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A Rhythmic Journey in Bahia, Brazil

Members of Batala at the Salvador Carnival in Bahia, Brazil 2024

As the vibrant rhythms of Salvador Carnival 2024 echoed through the streets of Bahia, Brazil, a contingent of drummers from Batala London (global band Batala Mundo) brought their beat to this world-renowned celebration. In a whirlwind of colours, culture, and camaraderie, we made our mark on one of the largest and most iconic carnivals in the world.

Playing alongside Cortejo Afro, we added to the rhythmic tapestry of Salvador Carnival with a distinctive beat offering a fusion of African rhythms blended with electronic beats and pop, known as the “Afro-Bahian musical revolution". Days of preparation and anticipation culminated in a crescendo of beats as we paid homage to the rich heritage of Bahia while infusing our own unique style and energy into the festivities.

Our journey took an even more enriching turn as we had the privilege of participating in a workshop led by Geraldo Marques, a member from the renowned Olodum, widely known for developing the music style known as samba reggae, a mix of the traditional Brazilian samba beat with merengue, salsa, and reggae rhythms. This workshop not only provided invaluable insights into Afro-Brazilian percussion but also allowed for a deeper connection with the cultural roots of Bahia's vibrant music scene.

Beyond the spectacle and excitement of the carnival parades and workshops, the experience was a testament to the power of music to transcend boundaries and unite people from diverse backgrounds. As we drummed alongside fellow performers from Brazil and beyond, we forged bonds of friendship and mutual respect, creating memories that will last a lifetime.

As we bid farewell to Bahia and returned home to London, we carried with us not only the memories of Salvador Carnival but also a renewed sense of purpose and inspiration. For in the rhythmic heartbeat of Bahia, we found not only a connection to the past but also a vision of a more harmonious and inclusive future.

We remain forever grateful for the opportunity to have participated in Salvador Carnival 2024, a celebration that will forever hold a special place in our hearts.

Obrigado, Salvador! Until we meet again on the streets of Bahia.

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