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Samba, Samba-Reggae, Baion and the Rio Carnival

Brazil conjures up so many images. The Carnivals, the Amazon Rainforests and River, the Yellow shirts and mesmerising skills of Brazilian football teams over the years, household names like Pele and Ronaldo, the city of Rio, Sugarloaf Mountain, Ipanema and Cocacobana beach, the shanty towns surrounding Rio called Favelas where most of the samba musicians live, the iconic outreaching arms of Christ the Redeemer on the summit of Corcovado Mountain.

It is believed the word samba originates from 'Semba', an African dance of Angola. The modern carnival Samba batucada is really a hybrid of traditional marching band instruments (snare, bass and cymbal) combined with African rhythms and bells and shakers. A samba workshop is exciting, intensely groovy and can be pitched at so many levels from the youngest to the most experienced sambista musician. The instrument range is fascinating too, pictured above, from the Caixa (marching snares) to the surdo (bass drums) and the agogos (two-pitched bells) to name a few.

In addition to the Rio carnival samba, there are other styles that are infused with other Brazilian influences such as the Baion from Northern Brazil and the Afro-Caribbean influenced Samab Reggae from Bahia. All are accessible to children of all ages and adults in Jim's Brazilian workshops.

There will never a better time to bring Brazilian rhythms into your school or workplace as the next Fifa football World Cup and Olympic Games are both taking place in Brazil. With such huge world events coming our way, every child and teacher should experience the samba and join in the carnival! Jim's effective way of layering rhythms from the simple to the complex, with some wacky call and response phrasing thrown into the mix, makes this an exciting workshop for all ages.