Incredible Brazilian percussion!
Ivo and Wyclef Jean during Manhattan Samba's
recording Pepsi commercial. February 2001.
As reviewed in the New York Times
Accompanied by these fabulous Carnival dancers
Manhattan Samba, New York's longest-running authentic Brazilian samba drum ensemble, has been delivering its irresistible, energetic, driving rhythms to dance floors around New York for over a decade. The all-percussion ensemble is a traditional Brazilian bateria, based on the drum groups that accompany the yearly carnival parades in Rio de Janeiro. Manhattan Samba's director, Ivo Araujo, is a master percussionist who has performed with leading samba schools in Rio de Janeiro. Manhattan Samba is a truly international group, with members from Brazil, Central and South America, Europe, Japan and the U.S., all of them trained by Mr. Araujo in his weekly samba percussion classes.
Their regular performances at SOBs were selected by The Village Voice as "the best way to wind up a Saturday night club crawl" with "stomping polyrhythms that ripple out like shock waves." This late night dance party (2 - 4 a.m.) has kept audiences gyrating and coming back week after week for over five years.
Time Out New York alliteratively singled out Manhattan Samba as the group that "bombards your brain and booty with a battery of bumpin' Brazilian batucada beats."
Since its early days, Manhattan Samba has played at a number of trendy New York clubs such as Au Bar, Spy and the Bowery Bar, and has drawn huge crowds in Central Park and on 46th Street during the Brazilian Independence Day celebrations in September.
In 2001, Manhattan Samba shared the bill with reggae legend Jimmy Cliff and The Harlem Gospel Choir at a holiday concert in support of the Hope for African Children Initiative. Concerning that event, The Village Voice wrote, "The martial march-time rhythms of the drums of Manhattan Samba evoke the pre-Lenten Theme parades of Rio's yearly carnival."
The band, which can swell from 20 to 50 members as needed, has also brought its sizzling rhythms to the Lincoln Center Out of Doors Brazilfests, playing opposite such Brazilian luminaries as Sandra de Sá and Emilio Santiago, and was the opening band for Carlinhos Brown at the Beacon Theatre during the JVC Jazz Festival in 1999. Manhattan Samba also played at Carnegie Hall for Wyclef Jean's annual benefit and later on recorded a Pepsi Cola commercial with him. The group has also played at the Princeton University annual alumni festival, NYC's famous Halloween, Earth Day and Gay Pride parades, and has joined Paul Winter for his renowned Summer and Winter Solstice Concerts at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine.
Manhattan Samba is available to entertain
audiences of all ages and backgrounds at clubs, private parties, corporate
and community events or parades.