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  • Woody Moran

The Power Of The Samba Is A Life Changing Experience

A couple of years ago I visited Rio de Janeiro along with my friends and great musicians Chris “Fingers” Adams and Scott Wilkie. On Saturday night we grabbed a taxi and went to an old samba club in the Lapa area of Rio called Bar Carioca da Gema

The Best Samba Club On The Planet


What Does A Traditional Samba Band Look Like?

It was a traditional 7-piece samba band with the players ranging in age from about 20 – 65 years old. From left to right:

1) Flute/percussion/background vocals 2) Tambourine (never heard anyone play a tambourine like this – he was like the snare, toms, hi-hat and cymbals of a drum kit) 3) Bass drum called the surdo (the 65 year old, played like a floor tom with mallet and hand to muffle) 4) Brazilian cavaquinho, a 4-string petite guitar (the 20 year old) 5) Mandola (the “rock star” of the band with great facial expressions worthy of any lead guitar player) 6) Brazilian 7-string classical guitar (alternated bass lines and rhythmic chords) 7) Center stage vocals (female vocalist that could give you a sexy purr or nail you with her voice.)

It was also a tribute night to one of Brazil’s well-known samba composers.

My First Samba And A New Music Tribe

The entire room was dancing; everyone was singing; everyone was clapping; and best of all, everyone had a great big shitty grin on their faces! I have never felt so full of music, so full of joy and so much a part of the tribe, as in this place.

READ RELATED ARTICLES: Tribal Drums

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