About us

About Batala Lancaster

Batala Lancaster is Lancaster’s original samba-reggae drumming band, established in 2004. We are part of the Batala Mundo family of bands, and we have 45 sister bands in 17 countries, comprising over 2,000 people. All Batala bands play a  form of Samba Drum music originating in Salvador de Bahia in North Eastern Brazil.

Batala was formed as the European wing of Cortejo Afro (a style of Brazilian Samba) by Giba Gonçalves in Paris in 1997.

Giba is the maestro of the Batala sound, which he composed after the style of his home town Salvador, in Brazil. The music has its roots in African traditional music which found its way to Brazil and has been incorporated into Brazilian culture since.

Using this influence, Giba formed a 60-piece drumming band called  Batala, and encouraged anyone interested in his music to form their own Batala group under his name. There are now 46 Batala groups in 17 countries worldwide, nine of which are in the UK. Batala Lancaster was the third UK Batala band, formed in 2004 after Batala Portsmouth and Batala Bangor. In 2019, we celebrated the band’s 15th Birthday with an adventure drumming weekend, and in 2024, we’ll be celebrating our 20th birthday.

Our international community of over 2,000 drummers all play the same Batala rhythms composed by Giba. He teaches the same music to all of his bands around the world, allowing us to perform in unison at huge global events where he leads the band. It’s loud, intricate, and intense, but it’s also very accessible and fun to play.

Batala Mundo won Best Brazilian Band for the last two years running at Notting Hill Carnival, the largest carnival event in Europe.

Batala Lancaster has repeat bookings from Kendal Calling festival, Edinburgh Fringe, Lancaster Pride, Lancaster Music Festival, and many smaller local and charity events.

A drummer olding a bass drum in the air in front of a waterfall