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

Mt Cook School Gala

Happy happy joy joy

Mt Cook School Gala - Nige and a new recruit - photo by Deborah HarrisWe arrived at the school playground in the middle of the outdoor disco. The DJ was playing Pharrell’s song “Happy”, which always makes me happy, and I knew it was going to be a lovely gig.

Mt Cook is an inner city, multicultural primary school with an energetic, inclusive vibe. Kate and Gurdip both have kids at the school, which I guess is one of the reasons why we were invited to play at their fundraising gala today.

Dazzer and Orange Tim did the directing honours, and both worked hard to get the audience involved. It was lovely to watch the kids gradually realise that Dazzer was directing them to turn around with us every forth bar in Six-Eight, and very cool to see them all following our choreography and having a great time. Continue reading

Newtown Fair 2014

Drumming and dancing the Newtown Wave

Drumming and dancing the Newtown WaveWe love the Newtown Fair. Oh how we love it! It’s one of the parade highlights of our year.

There’s something about Newtown – the multicultural buzz, the happy happy up-for-it crowd of 70,000 good-humoured peeps, the Friends of Wellington Batucada whom we can guarantee will be there to dance with us – it all adds up to an hour and a half of pure Samba ecstasy, as we make our way slowly along the Newtown parade route, led by at least a hundred dancers – mainly festival-goers who love to groove on down with us every year.

Our dancers teach them the moves – and 100 happy people repeat those moves in choreographed harmony. It’s awesome to see – and wonderful to be making the music that inspires them all to strut their stuff. There’s even an official dance move that our dancers do nowhere else but here, called the Newtown Wave. How cool is that? Continue reading

Brazilian Party at The Grand

…and a ninja gig in Courtenay Place

The band backstage at The Grand - photo by Deborah HarrisThere’s not much room on-stage at The Grand, and barely any space in front of it either when the crowd is in full-on samba mode, so gigs at this venue are always great fun, highly-charged, very energetic, and a bit of a squash. We were playing at a Brazilian party in honour of Carnival, which was great, because we get to watch a group of pretty enthusiastic dancers at close quarters, grooving on down to our drumming. Continue reading