Johnsonville Christmas Parade 2020

Going strong since 2008

Wellington Batucada at the Johnsonville Christmas Parade 2020 - photo by Tom Etuata

It’s been a good few years since we first began playing at the Johnsonville Christmas Parade, and we always love taking part.

A great community event, and a nice long street parade we can really get our teeth into. Plus we get to wear Santa hats and spruce up our drums with tinsel and Christmas decorations, and that’s never a bad thing.

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Red Cross New Zealand – National Meeting 2021

Exciting!

Following our performance at the Taste of Cultures Charity Fundraising Dinner 2020 – the World Refugees Day event for New Zealand Red Cross – we were invited to do a little show to entertain delegates at the Red Cross New Zealand National Meeting.

Team photo at the Red Cross New Zealand National Meeting - photo by Sandra Young

Team photo before the performance for the NZ Red Cross National Council meeting. With us is Shaun Greaves, GM Humanitarian Development who we spotted dancing at the back of the room during our show.

…while at the front of the room, Dr Ashley Bloomfield appeared to be beaming his approval. From all accounts he was wearing the biggest smile in the room.

Our lives are now complete.

One of the things we love about performing is that every gig is completely different. Different venue, costumes, set and audience. Different reactions from people who in many cases have never heard our music before. Last night it was an honour to perform with Dr Ashley Bloomfield in attendance at The NZ Red Cross National Council Meeting. His reaction was one of surprise, amazement and joy. Thanks Dr Bloomfield, you made our night.
Wellington Batucada

Mexican ‘Day of the Dead’ 2020

A dance and cultural event with Ollin Yolitzli

This most excellent Day of the Dead event was a collaboration between the group Ollin Yolitzli (Mexican traditional dance) and Aro Valley Community Centre.

Wellington Batucada dancers performing at Day of the Dead 2020. Photo by Anonymous.

We were invited to lead everyone in a parade from Aro Valley park to Aro Valley Hall as an introduction to the main event in the Hall.
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Taste of Cultures Charity Fundraising Dinner 2020

A World Refugees Day event for New Zealand Red Cross

Wellington Batucada drummers at the NZ Red Cross Taste of Cultures fundraiser. Photo by Kelly Etuata.

What a lovely event to have been invited to.

Taste of Cultures is an event in its third year, and is an opportunity to celebrate World Refugee Day, support our refugee background whanau and fundraise for our programmes. We will have previous clients of ours consulting with the chefs at Te Papa to develop a menu that is inspired by our Taste of Cultures recipe book.

NZ Red Cross event description

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Marking International Dance Day 2020

Dance Day as memories, rather than action

It’s the last day of level 4 lockdown in New Zealand, and we should have been dancing in celebration of International Dance Day. All around the world, populations are sheltering in place as COVID-19 rages on.

So instead of dancing together today, let’s take an in-depth look at dance in Wellington Batucada, and what it means to us…

Wellington Batucada dancers share their thoughts (and their moves!) on International Dance Day 2020. Video by Tom S Etuata.

CubaDupa throwback

View from inside the lockdown

As we write this blog post during our first weekend of New Zealand’s Level 4 total lockdown, we reflect on what we should have been doing today – performing on-stage at CubaDupa – our biggest and most anticipated show of the year.

The theme of this year’s CubaDupa was to have been “Beautiful disruption”, which is pretty apt, considering where we are now.

Although the sun has come out this afternoon, the Weather Gods have pretty much slammed the weekend with continuous heavy rain and a cold Southerly. That, at least, makes staying at home today instead of celebrating on the street with the CubaDupa massive, slightly more bearable. You have to look for silver linings where you find them these days, eh?

So let’s take a look back at CubaDupa (and the Cuba Street Carnival) from previous years – and get inspired and motivated to unite and beat the coronavirus – and get back together for CubaDupa 2021.

Thanks a million to our resident (official!) photographer and videographer Tommy Etuata for taking the time to put this gem of a video together of Wellington Batucada’s Cuba Street journey through the years – Enjoy!

Wellington Batucada performing at the Cuba Street Carnival and CubaDupa. Video by Tom S Etuata.