Samba Trovao Returns to Tropicalia w/ Lola La & Special Guests


When: Saturday, July 13, 2013
Time: 7:00pm until 9:00pm

7pm – 8pm Samba/Axe dance class w/ Lola La (

8pm – 9pm Samba Trovao performance w/ special guests TBA

/// Celebrate community. Support the movement ///

Bloco Afro Samba Trovão has been in the Washington DC area for 6 years developing programs, workshops and projects for children, adults and to anyone interested in the African roots of Brazilian culture.

Massaranduba Tambor no Sangue


Years ago, before the water receded, the residents of Massaranduba in Salvador, Bahia Brazil made their homes on stilts along the coastline wherever space was available.  When the waters left, the roads came in and formed a base for urban development of brick and concrete. 


  Whatever materials were used to build this community; truly, at its foundations, there has always been a culture of music and sport and common purpose.  On 2 previous occasions, I was invited to the neighborhood by Capoeira Mestre Valmir of the Fundacao Internacional de Capoeira Angola(FICA).  Mestre Valmir introduced me to programs in the neighborhood which were quite impressive.


  The first was the “Escola do Sorriso Infantil” where Mestre Valmir was conducting Capoeira classes for the neighborhood children as a way to show them clear paths around the obstacles of life around them.  Samba Trovao founder and Musical Director Livaldi “Baba Jan” da Cruz grew up in Massaranduba, and trained with Mestre Valmir in GCAP and later FICA.  Baba himself worked with the kids at the school before coming to the US to teach Capoeira.


  The second program, a non-governmental community network- “Balcao.”  Many neighborhoods in the city of Salvador operate a community seat, “Balcao.”  Each having a center which offers day care, tutoring, medical services, and legal mediation\advice for residents.  Each a local shelter and nurturing environment for personal growth and opportunity.

  On previous visits, the work-day calm left streets empty of evidence of the vibrant soul of Massaranduba.  This time, on a Sunday, the streets were alive with Soccer and music.  Noted Singer and Composer Sergio Baleiro of the Bloco Afro “Os Negoes” introduced me to this other side on a walking tour to meet local musicians.




Yes the libations flowed and the streets were filled with music and dancing.  So many locals  were part of musical groups, each of which had similar programs for youth.  No day is easy, life itself is a challenge day to day, but Sunday the young have teams that play Soccer in the street for all to enjoy and tables are filled as residents share a block party routine.

 Warm were the embraces and welcoming were the smiles as this stranger was received with affection for being a friend and partner with Baba Jan whom they hold in high esteem.   Like the schools of Capoeira, the “Bloco Afro” in Brazil has an “each-one-teach-one” approach to self empowerment.  Each day on TV, reminders of crime and violence present clear pictures of hardships, and each day hands make instruments to entertain and to teach.  Each day elders share knowledge and direction.

  Axe’ is a term known to most who have attended a Samba Trovao show, but it is important to understand how that term defines inspiration.  Inspiration as an unshared experience is unborn,  Axe’ only exists when the inspired share such inspiration in a way in which at least two others are as well inspired.  Be it the haunting call of a berimbau in which we hear the voice of ancestors, or be it in the thunder of drums from a Bloco Afro,  Axe’ is born in a way which can shelter and nurture and make whole.

  It has always been a dream, indeed a goal, for Samba Trovao founder Baba Jan to develop programs in the US similar to those which he grew up with in Capoeira and the Bloco Afro in Massaranduba. Each time we have a successful show, we grow closer to the fulfillment of that mission, so join us in our efforts and be a part of inspiration. Axe’




Samba Trovao Live on WBVR-FM Radio

Tune into Nonesuch on WVBR-FM radio in Ithaca, NY from 10am-3pm EST. as host Jackie Merwin counts down songs from Samba Trovao and all the artists performing at next weekend’s Fingerlakes Grassroots Festival of Music & Dance. Listen for a live recording of Samba Trovao performing Ile Aye’s famous song “O Mais Belo dos Belos,” at the Patterson in Baltimore, MD with vocalist Rose Moraes.

WVBR FM Radio logo


Streaming live around the world at

In addition to playing a track from Samba Trovao, Long-time Brazilian music lover Jackie Merwin with introduce listeners to Rob Curto’s Brazil-American fusion band Matuto; 2x Latin grammy nominees Locos por Juana; roots reggae from John Brown’s Body; Keith Frank‘s unique twist on creole zydeco; Bob Marley’s former backup singers, The Meditations; ReBirth Brass Band from New Orleans (touring with Red Hot Chili Peppers); Haitian band Revelation Mizik; and Khaira Airby from Mali. Local favorites include festival hosts Donna the Buffalo, Thousands of One, Makepeace Brothers, Sim Redmond Band, Kevin Kinsella, J-San and the Big Mean and so many more….

For more information about Samba Trovao’s involvement in the festival, RSVP for the Facebook event at the following hyperlink: Event LInk 

Samba Trovao performs at Grassroots Festival of Music & Dance

Samba Trovao is excited to travel to Trumansburg, NY to create a “Carnaval in July” on Saturday July 21, by participating in the FingerLakes Grassroots Festival of Music & Dance. By joining with other afro-latin drummers and samba musicians in the Ithaca area, Samba Trovao hopes to make connections and share insights about community-supported arts that can help everyone grow. And as always, Samba Trovao is excited to share Bahia, Brazil’s unique music and culture wherever we are invited… While in Trumansburg, a small town outside Ithaca, NY, Baba Jan and other group members will teach children to make homemade chocalhos (shakers), lead samba reggae workshops for local drummers, march in the festival’s Carnaval Happiness Parade and lead a horn section made up of musicians from some of Ithaca’s best music groups.

RSVP for parade on Facebook at:

Samba Trovao supports AzukaBom and Make-A-Wish Foundation on National Mall!

Samba Trovao was happy to support AzukaBom and Make-A-Wish Foundation on the National Mall this past Sunday April 31. The dance event is close to its goal of raising $7500 to support children with life-threatening illnesses. If you would like to make a donate, go to:—Gremlins.htm