Samba New York

A Rio-style “escola de samba” in New York City

SambaNewYork“Samba New York” is a unique performance company that provides the exhilaration of Rio Carnaval, authentically recreated for events of all kinds in the New York area and beyond. Its founder, ethnomusicologist and percussionist Philip Galinsky, has spent a great deal of time in Rio performing with the “escolas de samba”, and has hosted some of Rio’s best sambistas at workshops at universities in the U.S. “Samba New York” offers a precision drumming ensemble (the bateria, which is the heart of Rio Carnaval), plus cavaquinho (the characteristic small Brazilian guitar), one or more exotically costumed dancers, and a lead vocalist. The group’s repertoire includes many different kinds of samba (Brazil’s most famous music and dance) spanning the high-energy songs and rhythms of Rio Carnaval, the informal party-style called “pagode,” the vigorous fusions of “samba-reggae” from Bahia, and the virtuoso instrumental melodies of “choro.” The performance is spirited, lively, rhythmic, and celebratory — in short, ideal entertainment for any festive event.

Some background

Modeled after Rio de Janeiro’s famous samba schools where people go to rehearse, socialize and perform, “Samba New York!” comprises a culturally diverse group of seasoned samba performers, reflecting the richness and talent of New York and Brazil. Its founder and director, percussionist and ethnomusicologist Philip Galinsky, Ph.D., is one of the foremost experts on samba in the U.S. He has studied percussion with various Brazilian samba masters (such as Jorge Alabê and Jonas de Oliveira), performing throughout the U.S. and for Rio Carnaval in the baterias of such renowned samba schools as Salgueiro and Imperatriz. Samba New York’s official singer is the charismatic vocalist and composer Magali, who travels from Rio to work with the group.

Samba New York was recently featured on the Brazilian TV Globo network’s evening news program, which is viewed by an estimated 30 million people. The ensemble has performed at Joe’s Pub and Satalla world music club in New York City, at the State University of New York, has provided the entertainment for a number of corporations and cultural centers, and appeared at a variety of other venues.

Performance options

Samba New York! offers several basic performance options which can be adapted according to budget and the specific event:

Bateria/Cavaquinho/Singer/Dancers. This option offers the fullest performance, consisting of a bateria show with dancers, combined with a presentation of carnaval samba songs featuring a vocalist accompanied by bateria and cavaquinho.

Bateria Show with Dancers. This option does not include the vocalist or cavaquinho.

Bateria Show. This option features an all-percussion ensemble that presents the fascinating rhythms and arrangements typical of Rio de Janeiro’s samba schools.

Ellen Azorin, President
Cantaloupe Music Productions, Inc.
Phone: 212.724.2400
E-Mail: music.inquiry@cantaloupeproductions.com

• Samba-Enredo (fast-paced samba from Rio Carnaval, characterized by a story or “theme”, here featuring Brazilian vocalist Magali and her original samba-enredo “The Empire State Building”)

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


• Pagode (pagode-style of samba is slower, more harmony, lighter percussion; here featuring Magali in her original pagode “O Samba”)

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


• Samba Batucada (all percussion ensemble performing samba rhythms from Rio carnaval; an example of the bateria show described in performance option C)

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


• Samba-Reggae (all percussion ensemble performing fusion style from Bahia carnaval)

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Samba New York batucada:

Get the Flash Player to see the wordTube Media Player.

Samba New York with cavaquinho/vocals and samba dancer:

Get the Flash Player to see the wordTube Media Player.

Back to top