Batala is a form of Samba Drum music which originates in Salvador de Bahia in North Eastern Brazil. Batala was formed as the European wing of Cortejo Afro (a style of Brazilian Samba) by Giba Gonçalves in Paris in 1997.

Giba is the maestro of the Batala sound, which he composed after the style of his home town Salvador, in Brazil. The music has its roots in African traditional music which found its way to Brazil and has been incorporated in to Brazilian culture since.

Using this influence, Giba formed a 60-piece drumming band, called it Batala, and encouraged anyone with an interest in his music to form their own Batala group under his name. There are now eight such groups across Europe playing the same funky rhythms. Samba-reggae compositions with noted African influences beaten out on four different types of drum. The result is a raw, hypnotic combination of emotion, beats and rhythm. Batala’s success is illustrated in its impressive CV: Glastonbury; the Notting Hill Festival; World Cup 1998 Grande Stade de France, to name but a few and more recently playing with the Suga Babes at the Royal Variety Performance in 2006.

Last updated: 30 December 2015

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