Sambanui Part 2

I wasn’t sure what to expect at Sambanui, but I knew that with the awesome members of AKSamba by my side, it’d be at least a great weekend. As it turns out it was heaps better than that. Not only did I learn a lot (beats and stepping) from a very experienced, professional and easygoing teacher, but on return to AKSamba practise I felt much more confident too.

Sambanui wasn’t just about acquiring knowledge. I met a whole host of new like-minded people from around the country and, paradoxically, partied and chilled out in a world away from a typical weekend back home. Based in an outdoor camp that had no mobile signal away from towns and cities also meant there were no distractions from TXTs, email or Facebook. Total immersion in a positive way.

To perform on the last day in front of the public with the 70 or so band members and dancers from other baterias as one unit, and with all the information we had absorbed in the last three and half days, was amazing and awe-inspiring.

When I joined AK Samba, I never knew it would be as much fun and rewarding as this.


AKSamba off the grid

We are looking forward to joining a range of percussionists at Earth Songs – a night “off the grid” world music celebration.

Earth Songs features high-energy percussive music from Tamashii Taiko Drummers, African Drummers, Dubtext (live electronica!) and of course AKSamba.

For those of us who can’t make it down to WOMAD, we bring a slice of world music to the beautiful Kawai Purapura Retreat Centre in Albany, just 20 minutes’ drive from Auckland’s CBD.

It will be a fun, family-friendly, alcohol-free evening celebrating dance music from all over the world. There will also be a twilight eco market featuring food and stalls focusing on ecological sustainability.

The whole evening will be “off the grid”, powered without electricity.

Presales are just $15 from or $20 cash on the gate. Children 12 and under come free. Bring your instrument if you want to join in the jam at the end!

Earth Songs

My first gig

I was feeling an energetic combination of nerves, anticipation and excitement when I arrived at the Roller Derby on Saturday night for my first gig with AKSamba. The girls in helmets playing rugby on roller blades spurred me on, as too did the other band members. We played an awesome set at half time. I was buzzing. The crowd was fantastic. So there we go – I survived my first performance (alongside 3 other newcomers). Bring on the next one…

Kate at the Roller Derby

AKSamba says Feliz Navidad and have a nice break

The AKSamba group and whanau would like to extend our best wishes to all those individuals and organisations who have contributed in some way to a stellar year of samba-induced madness. 2011 has been a busy year for the group and we now pack away the earplugs, hang up our chocalhos, break out the bikinis and hit the beach for a well-deserved few weeks off.

However, intrepid reader, do not fear for your 2012 rhythm redemption as the new, improved, sunkissed AKSamba travelling roadshow experience will emerge from under the pohutukawa, fitter, faster, stronger and even more unbelievably gorgeous, ready to slave our souls in the search for samba nirvana.

Post guards on the watchtowers and look out for AKSamba as we kick off our 2012 schedule with gigs at the Auckland Botanical Gardens and Raglan’s Boardies and Bikinis festival.