Batala is an international samba reggae music project based in Salvador de Bahia in northeastern Brazil. The name Batala is a combination of the phrase “bateu lá” meaning “hit there” in Portuguese and Obatalá (Oxalá), the Candomblé deity who is the father of the Orixas and of all humanity.
Batala was founded in Paris in 1997 by Giba Gonçalves, a Bahian percussionist with links to Ilê Aiyê, Olodum, Muzenza, Male Debale, Jimmy Cliff, Tupi Nago, and Kaoma. Batala currently has over 30 groups in 15 countries and a worldwide membership of over 1,000 percussionists.
Learn more about the Batala organization on Wikipedia.
Batala Durham is a new branch of the Batala family. While we’re still currently recruiting new members, we’re also rehearsing and learning the music of Batala and samba reggae and playing shows, festivals, and events of all kinds. Our founders are based in Durham and we rehearse in Durham, but we’re open to anyone in the Research Triangle area (or beyond if you feel like making a trek to rehearsal every week).