There’s something about samba drumming that captures your heart and ears simultaneously, luring you in to the rhythmic magic. This Saturday, The Black Swan is set to witness the first large gathering of local samba drumming bands in Bristol, for the highly anticipated event, Tambor.
The Black Swan is set to witness the first large gathering of local samba drumming bands in Bristol
Nitelife were invited to join Bloco B’s samba band practice at Black Swan, with Bloco B director and Tambor organiser Terry Moore, to chat about his passion for samba and what we can look forward to from the upcoming event.
As we sat down to chat over a beer, Terry’s high energy and enthusiasm for samba immediately shone through as we began to talk about where his initial love for the sound first came about: ‘If I was to imagine my dream band, like fantasy football, it would definitely be a band filled with different drummers.’
Terry has played drums in some form since childhood, but he joined the Bristol School of Samba in 2011 after they wowed him with a tunnel procession in St Werburghs. Since then, he’s played in several groups, including London School of Samba, and has now taken the reins with his own samba drumming group, Bloco B.
‘Bloco B was created off the back of another group called Bloco Dos Sujos, founded by Paul Baxter in 2014. Paul decided to retire, but the majority of the players wanted to continue, so he was happy for me to take it on. We restructured it and renamed it and moved house, so Black Swan is now our home.’
With so many great samba bands in Bristol, including his own Bloco B, Terry was inspired to bring them all together for Bristol’s first Encontro – ‘a gathering of drummers’ Terry explains.
I realised we don’t have anything like that here in Bristol – and I wanted to change that
‘I was invited to Glasgow’s Encontro event a couple of years back, where I played with Joe Hanson’s group, União das Ilhas. An ‘Encontro’ is a gathering of drummers and Joe organised a huge ‘bateria’ – samba band – consisting of different drumming groups to perform at this amazing event.
‘Witnessing the whole coming together and how amazing it was, I realised we don’t have anything like that here in Bristol – and I wanted to change that.’
Terry has invited groups from Bristol, Bath and Cardiff to be part of the first celebratory gathering – totalling 11 drumming groups.
I have a personal connection with all of the bands on the lineup
‘I have a personal connection with all of the bands on the lineup, so that’s helped with the programming for this event. Groups include Orin Asé, Olá Samba, Afon Sistema, Drum Machine, Ilu Axé, The African Sambistas and many more, with Jamma de Samba closing the samba part of the event with a big party set.
‘DJ Ru Robinson from Drum Machine is set to headline the afterparty in the main room, bringing his broad selection of global music, from Latin America, Africa, the Caribbean and more.
‘We’ve also got a couple of other treats up our sleeve. We plan to have a BBQ on the go and a couple of other surprises outside. We will even have a quiet space by the fire pit, just in case you need to take a break from all the drumming!’
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The tradition and culture surrounding samba drumming is something Terry has spent years educating himself in and surrounding himself as much as possible, which, alongside his clear passion for the musical art form, earns him the credentials to bring Bristol’s first large-scale Encontro event to life.
I have received a lot of support from the elders around the country
‘I have received a lot of support from the elders around the country over the years that have helped educate me about the incredible Brazilian cultures and traditions, including Sam Alexander, Joe Hanson, Jon Hardeman, Fred and Fee Turuka from London school of Samba. I am really privileged to have these people I can go and learn from about this culture. If it wasn’t for the support from people like Jon Hardeman, who has also been my teacher for years, I wouldn’t be able to put on this sort of event.
‘That is what this stuff is all about – being ambitious to try something, but with the respect of taking the advice you are given from elders.
I learnt a lot in my recent trip to Brazil
‘I learnt a lot in my recent trip to Brazil too. I spent a lot of time in Rio and Bahia. Jon Hardeman even took me to Afro-Brazilian religious ceremonies called Candomblé, which was phenomenal.’
Jon is actually opening the Tambor event with his group Orin Asé, where they will perform a Candomblé. So be sure to get down for 7pm to witness the powerful rhythms from one of these ceremonies yourself.
‘One of the key things I have taken away from my trips to Brazil is that coming together as a community is at the beating heart of this music. I want to bring that here to Bristol with Tambor.’
coming together as a community is at the beating heart of this music. I want to bring that here to Bristol with Tambor
Finally, as we wrap up our informative chat with the Tambor organiser, Terry shares what he hopes to achieve from his first of hopefully many Tambor events.
‘I’m aiming for a huge gathering of local drumming groups and a celebration of the roots of this culture. This isn’t going to be like St Paul’s Carnival. We want to give people an opportunity to see a really diverse show between the different drumming groups and bands.
I’ve programmed the event so there are no clashes – you can witness every single performance if you wanted to
‘I’ve programmed the event so there are no clashes – you can witness every single performance if you wanted to hear all 11 groups. We’ve got some groups performing inside and some even outside. I want people to leave the event with a hunger for the music and a passion and intrigue to learn more. This is definitely just the beginning for Tambor.’
This is definitely just the beginning for Tambor
Tickets for Tambor are now sold out, but there will be a very limited amount on the door from 6pm.
Cover image: Ilu Axé
Tambor – 19 October, The Black Swan