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Samba Squad: We follow the path of the drum from Brazil to Toronto

Inspired by the Escola de Sambas of Rio de Janeiro…the Afro Blocos of Salvador Bahia ….and the Maracatu nations of Recife, Pernambuco…

Hand to Hand, Skin to Skin…. we mix these influences with Global Grooves of the African Diaspora
The beats….the grooves….the flavours….all come together in a seething cauldron to produce the sound of Samba Squad.

One Heart One Mind One Groove

“The joyful Samba Squad delivers souped-up rhythms. You’ll hear them coming!”
Geoff Chapman, The Toronto Star

Led by award-winning percussionist Rick Shadrach Lazar, SAMBA SQUAD has risen from a community-based drumming group into one of the most dynamic and sought after acts on the Canadian World and Latin music scenes From Jazz to Roots to International Drumming Festivals this energetic and joy-instilling groove machine has performed at over 200 festivals, thrilling audiences across the country and abroad.


  • Samba Squad Que Beleza 2013
  • Samba Squad Batuque, 2006
  • Samba Squad Self-Titled debut, 2001
  • Jesse Cook Montreal, 2004
  • Vito Rezza and 5 After 4 Drums of Avila, 2004
  • Jesse Cook Fall at Your Feet, 2000

Samba Squad released its 3rd highly anticipated CD Que Beleza (So Beautiful) in Spring 2013. It’s an evolution of Samba Squad’s musical journey: the path of the drum. We tell our story with 14 original songs, featuring Rick Lazar’s creative collaborations with composer Gordon Sheard and the voices of Andrea Dia, Alberto Alberto, Luanda Jones and Laura Mae Lindo. The result is mesmerizing vocals and wicked grooves.

In September 2006, SAMBA SQUAD released its 2nd album “Batuque” (baa-too-kee: Afro-Brazilian spontaneous street party) with fourteen original songs, featuring the hits: E Pra Valer, Maracatu Funk and Para Gozar. These songs were featured respectively in the mega-hit movie Breaking Dawn: Twilight, on the American hit TV show: America’s Got Talent and So You Think You Can Dance Canada.

SAMBA SQUAD: The beginning of the journey : The Squad was awarded the UMAC (Urban Music Association of Canada) Award for Best World Recording of 2001 for their self-titled debut release.

The documentary “SAMBA SQUAD: Drums We Love,” (Riddle Films) first aired on Vision TV on September 2006 and was commercially released in 2008 as a DVD, now available on our website.