Newtown Fair 2021

A slightly later date, worth waiting for!

Batucada drummers and dancers at Newtown Fair 2021. Photo by Chris McKeowan.

Oh how we love Newtown Fair.

You get there super-early (wearing your band uniform, most likely), spend an hour or a few meandering through the streets looking at all the stalls and buying stuff, eating yummy food from everywhere in the world, and answering many questions from people about when the band will be playing. Everyone looks forward to the Batucada parade, it seems.

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CubaSonic at CubaDupa 2021

A beautiful disruption 3 years in the making…

Wellington Batucada at the world premiere of CubaSonic, by John Psathas. Photo by John Psathas.

From composer John Psathas:

It’s always fantastic when your music develops a life of its own. I have been very lucky that this has happened to several of my pieces, but how it happened with CubaSonic (2019) is unlike any other. Often you think a piece is given life through multiple performances – CubaSonic only had (and probably will only ever have) one. What defined this project was that it was totally contextualised by the state of the world at the time.

Premiered at the end of March 2021, much of the world was still in lockdown with live performances feeling like they were a thing from the pre-Covid era. At the time it was just unimaginable that hundreds of musicians could perform a work spanning three blocks in a massive city-wide festival. I think that the result of such a mass performance in the then-current circumstances created a really powerful and unexpected feeling of togetherness.

People came to me afterwards highly emotionalised, talking about how moved they were, and the sense of joy they felt in being a part of such a massed experience. CubaDupa usually provides the city with an injection of positive energy and after being cancelled in 2020, its return in 2021 was extra special, symbolising a return to normality or at least a step in that direction.

John Psathas, In Focus: CubaSonic (2019)

CubaSonic trailer video. Video by CubaDupa and CreateNowNZ.

Here it is! Our one-and-only World Premiere super-exclusive performance of CubaSonic by John Psathas.

CubaSonic highlight clip from the premiere performance. Video by CubaDupa and CreateNowNZ.

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Aro Fair 2021

Taking part in a classic Welly happening

Wellington Batucada at Aro Fair 2021 - photo by Aro Valley Community Council

We had so much fun being part of such a glorious, family-friendly day of food, stalls and entertainment. The community spirit of so many bright and beautiful people was absolutely fabulous. Big ups to Dani and her crew from the Community Centre for an amazing day. Thanks to Tommy Etuata too for capturing all that community goodness in this video as we drummed and danced in the heart of Aro Valley.

A beautiful day, at a beautiful Wellington community event – what could be better? We were thrilled to be asked to open for the famous ArOlympics this year. It was our pleasure!

Wellington Batucada drummers and dancers at the Aro Fair 2021. Video by Tom S Etuata.

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Round the Bays Fun Run 2021

An early start, for a great cause

Wellington Batucada drummers and dancers at Round the Bays 2021. Photo by Tom Etuata.

This is our second time performing at Round the Bays, and once again it was a very early (7.45am!) start for this great community event. We resurrected our CubaDupa 2018 costumes (shhh don’t tell anyone, but this is my favourite ever Batucada outfit!) which meant we were colourful and eye-catching for the runners as they thundered past.

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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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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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