AKSamba taking it to the streets

It is fair to say that the 2011 Rugby World Cup was an absolute blast for AKSamba. Thanks must go to the RWC organisers for choosing AKSamba as the preferred provider of rhythms and beats for the people. It was called the Rugby World Cup but it seems that samba was the winner on the day. Playing regular gigs is good for any band and AKSamba is in top form after a series of memorable gigs at Eden Park, Queens Wharf, the Fan Trail and the All Blacks victory parade. AKSamba sends a huge shout out and much love to the many fun rugby supporters from all over the world whom we met along the way.

As any well-informed rhythm enthusiast will tell you, AKSamba is on a mission to take the music to the streets and so was stoked to be part of the All Blacks victory parade in front of 200,000 screaming fans. A sea of endless streamers flew overhead as hysterical teenaged girls clawed at their faces and old ladies and grown men openly wept. A seething Queen Street throbbed to the booming sound of samba-reggae and the sweet smell of All Black victory. One of the best things about AKSamba is the people and to share that moment playing our music together was pretty freakin’ cool.

So normal transmission has been resumed and the suburbs return to their slumber, but not so the international beat perfectionist collective known as AKSamba. The search for rhythm nirvana continues, so be assured that while you sit there popping the bubblewrap that is your tragic little life take comfort from the fact that our team of dedicated samba ninjas are  hard out practicing for your rhythm salvation.

Break the suction and come and join AKSamba in welcoming the summer at the Grey Lynn Festival on Saturday 19 November. We are not just about the beats, as you know: AKSamba is a holistic experience full of colour, smiles and good vibes. Whether you should choose to admire the well-toned arms of our powerful surdo players as they belt out thundering beats or groove to the energy of our supremely fabulous shaker section, we look forward to seeing you and your friends there.


Fans come flocking for AKSamba

They are a thoughtful lot, these RWC mob. They know what works, they know how to put an event together, and like AKSamba, they know that the most important thing is the people. RWC know what the people need and that is why they got back to us. Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to “activate” Great North Road. It is a long walk along the Fan Trail and the people need a non-lethal energy kick to get them along their way. We want you to “own it”: that was the word from Richie McCaw or someone high up, apparently.

AKSamba doesn’t dot down in the corner. We do contest the breakdown, but unlike the All Blacks forward pack, we don’t look to dominate. After all, AKSamba are lovers, not fighters. We were stoked when our country came calling in the need of rhythm dispensary , so of course “own it” we did. As any well-informed rhythm enthusiast will tell you, AKSamba is on a quest to take the beats to the streets, and thanks, RWC organisers, for the opportunity to do so. A sleek but rather gorgeous AKSamba entertained the sea of rugby supporters as they made their way along the Fan Trail to the big game. The positive energy of the supporters has been fantastic and is the sort of fuel that feeds the AKSamba fire. Even here in Aotearoa it is not every day that you see face-painted men in blue afro wigs, beautiful sexy dancers, a cow cocky farmer, a giant kiwi bird and a flock of people in sheep suits shaking their butts to the pumping groove of samba reggae. For two whole hours the mayhem continued as the powerful beat perfectionist collective AKSamba entertained passing fans.

And then they were gone… samba players, broken surdo skins and tumbleweeds blew across the Great North Road as somewhere a game was on.

AKSamba are in top form and perform at Eden Park next Saturday before the Wales v. France match. While we love and appreciate our many Australian friends, AKSamba says go the All Blacks!!




Pride, passion and AKSamba

You don’t have to be into rugby to appreciate the pride and passion that the fans of various cultures have brought to Aotearoa. AKSamba was stoked to be asked by Rugby World Cup organisers to perform for VIPs and supporters at the Samoa v. Fiji game at Eden Park last Sunday.

It was raining and sorta yuck outside but that never stopped Buck Shelford or Colin Meads and it done never stopped AKSamba neither.

Suit-clad ties and flag-waving face-painted freaks mingled together as enthusiastic rugby fans from both teams busted out all the moves to an AKSamba “A” Team that produced a performance described by our esteemed leader, the Ivan Cleary-like Darren, as “one of our very best”.

We got soaked to the skin but hardcore samba fundamentalists don’t mind because it’s all about the music, maan, and just like Samba Ninjas we, train for such possibilities.

Despite the weather it was generally felt that rhythm needed to be taken to the streets, and so we performed outside Kingsland station where amongst a sea of Pacific flavour we ran into a group of raucous beret-clad French fans complete with a samba-friendly guy on airhorn.

The rain came down on a cross-cultural Brazilian beat flavoured jam with French, Fijian, Samoaan, Kiwi and whoever else rugby supporters getting a groove on with the international beat perfectionist collective known as AKSamba. We powered through our “jungle” rhythm as much dancing, airhorn solos and shaker madness ensued.

