SAMBA SQUAD is gearing up for a busy Summer 2017 season with Beaches Jazz Festival, Salsa on St. Clair (dancers’ favourite), Sun Fest in London, ON, and Muhtadi’s International Drum Fest. For information and scheduling of these and many other events, go to our Gigs and Upcoming Events Page on this site.
2015 and 2016 featured the emergence of the Grand Bacteria Express:
SAMBA SQUAD RELEASED THEIR 3RD CD QUE BELEZA ON MARCH 21, 2013
Samba Squad released highly anticipated third CD
QUE BELEZA as part of Canadian Music Week
“An exhilarating experience” – The Toronto Star
TORONTO, ON – Toronto’s explosive rhythmic collective Samba Squad released their highly anticipated third CD Que Beleza (So Beautiful) on Thursday, March 21 at Lula Lounge, as part of Canadian Music Week.
Produced by renowned award-winning percussionist Rick Shadrach Lazar, Que Beleza is an evolution of SAMBA SQUAD’s musical journey: the path of the drum. The band tookus on a musical tour of global grooves with 14 original new songs, featuring Lazar’s creative collaborations with composer Gordon Sheard and the voices of Alberto Alberto, Andrea Di Bartolomeo, Luanda Jones, who was recently awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal, and Laura Mae Lindo.
Que Beleza continues Lazar’s journey into the musical beauty of the African Diaspora. Infused with the rhythms of Afro-Cuba and Afro-Brazil, the album also features traditional samba, Caribbean and West-African rhythms, as well as soukous, old-school funk and Afro-rap. In El Afrokan, Samba Squad pays tribute to Pedro Izquierdo, AKA Pello El Afrokan, the creator of the Mozambique rhythm mixing Cuban and Brazilian instruments. Describing it best, Lazar explains that “this collection of songs also tells our story: how the music of the Diaspora has touched us, inspiring us to write about our own experiences and make our contribution to the circle of cultures across the seas.”
Guest artists on March 21 included vocalists Alberto Alberto, Luanda Jones and Andrea Di Bartolomeo with Gordon Sheard on keys, Collin Barrett on bass and Demetri Petsalakis on guitar.
In September 2006, SAMBA SQUAD released its second album Batuque 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.
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.
For close to 15 years Samba Squad has thrilled audiences across the country and abroad with their unique blend of world rhythms. They remain one of the most dynamic and sought-after acts on the Canadian World and Latin music scene.
Samba Squad CD Release Concert Que Beleza Thursday, March 21 @9:30 PM
Lula Lounge | 1585 Dundas St. W