soccer World Cup. As the match was between host nation Brazil and Croatia, it was bound to be a bit of a spectacle, and we were very happy to oblige.

It was a crazy early morning start (and on a schoolday too!), but a bunch of hardy drummers and dancers gathered at Queen’s Wharf to dance and play for the fans, and then to watch the game on the big screen in Shed 6 (and provide suitable accompaniment to any exciting on-screen events). Continue reading

Relay for Life 2014

A lovely day, and a very good cause

Graham & Hazel - photo by Alison GreenThis 24-hour Cancer Society fundraising event celebrates cancer survivors and caregivers and remembers loved ones lost to cancer, and it’s really rather awesome.

We were invited to lead the participants around the first lap of the Relay for Life again this year, and we were really honoured to do so.

It was a beautiful day, there was a large turnout including many school groups taking part, and the atmosphere was brilliant. What a great gig! Continue reading