As any well-informed rhythm enthusiast will tell you, AKSamba loves taking the music to the people and so we say thanks to Rugby World Cup organisers for asking us to be a part of the action.


AKSamba scares babies this Saturday at Ponsonby Market!

It is time once again, friends, to join AKSamba this Saturday as we wander the Earth like Mr Frodo or Grasshopper from Kung Fu. Fresh from roadtripping to a special guest appearance with our Wellington Batucada and Tauranga Samba friends at the Hastings Blossom Festival, we say join us as, drums in hand, we go forth amongst the beautiful people of Ponsonby Road on a samba quest.

Come stroll shoulder-to-toned-shoulder with our fabulous surdo players as AKSamba take the rhythms to the streets. Let us walk to the market as splendid agogos, united as one, to play delicious samba grooves for your funk-a-browsing convenience.

Marvel at the live entertainment, donate money to a worthy cause, catch up with a friend, make a new one :-),enjoy a tasty morsel or pick up an exclusive item from a local retailer. Whatever is your want, Ponsonby Market has something for you.

Be assured, however, dear rhythm-addicted friend, that though we may take different paths your Ponson-samba needs will not be forgotten and should all the heady distractions of the market get too much, everything starts to get a little intense, and you think to yourself, “I believe I am in the need of some serious funkin’ beats!!!”, rest assured that the pulsating sounds of the big beats of AKSamba will be nearby to take the pressure off your oh-so-busy lifestyle.

AKSamba play Ponsonby Market, Ponsonby Road, Saturday 24. We play between 11 am and 3 pm . See you there for samba!

Psst: Unnamed sources on the mean streets of the Auckland drumming scene with connections to the samba underworld have indicated that the international beat perfectionist collective known as AKSamba would neither confirm nor deny any knowledge of or connection to any group of fab-looking unbranded rhythm percussionists who may or may not be playing seriously funky booty-shakin’ beats derived from any South American Portugese-speaking country within the immediate vicinity or gathering of three or more heavily branded supporters of any oval ball pastime contested between consenting adult males representing less than three South Pacific non-continental landmass nations someday after Saturday but before Monday at some location most definitely absolutely not along Sandringham Road around 1.30pm.

Brazil scores shock World Cup win!

Well, maybe not, but AKSamba did score a first-round victory with the crowds at Rugby World Cup 2011. Every rugby supporter knows that “it all starts up front” and AKSamba base their game on a solid forward effort laid down by our powerful surdo section. Once getting the “go forward” it’s time to “feed the backs” and our showpony tamborim section can dodge and weave like the best of them [Oh, enough of the rugby-isms already! Ed.].

A road trip to Napier Blossom Festival where we look forward to hooking up with our Wellington Batucada and Tauranga Samba friends, more RWC gigs and our regular spot at Ponsonby Market make for a busy Sambatember. Bookmark this page to keep up with the busiest beats in town as we kick the winter blues into touch (Hmmm, off to the sin bin for you, mate! Ed.].

AKSamba to help kick off Rugby World Cup 2011

While the rest of you have been snowbound in Somewheresville, the AKSamba crew have been busy cooking up some big beats and are set to rock the socks off our Rugby World Cup guests. We have been asked to perform in the weekend Carnival at Queens Wharf on Sat 10th Sept to celebrate the beginning of the Rugby World Cup. AKSamba does not have a rotation policy. We field our top team every time and play like every gig is a final, so be sure to look out on our gigs page for our other World Cup appearances.

Speaking of rotation policy, AKSamba is holding a workshop on Saturday 3rd Sept 2011. Whether you’re interested in livening up your lifestyle with a brief introduction to samba percussion or joining AKSamba*,we invite you to come along for the guaranteed fun! No prior musical experience is needed and we’ll supply all the instruments.

AKSamba rocks the Roller Derby

AKSamba had the pleasure of playing for our friends Pirate City Rollers at the Roller Derby finals between Dead Wreckoning and Alpha Beta Slammers. This event was held at the YMCA on July 16 and was sold out days in advance. AKSamba loves Roller Derby!

Feeding off the good vibes and positive energy from the fabulous ‘up for it’ crowd, AKSamba played a short punchy halftime set that included material we have been working on with Mestre Fred from London School of Samba.

Well organized and a great gig to play, thanks to Pirate City Rollers and the Roller Derby crowd. You ROCK! Well done Alpha Beta Slammers, who won the Black Dahlia Cup in the final seconds.

Congratulations to Chris and Margo who made their AKSamba performance debuts and also Mandar for his second only gig. Chris, Margo and Mandar joined the AKSamba fun after attending one of our workshops.