May Morning in Oxford 2017

Sol Samba parading down New College Lane in Oxford on May Morning 2011
Parading down New College Lane on May Morning 2011

The weather forecast is looking good, so Sol Samba are likely to be out on the High Street in Oxford tomorrow morning to celebrate May Day. Our plan is to parade from Longwall Street up the High and jam with Horns of Plenty along the way. We’ll be setting off shortly after the choir has finished singing at the top of Magdalen College tower and once the Morris sides have jingled a safe distance away. Our maracatu drums will start rumbling around 06:30. Look out for our distinctively dressed dancers.

If you’ve never been to May Morning in Oxford before, it’s well worth the bleary-eyed effort to start off your bank holiday with some traditional folk revelry. And you can always go back to bed afterwards…

Nor Lye Music Festival

We recorded this track at the Nor Lye Music Festival in North Leigh, Oxfordshire on Saturday 22 June 2013 – one of our favourite gigs of the year. Thanks very much to Steven Battersby for sharing the recording with us and doing the mixdown.

This is a cover of a song called “Revolta Olodum” by one of our favourite samba reggae bands, Olodum, from Salvador, Bahia in the north-east of Brazil.

“I feel very lucky that you all came and did such a great set for us. I had so many compliments about your band! We would definitely love to have you back in the future.”
Sam Burgum, Nor Lye Musical Festival

Peter Andre books Sol Samba for Thame Carnival

On Wednesday 15 June 2011, Peter Andre brought the TV cameras from ITV2’s Peter Andre: Here 2 Help to our rehearsal at St Greg’s. His mission was to liven up Thame Carnival the following Saturday by asking us to play with him in the parade. Here’s an excerpt from the show:

“You lot are unbelievable! Thank you so much for agreeing to do this. You’re going to make Thame very happy.”
Peter Andre on ITV2’s “Peter Andre: Here 2 Help”

Maracatu Masters Nation

On Sunday 7 November 2010, Sol Samba hosted a Maracatu Masters Nation workshop at St Nicholas’ Primary School in Oxford. We were honoured to learn from the musical directors of three of the most historic, respected naçãos: Mestre Afonso from Maracatu Nação Leao Coroado (Nation of the Crowned Lion); Mestre Gilmar from Maracatu Nação Estrela Brilhante de Igarassu (Shining Star of Igarassu Nation); and Mestre Arlindo from Maracatu Nação Cambinda Africano (Cambinda Africano Nation).

Thanks very much to Mariana Pinho from Gandaia Arts for making this happen.

Sol Samba learns to play “Vem Ver” with Mestre Gilmar of Maracatu Estrella Brillihante de Igarassu

Mestre Gilmar (Igarassu), Mestre Arlindo (Cambinda Africano) and Mestre Afonso (Leao Coroado)