Batalá is an international samba reggae music project based in Salvador de Bahia in northeastern Brazil. The name Batalá is a combination of the phrase “bateu lá”, meaning “hit there” in Portuguese, and Obatalá (Oxalá), the Candomblé deity who is the father of the Orixas and of all humanity.
Batalá was founded in Paris in 1997 by Giba Gonçalves, a Bahian percussionist with links to Ilê Aiyê, Olodum, Muzenza, Male Debale, Jimmy Cliff, Tupi Nago, and Kaoma. Batalá currently has over 40 groups in 19 countries, and a worldwide membership of over 1,000 percussionists.
Batalá Durham is one of the newer branches of the Batalá family in North America, established in 2015. We are a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization focused on exposing people to and educating them about Afro-Brazilian culture by performing traditional samba reggae music.
Batalá Durham is a community group, open to anyone 18 years or older. We’re based in and rehearse in Durham but have members from all parts of the Research Triangle area.
To learn more about our parent group, Batalá Mundo, see their Wikipedia page.
To see where in the world other Batalá bands exist, see our World Map…