The mass samba bloco
Over the years, the various samba schools around Aotearoa have developed their own styles, arrangements and choreography, based on the rhythms of Brazil. But we still all share a few patterns, mainly those taught to us a few years ago at the Jambalaya Festival and our own Sambanui immersive workshops.
On day 2 at CubaDupa we were given the opportunity to showcase a couple of these arrangements, with all the samba schools drumming and dancing together in the mass samba bloco. It’s a fantastic experience.
It’s great to be back!
Oh CubaDupa, how we have missed you!
Our big CubaDupa performance this year was a little more low-key than in previous years – being off-stage at Swan Lane instead of on – but that gave us a fantastic opportunity to include all our signed-off drummers and dancers, rather than having to select only as many as we could fit on-stage.
Keeping it in the family
We have a family connection with Miramar Central School, via our gig co-ordinator Gordo – so we were delighted to be invited to provide the entertainment for this year’s Cultural Food Fair at Miramar Central School.
Doing the Newtown Shuffle once more
Like many festivals and events last year, Newtown was cancelled due to COVID – so it was completely brilliant to be back again in 2023.
It’s Carnaval time!
Our friends at El Barrio do a great job of celebrating Carnaval, and they invited Batucada drummers to take part in their week-long festival of all things samba.
We were delighted to accept, and our dancers came along for a good old boogie as part of the audience.
The long parade along The Parade
We’ve been doing the Island Bay Festival parade for a few years now – it’s one of just a few local parades in suburban Wellington, and we always enjoy it. This year was an earlier start than usual – with heaps of festival activities planned for later on in the afternoon, the organisers had decided to kick things off nice and early on Sunday morning.
It’s a long way down The Parade to the waterfront, and perhaps saving the best until last – or maybe it’s because we’re not particularly speedy – we always get placed almost at the end – just in front of the horses (poor things!).
A celebration of love on the beach at sunset
When bride-to-be Shannon arranged to have Wellington Batucada show up at Worser Bay Surf Life Saving Club to surprise her guests – and her new husband Alex – at their wedding reception, I wonder if she pictured just how magical it would be.
A dramatically grey-sky day on Wellington’s waterfront
One of the good things about our 2021 uniform (the red and yellow one) is that it’s visible from space, pretty much. When you’re sitting outside at Mac’s Brewery having a quick beer before the gig, you can spot your fellow band members walking along the waterfront from miles away. It’s quite handy.
Yay it’s Christmas!
We love the Johnsonville Christmas parade. We’ve been doing it for years (with a couple of breaks for bad weather and COVID) and it’s such a classic. A bit old-school and very local, with a wonderful atmosphere – what’s not to love?
Art for art’s sake
Over the last 20 years Pablo’s Art Auction has gone from a small “Cuba Street vibe” alternative event to a rather up-market affair attended by Wellington’s literati, glitterati, art-erati and everything else-erati. It’s quite a big deal these days, and raises funds for Pablo’s Art Studios’ day-to-day work, providing art therapy, materials, art experiences and creative opportunities of all kinds to people who need them.