About Bristol Samba
Bristol Samba was founded as the Bristol School of Samba in 1986 by London School of Samba members Sam Alexander and Alan May, and celebrated its thirtieth anniversary in 2016. Today, Bloco Carnavalesco Bristol Samba play traditional Brazilian Carnaval music including samba reggae, samba funk, afoxe, a 6:8 piece and even a bateria version of Cuban rumba, all complemented by our beautiful and energetic troupe of samba dancers.
Bristol Samba has become a fixture of many summer events in and around Bristol over the years, including St Paul's Carnival, St Werburgh's Farm Fair, Redland Green Fair and numerous high-profile festivals, carnivals and fundraisers. We are also available for hire for private functions (see
In 2016 Bristol Samba was awarded charitable status by the Charity Commission. The aim of the band (as stated in the constitution) is:
Many former members of Bristol Samba have gone on to form Brazilian music groups over the years, and have helped establish the popularity of samba and other Brazilian styles in the UK. The band has a history of being led by some of the leading lights of the UK's samba scene including Jon Hardeman, Musical Director of Ilu Axé. Sam Alexander runs the Estrela do Norte maracatu group in London, Simon Preston is Director of Samba Galez, and Joe Hanson is one time Musical Director of both Paraiso and Quilomobo samba schools in London.
Bristol Samba Directors
Silas Mosbacher is Musical Director of Bristol Samba. He has studied percussion music from Brazil, Cuba and Africa. His initial contact with Brazilian music was playing the pandeiro and Berimbau in the Capoirea Angola roda and subsequent training was mainly with with Jon Hardeman in Bristol Samba. He has studied Orixa music from Brazil and Cuba and performed with different folkloric and percussion groups. After many years he has finally ventured into the world of melody and started playing the polyphonic Zimbabwean Mbira from the Shona people.
Jon Hardeman (www.jonhardeman.wixsite.com) has been involved with Bristol Samba for many years. He is a past Musical Director and currently teaches the beginner drummer group. He was responsible (during his many years as Musical Director) for a complete overhaul of instrumentation etc, changing Bristol Samba from a group that played Rio Samba to a group that plays Samba-Reggae (from Salvador). He taught and wrote and/or arranged much of the music from that tradition and culture that Bristol Samba now play.
Evie Gkatzioufa is currently the Dance Director of Bristol Samba. She trained in Brazil in the styles of Samba, Samba-Reggae and Afro-Brazilian; she continues attending numerous workshops throughout Europe as part of her Professional Development. She is certified by ILE AIYE, Salvador, Bahia, in Brazilian Dance and the University of Pennsylvania in World Music. Evie also runs popular weekly classes and workshops at the Dance Centre and the Folk House in Bristol. She leads her own performance company SAMBAZINHAS. Evie is passionate about her job and loves sharing her inspiration in her classes.