Samba Ottawa, is the city’s only bateria (percussion band) and Samba School (we are not a dance troupe or dance related)
Starting in 2014 we changed our format to Terms lasting 4 months as opposed to being able to drop in any time. We will be offering 3 Terms per year with a fee of $80/Term which includes instruction and instrument use. New members are encouraged to join us at the start of any term.
Fall/Winter runs Sept. - Dec - Sunday Nights from 7-9:30 p.m. and Winter/Spring - Jan. - April - Sunday nights from 7 - 9:30 p.m. Spring/Summer runs May-June Sunday Nights 7-9:30 p.m.and then switches to Wednesday Nights 7:30 - 10 p.m. in July - August.
The first 2 weeks of each Term is dedicated to getting our new Beginners started off on the right track. You can attend these 2 rehearsals without obligation or financial commitment to see if you enjoy the band and wish to stay on. Special Beginner nights are designed to ease newcomers into the culture of the group and our repertoire, and to see how our rehearsals unfold.
Operating out of the Old Town Hall in Ottawa East on Main Street at Hawthorne Street, in partnership with the Community Activities Group (CAG), Samba Ottawa is not just a band but also a community of adults of all ages with a passion for Brazilian percussion, rhythm, music, and culture. Formed in June 2000, the group has played more than 200 performances and parades including numerous TV appearances and workshops.
Many of our members are not professional musicians. Many began their musical journey with Samba Ottawa with no previous experience. Based on the oral traditions of the Samba Schools in Brazil, songs are taught through vocal instruction and listening, removing the need for formal musical training and the ability to read music. Members of Samba Ottawa will take the ‘but-I-have-no-rhythm’ beginner sentiment as the ultimate challenge to prove we can all learn Brazilian percussion.
Samba is a Brazilian dance and musical genre that evolved in the early 20th century from various regions of Brazil, including Rio de Janeiro. It is a mixture of African rhythms brought over by slaves and European music brought over by the Portuguese.
Combined together, these two influences created a vibrant, rich, syncopated and fast rhythm now known around the world. Samba has grown to become a symbol and national identity for the country. Every year schools within the cities come together for the largest Samba festivals, celebrations and competitions: Carnaval. Our bateria (or band) while staying true to many of the traditional rhythmns of Carnaval in Brazil, also likes to vary or music choices to include favorites like "obvious child" and "kaoma lambada"
While Samba schools in Rio operate in impoverished neighbourhoods providing social support as well as a musical focus, here in Ottawa Sambistas are more representative of our general population. Professionals, business people, retirees and university students create a rich and engaging mix that is enjoyed socially as much as musically.
Please consider this as our invitation to you. Step outside of your comfort zone and come and experience Brazilian percussion. At worst, you will have drummed for two hours, your stress level will have decreased, you will have made new connections and, like many of us, you will have become addicted to Samba.
Our goal is to provide an educational yet fun experience for all. Your first two sessions are without obligation so you can try us out.
All instruments, equipment and instruction are provided by Samba Ottawa. No former musical experience is necessary but being rhythmically inclined is a definite advantage. Come and check us out www.samba-ottawa.org. Samba music is infectious and it's hard to not want to get involved. This group loves to socialize, enjoys playing Samba music and has a ton of fun in the process - Join Us!
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