Track 1. Xica
(2:12 min)
Xica (Shee’ Ka) is an original composition combining elements of sacred Candomble rhythms and Samba Reggae. I named the piece after a famous and powerful African woman of the slavery era of Brazil, Xica da Silva. The 12/8 groove lends itself to the cross rhythms I play on repinique. Listen to the tamborim part develop into smoothly changing offbeats.
Track 2. Banda Reggae
(2:47 min)

2) 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.

Track 3. FunkaNova
(6:19 min)

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!

Track 4. Hi Life
(4:46 min)

Highlife is my Bateria version of the Nigerian rhythm that I teach on congas in my Speaking of Rhythm series. I’ve added elements of Ghanaian Kpanlogo, a unison rhythm figure from Baba Olatunji and my own conga parts. This groove just oozes happiness!

Track 5. Mozambique
(4:51 min)

Mozambique is 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, available here.

Track 6. Samba Reggae
(6:09 min)

Samba Reggae is a modern groove from Brazil. My arrangement is based on Oludum’s style with a bell part from Ile Aye and my own tamborim variations. Samba Reggae is a universal groove – everyone can feel it and every 4/4 beat can fit inside it.

Track 7. Lamba Samba-Timbao
(5:04 min)

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 its 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 that 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.

Track 8. Baiao
(2:47 min)

Baiao is a rhythm for the Northeast of Brazil, usually played in small bands of zambumba, triangle and accordion. I have arranged it for Bateria with many more instruments and a big sound.

Track 9. Rio Samba
(6:03 min)

Rio Samba I have attempted to capture the energy and excitement of the baterias that perform in Rio de Janeiro at Carnaval. I give thanks to all the wonderful Brazilian musicians and dancers who have taught me how to make this music!

Track 10. Slow Samba
(2:48 min)

Slow Samba is a good entry place for people not familiar with the Rio style. Dancers love this one – its nice and slow and sexy. Listen to the tamborim and agogo conversation.

Track 11. Maracatu
(3:27 min)

Maracatu is processional groove from the northeast of Brazil. I’ve added my own tamborim and low surdo parts and break to give this arrangement it’s unique flavor.

Track 12. Afoxe
(3:51 min)

Afoxe’ is a rhythm and dance now popular all over the world and can be heard as part of the musical signature of Bahian artist. My Afoxe’ arrangement is based on Ijexa, a sacred trance rhythm from Candomble drumming. I’ve added my own call, break, tamborim part and variations. This is great groove to teach your community band, and a good way to start to learn authentic Brazilian Samba, as Afoxe’ is one root of it. If you would like to learn this groove on congas, check out Vol. 1 of my Speaking of Rhythm series.

Track 13. Allies
(4:15 min)
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.

Carnival-Spirit-Grooves To Live In-Kim Atkinson Drummer

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(55 minutes)

Carnival-Spirit-Grooves To Live In-Kim Atkinson Drummer

The Brazilian Bundle

(26 minutes)
What’s in the Brazilian Bundle
  • SambaReggae
  • Baiao
  • Rio Samba
  • Slow Samba
  • Maracatu
  • Afoxe

Carnival-Spirit-Grooves To Live In-Kim Atkinson Drummer

Kim Atkinson’s Arrangements Bundle

(31 minutes)
What’s in the Kim Atkinson’s Arrangements Bundle
  • Xica
  • Banda Reggae
  • Funk-a-Nova
  • High Life
  • Mozambique
  • Lamba Samba – Timbao
  • Allies

Liner Notes


Kim Atkinson: repinique, snare, shekere, tamborim, congas, agogo, ganza, all arrangements and conducting.

Duncan Draper- agogo, caixa
Nancy Rosenthal, Jeff King, Phyllis Early- surdos
Sandy Feldhorn: agogo, tamborim, ganza

No click tracks, sequencing, drum machines or loops were used in this recording. Tracks were edited and mixed in Digital Performer.

Engineered, mixed and mastered by Peter Van Gorder @ Dream Create Communicate.

I give thanks to my family, friends, teachers and students without whose support and inspiration this album would not be possible.

Thank you to all past, future and present Carnaval Spirit members and guest artists for their support:

Jed, Clement, Willie, Phillip, George, Greg, Tom, Konstantin, John, Brooks, Michael, Leslie, Nancy, Anna, Chayo, Kathleen, Richard, Anastasia, Mara, Devi Ja, Leah, Sharon, Peter, Steve, Ken, Joe, Lee, Patrick, Rosemary, Janet, Duncan, Jim, Cary, Michael, Phyllis, Robin, Michelle, Paula, Marlys, Bridget, Mark, David, Donna, Laura, Ann, Barbara, Shannon, Mabel, Bob, Matt, Sandy, Gina, Michael, Keith, Amy, Laura, Carmen, Patricia, Ed, Andrew, Clay, Denise, Jana, Lou, Deborah, Cheryl, Megan, Feather, Madu and friends, Derek, Soonyana, Gary, Ben, Chris, Colin, Apple Tree Morris Dancers

This recording is the template for a vast project that I have dreamnt of: conducting huge ensembles of rhythmic musicians who all know the same calls, grooves, and breaks. I invite you to contact me if you are interested in this project!