Samba Savannah is a community music project that brings the sounds of Brazil to coastal Georgia. Active since 2013, Samba Savannah performs a variety of energetic Brazilian musical styles including samba, maracatu, samba reggae, pagode, samba Afro, and more. The group has appeared in the Savannah Pride Parade, the Tybee Island MLK Day Parade, the Tybee Island Juneteenth Wade-In, as well as in numerous neighborhood parades and festivals.
As well as being a performing group, Samba Savannah hosts regular classes teaching the basics of Brazilian music and styles to community members. Through education, outreach, and performance, Samba Savannah spreads the swing and joy of samba throughout the Coastal Empire.
Samba Savannah is directed by Andrew Harztell, a long-time member of Savannah’s musical scene and a former director of the Lions of Batucada samba bateria in Portland, Oregon. Andrew has studied with several prominent Brazilian musicians including Jorge Alabê, Dudu Fuentes, Sergio Krakowski, and others, in addition to participating in summer music studies at California Brazil Camp since its founding. In December 2021, Andrew was interviewed on the podcast The Brazilian Beat by Courtney Danley and Dianna Ramirez.
Come play samba! Samba Savannah regularly holds group lessons that
are appropriate for players of all skill levels.
Beginning April 4, 2023, Samba Savannah will offer a seven-week
course in Brazilian percussion through the City of Savannah’s
Department of Cultural Affairs. Classes will be held from 7:00 a.m. to
9:00 p.m. at the Cultural Arts Center (201 Montgomery St.)
Preregistration is required; for more information or to register,
visit the Cultural Arts
Samba Savannah also frequently holds classes and rehearsals in
Daffin Park on Sunday afternoons. To find out more, visit Samba
Brazilian music uses a variety of instruments and techniques. This page gathers resources to help members of the Samba Savannah community learn the basics.
A well-made instrument is an important asset. Here are three reputable online stores that sell authentic Brazilian percussion instruments:
Follow the links below for lessons and resources specific to individual instruments:
Here are links to lessons, videos, and demonstrations concerning the entire ensemble:
Courtney Danley has put together a collection of recommended Brazilian YouTube channels on her blog. And her podcast, The Brazilian Beat, features interviews (in English) with musicians from Brazil and beyond.
This BBC documentary about the history of Samba and Brazilian music provides a good overview and important context.
And this documentary about Candomblé music offers an excellent overview of Afro-Brazilian drumming traditions.
We’d love to hear from you! For more information about Samba Savannah, to book the group for an event, or to learn more about upcoming classes, send us an email at email@example.com.
For up-to-date information and posts, check out Samba Savannah on Facebook.