Xica (Shee’ Ka) is an original composition combining elements of sacred Candomble rhythms and Samba Reggae. The 12/8 groove lends itself to the cross rhythms I played on repinique. Listen to the tamborim part and experience offbeats smoothly changing. I named the piece after a powerful and famous African woman of the slavery era of Brazil, Xica da Silva.
Banda Reggae is based on Haitian Banda, a part of the Petro tradition. I added the name Reggae, as we play the groove at half or one third of its original tempo, and use Samba Reggae motifs. A unique feature of this groove is that the surdos improvise freely, while keeping the basic part. Thanks to Bruce Silverman for the inspiration for this piece.
FunkaNova is my fusion of Bossa Nova, the “cool jazz” groove from Brazil, with a modern Funk beat that I learned from “at risk” teenagers that I worked with. Check the Samba tamborim in the middle of the Funk. It rocks!
Highlife This is Bateria version of the Nigerian rhythm that I teach on congas in my Speaking of Rhythm series. I’ve added elements of Ghanian Kpanlogo, a cierre ( unison rhythm figure) from Baba Olatunji and my own conga parts. This groove just oozes happiness!
Mozambique is a Carnaval music from Cuba, created by Pello el Afrokan in the 1960’s. It has become a favorite of mine, since learning it in Cuba in 1985. I’ve used traditional bass, conga and bell parts, added by own call, variations and snare part. If you would like to learn the original version, please check out my DVDs Mozambique Vol. 1 and 2.
Lamba Samba -Timbao is my composition based on West African Lamba, one of the first dun dun/djembe rhythms to become well known in America. I was mystified by it for years until I played dun duns for an extensive Lamba dance class with Marie Basse, eminent West African dancer, teacher and choreographer. During that session, I started to feel Lamba’s relationship to Samba and New Orleans second line drumming. That session was the seed of this groove.
Lamba Samba jumps into another of my compositions which I call Timbao, in anticipation of playing with many hand drummers. Timbao has some similarity to Guinean Makru and Brazilian Maculele. I enjoy the contrast and return to Lamba Samba. I hope you do to.
Allies is my composition based on Nigerian patterns. The slow 12 -8 groove has many layers that dancers and other musicians can access and improvise upon. You can dance on the slow 3pulse, the slow 4pulse, the medium 6pulse, the 8pulse (follow the tamborim) or the fast 6 pulse ! The twelve bell pattern is dominant in the music, though disguised by the second bell part. Listen closely and enjoy the surdo variations.
Download ALL tracks and save
This 55 minute collection of inspiring percussion music features the sounds of the Brazilian Bateria (collection of drums). We use 3 or more richly tuned bass drums (surdos), caxia (snare drum), agogo (double African bell), tamborim (small stick drum, no jingles), ganza (tube shaker), repinique ( high pitched drum that gives signals), and congas to create a vibrant weave of good feelings.
The Brazilian Package
What’s in the Brazilian Package
- Rio Samba
- Slow Samba