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Samba’s route to Bangor

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17th century – Bantu people from Angola and the Congo are taken to Bahia to work on sugar plantations as slaves. They take with them their rhythms and dances. An early form of samba develops.

Late 19th century – Emancipated slaves migrate to Rio de Janeiro, a cosmopolitan city where samba comes into contact with other African, European and Brazilian musics. It gradually develops into the sound we know today.

Mid 20th century – Samba music becomes a globally-recognised symbol of Brazil and Carnival. Comprising of drums, shakers, bells and whistles, with guitars, trombones and voices sometimes added to the mix, samba bands become popular and tour the world.

1995 – Samba Bangor Community Music is founded to promote Brazilian music, dance and carnival throughout North Wales.

2005 – UNESCO adds samba to its Heritage of Humanity list.

2014 – Bangor University students perform samba music at the Clock Tower together with bands Batala Bangor and Bloco Sŵn.

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The colours of Balata Bangor. Photo by Hedd Thomas

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About Author

Hedd Thomas

Music Editor 2014/15

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