Juba-do-Leao-showcase-the-lions-mane-2Over the bank holiday weekend, May 2nd – 4th 2015, to celebrate their 25th anniversary, Samba Galez hosted the 2015 Welsh Encontro.

Over 400 sambistas, representing nearly fifty bands, attended an amazing weekend of workshops, busking and stunning performances. The event was an unprecedented success, attracting the very best tutors from the UK and Europe, eager to pass on their skills and knowledge to appreciative audiences in 28 packed workshops across the Saturday and Sunday.

Saturday night saw us staging a street party at Revolucion de Cuba. Even more manic than our usual gigs at the club, we had around a hundred performers entertaining several hundred revellers! Many thanks to the awesome Bloco Fogo, Norwich Samba and Eri Okan for helping us keep the party going.

Sunday’s Showcase, held in Cardiff’s historic Portland House, saw the cream of the UK Afro-Brazilian music scene (and us!) performing to an audience of more than 500. Headliners Juba do Leao were joined by ourselves, En Masse, Eri Okan and a very special group of workshop participants for a mesmerising evening of music.

The weekend came to a thunderous climax on the Bank Holiday Monday when the sun returned to see more than 350 performers gathered together outside The Senedd for a mass busk of epic proportions. Led by Samba Galêz’ musical director, Simon Preston and dance choreographer Sallie MacLennan, it was the perfect end to what was a unique and remarkable event in the home town of Samba Galêz.

Use the links on the left to navigate our galleries of photos and videos from the weekend.

Samba Galez would like to thank the members of the nearly fifty bands that were represented at the event: Afon Sistema, African Sambistas, Arco Iris, Batala Bangor, Bateria acid, Big Noise Samba Band, Blackdown Samba, Bloco do Sul, Bloco Fogo, Bloco Sŵn, BrazUKa, Brighton School of Samba, Bristol School of Samba, Celebration Samba, Energia Samba Band, Eri Okan Bloco, Garden City Samba, Haylestorm Samba, Juba do Leão, Karamba Samba, Leamington Samba, Los Samba, Manchester School of Samba, Norwich Samba, Olá Samba, Oya Batucada, Samba Brecon, Samba Burros, Samba Doc, Samba Sulis, Samba Tawe, Sambalanco, Sambando, Sambanistas, Sambassadors of Groove, SambaYaBamba, Street Heat Samba Band, Swindon Samba, Toque Tambor, Total Rumba, Truro School of Samba, UBU, Unidos Samba Band, Ziriguidum.

Thank you to everyone who attended our 25th Anniversary Welsh Encontro and made it such a fabulous weekend.