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.

Taiko/samba collaboration at the Japanese earthquake gig

We played at the Wings Of Hope fundraiser for the Japanese earthquake appeal on May 8th.

We arrived at a sunny Aotea Square to the sounds of Haere Mai Taiko Drummers and thought it would be a great idea to ask them if they wanted to play along with AK Samba.

They loved the idea and played along for our whole set of 5 tunes, which we all enjoyed. There were plenty of people watching and the collection buckets were rattling with cash.

This is the first time there has been a samba/taiko collaboration in New Zealand, and maybe the first time ever in the world.

See a video here.

Haere Mai Taiko and AKSamba

Winter’s coming

We are beginning our hibernation season, where we get to practice in the dark and polish up new rhythms for next summer. We are currently incorporating some of the rhythms introduced to us by Mestre Fred of The London School of Samba.

It’s a good time to get along to an intro workshop – we will likely be looking for some new players from that course. See the workshops page for dates, costs and details.