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The Brazilian Beat

Arts & Culture Podcasts

Getting to know the Brazilian percussion music-making community, one interview at a time with your hosts, Courtney and Dianna

Getting to know the Brazilian percussion music-making community, one interview at a time with your hosts, Courtney and Dianna


United States


Getting to know the Brazilian percussion music-making community, one interview at a time with your hosts, Courtney and Dianna






Epi 67 Ami Molinelli

Ami gives us a beautiful history of choro and how it ties into the origins of samba.


Epi 66 Dr. Jason Koontz from Eastern Kentucky University

Conversation with Dr. Jason Koontz about his percussion life and his projects at Eastern Kentucky University.


Epi 65 Rob Arcari, from Melbourne Australia

Rob Arcari Brazil Nut Agogo at Bio: Melbourne based musician, Rob Arcari has been teaching percussion for the last 18 years throughout Europe and Australia. Rob specialises in both Afro-Brazilian and Afro-Cuban folkloric drums and percussion, with a special passion for the music from Rio’s samba schools. Originally from the UK, Rob played with a long line of samba groups across Europe from a young age. After moving to Melbourne, he founded the group Bloco 3K in 2016 where he...


Epi 64 Brian Rice

Brian Rice talks with us about learning to play pandeiro, and his current musical projects.


Epi 63 Bruce Ogilvie from Samba Loca

3/25/2020 Instruments and gear from Brazil! Shop Now Bio: Bruce Ogilvie started drumming in 1999 after relocating to Morro Bay, Ca. He started out playing with a local West African troupe and has studied under masters such as Mamady Keita and Bolokada Conde among others. He began playing samba after attending an 2014 open audition for the newly formed group, Samba Loca. Links: Samba Loca! Samba Loca!


Episode 62 Lee Clippard

Lee Clippard leading Austin Samba New drums arriving at Shop Drums Bio: Lee Clippard is the director of Austin Samba, which he has been a member of since 2005 and director since 2017. His passion for Brazilian percussion was ignited in 2002 in Madison, Wisconsin, where he joined the Handphibians. Prior to that, he played brass instruments in middle and high school and with the University of Texas Longhorn Marching Band. He has attended several California Brazil Camps and has...


Episode 61 Bruno Moraes

Bruno Moraes talks with us about the state of carnaval in Rio, the impact of Troféu Bateria, and why São Paulo baterias are so darn good!


Episode 60 Thalita Santos

Thalita Santos and her tamborim Samba drums from Brazil Visit Shop For Drums Bio: Thalita Santos was born and raised in Niterói. Her first contact with percussion was 10 years in the school band playing snare drum. She always loved carnival and later joined Unidos do Viradouro. She played with Viradouro for 15 years where she learned to play all the drums of the bateria. Viradouro made her love for carnival grow and her passion for her profession. She has a degree in...


Episode 60 Thalita Santos

A long-form conversation with Thalita Santos from Rio De Janeiro samba scene. Thalita is the director of tamborins at the samba school Vila Isabel, plays with Viradouro and many other samba schools. She has her own YouTube channels Thalita Santos, Site Apoteose, where she teaches how to play instruments of the Samba Baterias and interviews mestres from different samba schools.


Episode 59 Adriana Portela of Banda Didá

Adriana Portela is the director of Banda Didá Feminina. The is the first woman to conduct an all female samba-reggae band in Brazil!


Episode 58 Douglas Alonso

Douglas Alonzo has even the little things! Click Here Bio: Drummer and percussionist Douglas Alonso is an example of a musician who fell in love with a style from an early age, and made it his life and breadwinner. A sambista by nature, Douglas began playing the pandeiro and later adapted the technique of the instrument to drive with the drumstick, which made it even more distinctive in his style. With a resume with names like Virginia Rosa, Jair Rodrigues, Toninho Ferragutti,...

Episode 57 Henrique Araújo Mestre de bandolim

11/20/2019 has more than just drums. Click here Bio: Henrique Araújo currently represents an important reference for cavaquinho and mandolin in the Brazilian music scene. He completed the mandolin and cavaquinho courses at ULM-SP in 2008, studied composition and conducting at FAAM College in 2013 and has participated in several concerts, and recordings alongside popular master artists such as Dominguinhos, Yamandú Costa, Elza Soares, Wilson das Neves, Zeca Pagodinho, Gilberto Gil,...

Episode 56 Stacy Kovacs Fogo Azul NYC

Conversation with Stacy Kovacs the leader of the 100 member all-female bateria in New York City, Fogo Azul NYC. They are a powerhouse of women empowerment in the United States.


Episode 55 Mestre Junior Sampaio

Courtney was able to sit down with Mestre Junior Sampaio for some time in Rio de Janeiro and talk about growing up in Rio, in samba schools, and in candomblé. He has a fascinating story and deep knowledge of the origins of samba, how it has changed over time, and important mestres who have directed that change.


Episode 54 Pitoco De Aira

Long form interview with Pitoco De Aira of Maracatu Nação Estrela Brilhante.


Episode 53 Dudu Fuentes

Dudu Fuentes tells us about his journey as a musician growing up in Rio De Janeiro Brazil. Playing in the band Monobloco, arranging for Bangalafumenga, and his current projects in Rio and around the world.


Episode 52 Kleber Komká founder of Batuque Digital

Bio: Kleber Komká, is a musician and percussionist. He has played with some of the great names of Brazilian Popular Music and Brazilian Samba, such as Alcione, the late Beth Carvalho, Danilo Caymmi and many others. He is a Percussionist and director of drums with more than 30 years of parading in the batterias of the Rio de Janeiro Carnival, such as Mocidade Independent, Salgueiro, Beija Flor, Imperatriz, Mangueira, União da Ilha, São Clemente, Rio Grande among others. He is a drum...


Episode 51 Serrinha Raiz

Bio: Serrinha grew up in a family of musicians and sambistas that originated in Imperio Serrano and Estacio de Sa’. Since childhood, he demonstrated interest in various percussion instruments. He participated in “rodas de samba” that had some of the great samba personalities as invitees: Jorge Aragao, Monarco, Almir Guineto, Luiz Carlos da Vila, and Luiz Melodia, to name some. He has worked as a director of samba school, in the likes of Unidos da Tijuca, Unidos de Padre Miguel, Estacio de...

Episode 50 New York Samba School and Brazilian Council on Samba Executive Director Carlos DeOliveira

Bio: Carlos DeOliveira also known as Caco, is the founder and Executive Director of New York Samba School and the Brazilian Council on Samba. Born and raised in Rio de Janeiro, his work as a musician, percussionist, writer, producer and community organizer are manifestations of his lifelong love for Afro-Brazilian culture, its various iterations but particularly Samba. A musician of extreme versatility, Caco performs in the Samba, Bossa Nova, Forró and Jazz idioms as a sit in and recording...

Episode 49 Kahlil Cummings

shop for samba drums Bio: Kahlil Cummings, a Los Angeles native, is an acclaimed drummer, exceptional performer, composer, and educator. Kahlil was recognized as a child prodigy very early; since childhood, he has played with numerous reputable groups including Ballet Folclórico Do Brasil, Sona Sané, Abalayé, Mila Samba School, Inu Olorun, Debbie Allen Dance Company, Les Amazones, and Viver Brasil. Kahlil honed his rhythmic gifts with noted teachers including Mestre Amen Santo, Jose Ricardo...