I was looking for ways to experience BRIC House, "a multidisciplinary arts and media center designed to support artists and engage the public."
So when I read on BRIC's Facebook Page that they would be filming an all-women's AfroBrazilian Samba Reggae drumming band live and that the public could attend for FREE, I jumped at the opportunity to be there.
Wow, so glad I ventured out in the cold! These women produced some seriously powerful and joyful sounds. Their director explained that there are many Batala bands all around the world, but only 5 of them are all women; New York's group is one of the 5.
Turns out that two of my friends - Anne Pope and Keka Marzagao - are in the group. What a great surprise!
One nice thing to note about BRIC's new space is that there is a beautiful cafe where you can grab a tea or some grub and enjoy it while you watch a performance right there at The Stoop.
BatalaNYC has shared the bill with the likes of Reggie Watts and Cyndi Lauper. They've also opened for The Rolling Stones50th Anniversary Tour. They've performed at the NYC Figment Festival, The World Maker Faire, The Museum Mile Festival, The Mermaid Parade, and many more big events.
BatalaNYC gives some of their background info on their site:
The music of Batala originates in Salvador de Bahia, in North Eastern Brazil. The international Batalá family owes its existence to Giba Gonçalves, a drummer and composer from Salvador, Bahia, Brazil. In Brazil, he was one of the founders of Cortejo Afro, an arts education project to help underserved young people living in poor communities. When he moved to Paris in 1997, he started up Batalá in Paris as the European wing of the project. Batala has since spread to over 30 international cities.